Question for atheists

chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
Question for atheists

If I decided one day to kidnap a little girl, rape her... then tie her up and torture her.... kill her by burning her in a fire... take her burnt up corpse and wrap it in a bag... and then throw her in the river.........

On what basis do you say that what I did was wrong?


pablotar
pablotar's picture
Posts: 117
Joined: 2008-10-23
User is offlineOffline
 You're just saying

 You're just saying morality comes from god, right?

With out god there's nothing keeping us from doing stuff like that, right?

Is that the only thing that keeps YOU from doing that?

 Morality was around long before god was invented.

I'm sure there are others here who could do a better job than I at explaining the evolutionary-biological-social reasons for this.

Needless to say,God is unnecessary to explain morality.

Eden had a 25% murder rate and incest was rampant.


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
pablotar wrote: You're just

pablotar wrote:

 You're just saying morality comes from god, right?

With out god there's nothing keeping us from doing stuff like that, right?

Is that the only thing that keeps YOU from doing that?

No, I never said any of these things.

I'd like for you to answer the question.


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Because virtually everyone

Because virtually everyone would object to being raped, kidnapped, tortured or killed. There's nothing objectively wrong with throwing a corpse in a river assuming it isn't the water supply for somewhere.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
MattShizzle wrote:Because

MattShizzle wrote:

Because virtually everyone would object to being raped, kidnapped, tortured or killed. There's nothing objectively wrong with throwing a corpse in a river assuming it isn't the water supply for somewhere.

So morality is based on what we would object to if it happened to us?  It's wrong to do that solely on the basis that my victim would object to it?

In other words... if someone gives consent for something, that makes it morally correct?


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
If they are a mentally

If they are a mentally competent adult, yes. In this case it would not only harm her incredibly it would also hurt her family. Notice this behavior is something literally no society would tolerate- whether the members of said society are mostly Christian, Moslem, Atheist, Hindu or whatever. A society that tolerated such antiscoial activities and where they routinely happened wouldn't last for long. Not only that, thehuman species is adapted for cooperation - an individual human wouldn't have done very well back in the ice age. If it was based on "God" why were not the polytheistic or pantheistic civilizations not particularly antisocial?

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


pablotar
pablotar's picture
Posts: 117
Joined: 2008-10-23
User is offlineOffline
chuckg6261982 wrote:pablotar

chuckg6261982 wrote:

pablotar wrote:

 You're just saying morality comes from god, right?

With out god there's nothing keeping us from doing stuff like that, right?

Is that the only thing that keeps YOU from doing that?

No, I never said any of these things.

I'd like for you to answer the question.

 

You honestly tell me that's not where you were coming from? 

really? You're not going to at some point jump in with Aha! morality comes from god, you atheist fools, bet you never thought of that!

I'm sorry for making that assumption, then...

Anyway, I know that when someone hits me it hurts. Therefore I make a note not to hurt others, because I generally like others, and I think if I hit them it hurt's them too. That's just the kind of guy I am.

So, If i think of being raped kidnapped and tortured I find the idea somewhat distasteful and wouldn't want to do that to another living being as I believe that we only have one life and I like my life and would not want to take someone else's.

So do onto others as they would onto you is a good basis for morality, to me anyway.

(The people who wrote the bible thought it was a good idea too, that's why they put it in there).

 

Eden had a 25% murder rate and incest was rampant.


pauljohntheskeptic
atheistSilver Member
pauljohntheskeptic's picture
Posts: 2482
Joined: 2008-02-26
User is offlineOffline
chuckg6261982 wrote:If I

chuckg6261982 wrote:

If I decided one day to kidnap a little girl, rape her... then tie her up and torture her.... kill her by burning her in a fire... take her burnt up corpse and wrap it in a bag... and then throw her in the river.........

On what basis do you say that what I did was wrong?

All of your actions violate the rights of another person to lead a life free from harm. As these actions would be done against the person's own self interest and survival they would be grounds for your eradication from the human race. Causing harm to another has been found to be against the overall survival needs of civilizations. Except of course when it is sanctioned by a religious group to placate a god. In these cases children have been offered up as a burned offering to the sky to gain favor such that rain may fall. In other cases killing has been sanctioned to eliminate enemies of the tribe such as in Central and South America. In Judeo-Christian as well as Muslim beliefs murdering the infidels pleases the gods at least according to the holy books these groups consider to be the words of the god.

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
MattShizzle wrote:If they

MattShizzle wrote:

If they are a mentally competent adult, yes. In this case it would not only harm her incredibly it would also hurt her family. Notice this behavior is something literally no society would tolerate- whether the members of said society are mostly Christian, Moslem, Atheist, Hindu or whatever. A society that tolerated such antiscoial activities and where they routinely happened wouldn't last for long. Not only that, thehuman species is adapted for cooperation - an individual human wouldn't have done very well back in the ice age.

And what if a society that tolerated such actions DID manage to function and last?  Would it then be okay?

And what if this little girl's family wasn't hurt by what happened?  What if they hated this girl and wished to disown her?  And what if this girl was masochistic and suicidal and yet scientists found no abnormalities in her brain which would qualify her as being mentally incompetent?

Would it then be okay?

You presenting a lot of empirical claims, which seems to be leading you in the direction of utilitarianism.

 

 


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Actually I prefer the

Actually I prefer the negative version of the Golden Rule - Don't do to others what you wouldn't have them do to you. That way if you're masochistic or suicidal you don't have an obligation for killing or torturing someone. Actually it's even more complicated than that - I would love for Hayden Panetierre (sp) to throw me down on the ground and rape me, but don't think it would be a moral act to do that to her.

 

How exactly would such society last? BTW a child is by definition not mentally competent to make such decisions.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
pablotar wrote:You honestly

pablotar wrote:

You honestly tell me that's not where you were coming from? 

really? You're not going to at some point jump in with Aha! morality comes from god, you atheist fools, bet you never thought of that!

If I promise not to do that, then will you engage in this dialogue with me?

I know that atheists are not used to being in the hot seat since by their own admission, the onus is typically on theists to prove a positive claim.  So I think it's interesting to turn the tables, so to speak.

Are you up to the challenge?


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
pauljohntheskeptic wrote:All

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

All of your actions violate the rights of another person to lead a life free from harm. As these actions would be done against the person's own self interest and survival they would be grounds for your eradication from the human race. Causing harm to another has been found to be against the overall survival needs of civilizations.

But what is the basis of human rights?  You are claiming that the basis for moral law is yet another moral law above them.  That doesn't answer my question.

What if causing harm didn't hurt the overall survival of civilizations?  Would causing harm then be permissible?

I hope you see the danger in presenting empirical evidence for morality.


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Your what if's are

Your what if's are ridiculous. What if drinking drano didn't harm or kill you? Guess that means nothing is wrong with drinking drano. The fact is these things DO harm society and a person who actually wanted to be tortured to death would by definition have something wrong with them (Masochists don't want to be hurt to the point of maiming. ) Nobody wants to actually be "raped" - by definition rape is against ones will. And again, children can't give consent.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
MattShizzle wrote:Actually I

MattShizzle wrote:

Actually I prefer the negative version of the Golden Rule - Don't do to others what you wouldn't have them do to you. That way if you're masochistic or suicidal you don't have an obligation for killing or torturing someone. Actually it's even more complicated than that - I would love for Hayden Panetierre (sp) to throw me down on the ground and rape me, but don't think it would be a moral act to do that to her.

 

How exactly would such society last? BTW a child is by definition not mentally competent to make such decisions.

And who makes the decision on what constitutes a "child"?  According to the states, a child is under 18, but there are many people over 18 who act like children.  And all I would have to do to counter your argument is, instead of using a child in my example, just use an adult.  It would be just as immoral.

How would such a society last?  I don't know, but there is nothing contradictory about assuming that it could happen.  It's not true by contradiction.

So your basis for morality is the negative Golden Rule?  That's it?  And where does that rule come from?  Did society try out the rule and decided that it worked? 


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
MattShizzle wrote:Your what

MattShizzle wrote:

Your what if's are ridiculous. What if drinking drano didn't harm or kill you? Guess that means nothing is wrong with drinking drano. The fact is these things DO harm society and a person who actually wanted to be tortured to death would by definition have something wrong with them (Masochists don't want to be hurt to the point of maiming. ) Nobody wants to actually be "raped" - by definition rape is against ones will. And again, children can't give consent.

IF drinking drano didn't harm or kill you, then there would be nothing wrong with drinking drano. 

I have no problem admitting that.

Now... can you answer my question in the same way?  If a society functioned even after they permitted such behavior, would that behavior be permissible?


pablotar
pablotar's picture
Posts: 117
Joined: 2008-10-23
User is offlineOffline
 I did reply...

 I did reply...


Kevin R Brown
Superfan
Kevin R Brown's picture
Posts: 3142
Joined: 2007-06-24
User is offlineOffline
Well, chuck, the problem is

Well, chuck, the problem is you've slipped in the word 'wrong'; not a single thing in the world (including the scenario you've just posted) is intrinsically 'wrong' (or intrinsically 'right', for that matter). The activity would be sickening, in my opinion (and I would imagine that of any sane, rational person), and there are a number of good reasons not to go out and do something (as well as why we consider such acts disgusting):

 - The risk trumps the potential reward. A paternal agent might seek-out vengeance against you, in contemporary times you may be arrested and jailed (possibly executed, depending on where you live), a good samaritan may discover you in the act and maim or kill you, etc, etc...

 - There is no motivation (or none that you stated up front) for you to commit the deed. Animals don't expend that kind of energy on a whim - raping and murdering another member of your own species will take plenty of time & effort, and we've evolved tendancies for reserving our calories until we have a goal to use them towards.

 - Complex organisms like humans have evolved a sensation known as 'empathy'. This is a physical chemical reaction that causes a sort of 'pain' and/or nausea whenever we see injury inflicted on members of our own species (and, in our case, even members of other animal species whom we find 'cute'). Unless you're a clinical sociopath (or are otherwise able to overwhelm the one emotion with a stronger one), empathy would prevent you from enjoying the deed.

 

Now, with the above in mind, I would say what you did was disgusting and easily worthy of criminal euthanasia because you appear to lack any respect for contemporary social contracts involving consent & reasonable freedom from harm (and are therefore a threat our rule of law), you appear to lack any respect for the well-being of members of your fellow species (and are therefore a threat to human survival) and you appear completely unbounded by standard psychological paradigms (and are therefore a threat for repeated offense). This is where the subjective desires of the collective, as a consensus, are now examined:

The consensus I share in is that we want a rule of law, we want humans to survive and we want to ensure that people who continually violate the rule of law / social contracts of the time are dealt with in such a manner that they are no longer a possible threat to others.

 

Essentially, the action taken with the little girl would alienate you from the group - and isolation is one of the worst fates possible for a social creature.

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


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
I didn't even think of how

I didn't even think of how such activity is not good for the person who does it. Assuming you are in the US here's what would likely happen:

It's possible a family member would catch you in the act and kill you - or maybe even the girl herself - young girls can take martial arts classes after all. But assuming you get away with it immediately - if you are one to do such a thing you will likely repeat. With the forensic technology available the authorities will soon know who you are. Your picture will be in every police car in the area and on the local news that evening. If you haven't yet been caught by Saturday you will be featured on "America's Most Wanted. " Every cop in the country and probably Canada will be looking for you. Depending where you are you might also have armed rednecks coming for you. Eventually you will be captured or killed by the police. Assuming you are captured it's possible you would be considered insane and sent to an institution for the criminally insane, but the insanity defense rearely works. You will almost certainly be convicted of multiple counts of rape, kidnapping and 1st degree murder. Now what happens depends on the State you live in. If you are in New England, Wisconsin, Minnesota or such there is no death penalty (unless you were dumb enough to take any girl across state lines, then you could get the federal death penalty) so you will spend most of if not the rest of your life in prison - and other prisoners tend to be not very fond of, to say the least, pedophiles. If you live in Texas  you'll be executed within a few years all but guaranteed. Much of the rest of the country varies. I my home state of Pennsylvania you would probably be sentenced to death but it wouldn't be carried out anytime soon - we have had exactly 3 executions since the 1970s - all around 1995 where the crimes happened in the 1980s. But life in prison here really means it - there's no parole unless you get the conviction overturned or the governor to commute it (something as notorious as describe it ain't going to happen. ) So basically if not executed you will either live many years in solitary until you die or get yuor ass kicked on a daily basis and probably be killed sooner than you would by execution and in a much less pleasant manner via the other prisoners.

 

In other words, if there is something wrong enough with you that you would even WANT to do such a thing and aren't stopped by thinking how others would react then you are not fit to be in society and we will one way or another REMOVE you from society.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


pauljohntheskeptic
atheistSilver Member
pauljohntheskeptic's picture
Posts: 2482
Joined: 2008-02-26
User is offlineOffline
chuckg6261982

chuckg6261982 wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

All of your actions violate the rights of another person to lead a life free from harm. As these actions would be done against the person's own self interest and survival they would be grounds for your eradication from the human race. Causing harm to another has been found to be against the overall survival needs of civilizations.

But what is the basis of human rights?  You are claiming that the basis for moral law is yet another moral law above them.  That doesn't answer my question.

What if causing harm didn't hurt the overall survival of civilizations?  Would causing harm then be permissible?

I hope you see the danger in presenting empirical evidence for morality.

The basis is more or less as Matt told you a reverse Golden rule. Don't do unto others that which you don't want done to you. As I would not personally like to be raped, tortured, and burned to death it is not something I would consider doing to others.  Humans in order to survive needed as many members as possible to do so. This developed into an important group value. This again is because for a civilization to survive killing off one another or doing harm to members of the group reduces the overall group's possibility to survive. Also if you were of the sort that disregards the empathy all humans have you would be an anomaly to the group for such actions as you describe. This would again suggest your need to be eradicated as you might continue to do further harm to the group. 

A "what if" here requires you to detail why the civilization's overall survival is not hurt. As you cannot know what the little girl might have done for the group in the future you cannot claim killing her did not cause harm. 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


Dray
Posts: 68
Joined: 2008-01-25
User is offlineOffline
chuckg6261982 wrote:IF

chuckg6261982 wrote:

IF drinking drano didn't harm or kill you, then there would be nothing wrong with drinking drano. 

I have no problem admitting that.

Now... can you answer my question in the same way?  If a society functioned even after they permitted such behavior, would that behavior be permissible?

chuckg6261982 wrote:

If I decided one day to kidnap a little girl, rape her... then tie her up and torture her.... kill her by burning her in a fire... take her burnt up corpse and wrap it in a bag... and then throw her in the river.........

On what basis do you say that what I did was wrong?


Besides what Kevin says, we run into another problem going off of the "what if's" Matt was talking about with his Drano example, which he only used because of your comment:

chuckg6261982 wrote:

What if causing harm didn't hurt the overall survival of civilizations?

  If drano didnt harm or kill you, then there would be no consequence to drinking it.  Applying that to your example of the little girl, what would happen if there were no consequences to kidnapping, raping, setting on fire, and disposing of the body in the river?

If in this imaginary world someone tried to kidnap someone, it wouldnt happen.  The consequences of kidnapping someone is that the little girl would be going someplace against her will, but since there are no consequences, she wouldnt go.

If in this imaginary world someone tried to rape the little girl, you would run into the same problem.  In a different existence where rape cant be done against someones will, or does no harm physically or mentally, then rape would not be bad, it might even be a friendly greeting in some cultures.  Who knows what could happen in this magic What-If world!

No consequences to fire? I could go for that.  Dancing in a fire without worry of my skin melting painfully off my bones would make for an interesting evening.  It would make it difficult to grill up a ribeye though.

The problem with "what if" is that we dont live in a world of "what if", we live in a world of "what is".  We know rape causes both physical and emotional pain to the victim, just like we know fire can damage flesh, and just as we know that people do not like doing things against their will.  This is what makes it "wrong" per se.


Renee Obsidianwords
High Level DonorModeratorRRS local affiliateSilver Member
Renee Obsidianwords's picture
Posts: 1388
Joined: 2007-03-29
User is offlineOffline
chuckg6261982 wrote:If I

chuckg6261982 wrote:

If I decided one day to kidnap a little girl, rape her... then tie her up and torture her.... kill her by burning her in a fire... take her burnt up corpse and wrap it in a bag... and then throw her in the river.........

On what basis do you say that what I did was wrong?

Why a little girl? Why not a little boy? What is considered 'little'? Why use a torture technique? Why kill by fire? Why move the burnt up corpse to the river, why not bury it? 

Slowly building a blog at ~

http://obsidianwords.wordpress.com/


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Am I the only one disturbed

Am I the only one disturbed by the detail he went into rather than just saying "kidnapping, raping and torturing? "

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


Desdenova
atheist
Desdenova's picture
Posts: 410
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
This really is a good

This really is a good question, and one that shouldn't be tiptoed around.

First, I think it worth saying that most, if not all, of what you have described could be justified by passages from the Old Testament. So it is safe to say that if morality does have a divine origin, that origin is not found in the Biblical god.

Now to tackle the meat of the subject. To give a short answer, I would have to say that our morality comes partially from our temperament, but mostly from the influence of our family, peers, and society. Children are not born moral. They will lie, steal, and cheat without regret until they are caught at it. Kids will dip their hand into the cookie jar and blame it on their siblings. They will bully weaker children. They behave in an amoral and almost sociopathic manner until their behavior is halted. Some children are worse about this than others, and this is where individual temperament comes to play. Interaction and often negative responses from society causes most of them to curb this amoral behavior. We learn to feel bad for others. We aren't born with this, and we don't suddenly realize it when we are dipped in water that has been mumbled over by a shaman. We develop empathy through social interaction and the repercussions administered from failure to obey certain society determined rules.

But this is only a short term answer. It doesn't explain where their parents got their morality, or where the grand parents got theirs. We get only an infinite regression from this. We have to look deeper.

And so we look back to a time of tribes and clans. If these clans are to succeed, they need to form a cohesive society that does not destroy itself from within. Certain things must be off limit. If the clan kills its own members without discretion, the clan is unable to reproduce, dying out quickly. If the clan destroys its own females before reproducing with them, the same end is in store.

But if the clan protects its own members while attacking rival clans, it may succeed, providing the other clans are less powerful and unable to retaliate effectively. We see just such an evolution of morality in the Bible with the Hebrew having one set of rules for their tribe, but different, homicidal rules for other tribes.

However, if the tribe finds it desirable to trade with another tribe, such a double standard will cause trade to break down quickly. The tribe must apply a similar if not equal standard of behavior to their trade partners. And should a tribe find itself in a position of being weaker than a neighboring tribe, it is in the weaker tribes best interest to encourage peace and tolerance. The stronger tribe may not buy this suggestion, but if there is a possibility that crushing the weaker tribe might weaken the strong tribe enough that another equally strong tribe might take advantage of their temporary weakness, the stronger tribe may see the wisdom in allowing the weaker tribe to coexist with it. Alliances can then become mutually beneficial, and city states can be formed, offering mutual protection and rules, while working to undermine or conquer other tribes and city states. Again, we find reflection of this in the Old Testament. The trible code of ethics gets applied outside of the tribe.

Societies eventually reach a point where relative stability can be found. They have achieved a sort of homeostasis that governs acceptable actions. Without these principles, their societies would collapse, or would be internally weakened to the point that outside agents were able to bring them down. The Roman Empire would be an example of the latter. What was true with small tribes holds just as true now. The stabilizing factors that cause the society to adhere must be preserved. Evolution will automatically weed out the cultures that are inherently self destructive. Their culture will fail to pass on its heritage, leaving more internally cooperative cultures to fill the void. Even then, demonization of an enemy is frequent. Having been culturally programmed to find certain behaviors unacceptable, the members of a given society will resort to demonizing an enemy, and then proceed to rape, pillage, and plunder in a manner that none of them would have ever imagined back home. Their values suddenly don't apply to the enemy.

Now, this brings us to the hated child. Let us disregard the fact that we have been conditioned for several thousand years to find such brutality reprehensible. We still could not allow it because too many in society are incapable of sound reasoning. If we allowed it once, multitudes would make the false conclusion that if one little girl could be tortured, raped, and killed, then all of them could. They would make the false assumption that if one set of parents didn't care, all sets of parents wouldn't care. We keep our rules in place therefore, not to prevent those of sound mind from running amok, but to keep the hoards of people lacking critical thinking skills from jumping from one faulty conclusion to another and destroying society.

And in order to give these rules more punch, we attribute them to various gods. Hammurapi did this by implying that his code of laws was handed to him directly from the sun god Shamash. Knowing that his followers weren't always reasonable, Hammurabi conveys the message that not only will he be upset if they break these rules, but Shamash will slap them around for it. We continue this even today, with Christians thinking that they get into heaven by following the rules, but go to hell if they disobey the rules.

Which is interesting, because this means that only atheists are the ones that actually are moral. Because of our conditioning by society, because of our temperament,  because our ancestors by biological necessity selected genes that were more cooperative, and because of empathy, we behave because we feel it is the right thing to do. Christians on the other hand, lack morality. Instead they operate  under coercion, fearing divine retribution for their misbehavior and expecting a heavenly reward for their good conduct. This, I suspect , is why so many Christians assume that atheism leads to murder, rape, and torture. Lacking true morality along with the critical thinking skills of the atheist, this is the behavior they would resort to were it not for the coercion of their belief system. Having never had morality of their own, they cannot imagine how those of us that do have it can continue to exist. Now obviously, not all atheists have morals. Certainly some gun control Nazi atheists lack it ( snicker ), but mostly we have a solid grasp on where our behavior comes from, and lack the need for an invisible sky daddy watching our every move in order to behave. I personally don't harm others because I believe that this life is all they have. No fairy godfather is going to kiss their boo-boos and make them all better after death. This is all they have, and my empathy forbids me from wronging them.

It takes a village to raise an idiot.

Save a tree, eat a vegetarian.

Sometimes " The Majority " only means that all the fools are on the same side.


pauljohntheskeptic
atheistSilver Member
pauljohntheskeptic's picture
Posts: 2482
Joined: 2008-02-26
User is offlineOffline
 No your not. His detail

 No your not the only one disturbed by his detail. His detail may be an indication of his own  suppressed desire. Either that or he was just trying to horrify us

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
Kevin--Let's define "wrong"

Kevin--



Let's define "wrong" in the following way:  An action is wrong if the act is something that anyone ought not to do. 



If you feel that an action is "sickening", then I presume that you believe that no human or any being in particular ought to do it.



So my question, Kevin, is this: WHY should I not do it? 



Your answer is that it may result in negative consequences and/or that there is no reward or motive.  You are taking a consequentialist stance on morality.



So I ask again, what if the circumstances were not as you posited?  Could you imagine some sort of alternative universe where my act would be okay? 


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
Dray wrote:The problem with

Dray wrote:


The problem with "what if" is that we dont live in a world of "what if", we live in a world of "what is".  We know rape causes both physical and emotional pain to the victim, just like we know fire can damage flesh, and just as we know that people do not like doing things against their will.  This is what makes it "wrong" per se.

But why is it wrong to cause physical and emotional pain to someone? 


Dray
Posts: 68
Joined: 2008-01-25
User is offlineOffline
chuckg6261982 wrote:But why

chuckg6261982 wrote:

But why is it wrong to cause physical and emotional pain to someone? 

Because the garden gnome in my fridge told me so, and he would tell you too if only you believed in him enough... or maybe it has something to do with what Kevin already said:

Kevin B Awesome wrote:

 - The risk trumps the potential reward. A paternal agent might seek-out vengeance against you, in contemporary times you may be arrested and jailed (possibly executed, depending on where you live), a good samaritan may discover you in the act and maim or kill you, etc, etc...

 - There is no motivation (or none that you stated up front) for you to commit the deed. Animals don't expend that kind of energy on a whim - raping and murdering another member of your own species will take plenty of time & effort, and we've evolved tendancies for reserving our calories until we have a goal to use them towards.

 - Complex organisms like humans have evolved a sensation known as 'empathy'. This is a physical chemical reaction that causes a sort of 'pain' and/or nausea whenever we see injury inflicted on members of our own species (and, in our case, even members of other animal species whom we find 'cute'). Unless you're a clinical sociopath (or are otherwise able to overwhelm the one emotion with a stronger one), empathy would prevent you from enjoying the deed.

Now regardless of what you think of atheists, you're not going to get any validation here for your morbid fantasies with little girls.  Your best bet would be to find some kind of forum where priests chat.


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
But anyway, this thread has

But anyway, this thread has shown me what I already knew.

Many atheists have a consequential/utilitarian approach to morality.  An action is right or wrong in accordance with the results it brings to a society's functionality.  Nothing more, nothing less.

If in some alternative universe, murder and rape do result in a stronger society, then murder and rape can be okay.  But we don't have to worry about that because that is not our universe.  We don't live in a world of "what ifs", we live in a world of "what is"... ignoring the fact that more often than not, the stability of the world depends just as much on our being proactive as it does on our being reactive.

 


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
Dray wrote:Because the

Dray wrote:

Because the garden gnome in my fridge told me so, and he would tell you too if only you believed in him enough... or maybe it has something to do with what Kevin already said:

I've already responded to Kevin.  What you are saying is that he said it is wrong to inflict physical and emotion harm on someone because that may result in further pain on you.  His other two points were basically stating that my example could not ever happen because there is no motivation and complex human organisms have empathy.

And now you want to stray from the actual question and go on the assault of personal attacks by saying that by using that as an example, I am somehow condoning that act.... just because you do not want to confront the fact that your moral basis is seriously flawed.

 


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
chuckg6261982 wrote:But

chuckg6261982 wrote:

But anyway, this thread has shown me what I already knew.

Many atheists have a consequential/utilitarian approach to morality.  An action is right or wrong in accordance with the results it brings to a society's functionality.  Nothing more, nothing less.

If in some alternative universe, murder and rape do result in a stronger society, then murder and rape can be okay.  But we don't have to worry about that because that is not our universe.  We don't live in a world of "what ifs", we live in a world of "what is"... ignoring the fact that more often than not, the stability of the world depends just as much on our being proactive as it does on our being reactive.

 

What's your morality based on? Stoned Semites who wrote a book featuring a God that lives by "Don't do what I do - do what I say"?

Human society has evolved to the point that we can be more proactive (laws against what you discussed in the OP are on the books). The threat of punishment is a proactive step.

The only way one could be more proactive is to incarcerate/kill people for possible crimes (which, again, society frowns on).

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:Human society

jcgadfly wrote:


Human society has evolved to the point that we can be more proactive (laws against what you discussed in the OP are on the books). The threat of punishment is a proactive step.

Wow, I've never seen someone with so much faith in human society.  LOL


JillSwift
Superfan
JillSwift's picture
Posts: 1758
Joined: 2008-01-13
User is offlineOffline
chuckg6261982 wrote:But

chuckg6261982 wrote:
But anyway, this thread has shown me what I already knew.

Many atheists have a consequential/utilitarian approach to morality.  An action is right or wrong in accordance with the results it brings to a society's functionality.  Nothing more, nothing less.

If in some alternative universe, murder and rape do result in a stronger society, then murder and rape can be okay.  But we don't have to worry about that because that is not our universe.  We don't live in a world of "what ifs", we live in a world of "what is"... ignoring the fact that more often than not, the stability of the world depends just as much on our being proactive as it does on our being reactive.

 

It's not just atheists, it's everybody.

As children, we learn our social mores from our parents and the adults around us. We evolved as social creatures with the instinct to absorb social behavior specifics (including what we call morality) in that manner. It makes for good troupe/tribe cohesion.

Exactly what those mores are changes through a long process of discussion, reaction, and learning among the whole of the group and even the whole of the species. For instance: It wasn't all that long ago that slavery was considered just fine by the majority of the people in the US. After a period of many discussions and debates among the people, that balance shifted, helped produce the Civil War, and eventually emancipation and a law representing the new zeitgeist's rejection of slavery. The racism related to it has also been slowly being changed out of the zeitgeist in a similar fashion.

 

chuckg6261982 wrote:
just because you do not want to confront the fact that your moral basis is seriously flawed.
An interesting thing to say - would you expand on that?

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


Dray
Posts: 68
Joined: 2008-01-25
User is offlineOffline
chuckg6261982 wrote:I've

chuckg6261982 wrote:

I've already responded to Kevin.  What you are saying is that he said it is wrong to inflict physical and emotion harm on someone because that may result in further pain on you.  His other two points were basically stating that my example could not ever happen because there is no motivation and complex human organisms have empathy.

Yes, which you then turned around and asked him another "what if" question where there were no consequences. 

chuckg6261982 wrote:

And now you want to stray from the actual question and go on the assault of personal attacks by saying that by using that as an example, I am somehow condoning that act.... just because you do not want to confront the fact that your moral basis is seriously flawed.

You're question has been answered.  You said you came here already knowing the answer to your question.  You aren't going to accept any answer except for "goddidit", which you were called out for in the very first reply.  So instead of accepting the answers which were given, answers that are based off of what we know, based off of reality, you instead want to "imagine some sort of alternative universe" where the rules of reality don't apply. 


Empirical Infidel
Empirical Infidel's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2008-09-28
User is offlineOffline
One thing that has not been

One thing that has not been mentioned that drives moraity is that empathy appears to be inherent in humans, and, in fact has been observed in all the great apes. Human children begin demonstrating concern for the feelings of others at about age 3 years, long before they have an understanding of either religion or law. As pointed ot by Desdenova pointed out, it seems to require religion or sociopathy to counter the effects of empathy


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
The basis on what is good

The basis on what is good for society is a way better way to base morality than on what some fictional god says. First of all you have to pick which fictional being is the right one - their morality isn't the same - Jesus says drinking alcohol and eating pork is OK but you can only have 1 wife, while allah says 3 wives is fine but no pork or alcohol. Sometimes their own moral advice is in conflict. Then you have to take the actual morality they endorse along with the bullshit - Yeah, it's wrong to murder or kill (there is no moral ban on rape in the buybull unless you consider it adultery/fornication, and then there's that inconvenient part where God orders it ) but premarital sex, eating certain foods, wearing certain fabrics and sex between unmarried consenting adults is fine.

 

The "what if" thing is just a bullshit game. The FACT is that such acts do harm society and imagining otherwise is no different than imagining drinking drano to be harmless or if red was green would it be ok to go through the red light. Society makes laws because we decide banning a particular action is beneficial - generally the harm from allowing it would be greater than that from not having the freedom to do it. Most people here would agree banning pornography is not a good law because the loss of freedom of speech would be greater than any potential harm from allowing it (if there even is any. ) I'd sometimes like to be able to kill someone that pisses me off but don't want that to be legal because I in fact often piss people off (especially Christians and/or conservatives) and the harm from my being killed would be greater than the pleasure from being able to kill a motherfucker that pisses me off. It might be cool to be able to drive 150 mph on the freeway but the vast majority of people realize it's worth giving up the freedom to do so in order to have the freeway be a relatively safe place to drive. There are plenty of things people disagree with on morality - most people feel sex between consenting unmarried adults is fine - fundies don't - nearly everyone would feel an adult male having sex with a 6 year old girl, even if she agreed would be very wrong. A lot of fucktards think abortion is as bad as murder, I consider it no worse than swatting a fly. Most people are somewhere in between. Most of the members here feel homosexuality is fine (see above about sex between consenting adults. ) Fred Phelps thinks it warrants execution. Extreme capitalists are fine with a huge income gap between rich and poor - I want it as close as possible - again, most people are in between.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


RatDog
atheistSilver Member
Posts: 562
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
Wishful thinking

Quote:

Your answer is that it may result in negative consequences and/or that there is no reward or motive.  You are taking a consequentialist stance on morality.


As opposed to what?  Do what I say or go to hell?

Quote:


What if causing harm didn't hurt the overall survival of civilizations?  Would causing harm then be permissible?



That is a good question.  What if in a hypothetical universe it was considered alright to throw large rocks at children for being disobedient, or at people who work on a certain day of the week?  If it didn’t cause harm to the overall survival of civilization would it be moral? 

I personally will always think certain things are wrong.   I am not so delusional to think that my belief must have some kind of reality outside myself. 

Quote:


We don't live in a world of "what ifs", we live in a world of "what is"... ignoring the fact that more often than not, the stability of the world depends just as much on our being proactive as it does on our being reactive.


What do you mean by this?  Are you saying that if we believe something enough it will be true? 
 


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
Dray wrote:Yes, which you

Dray wrote:

Yes, which you then turned around and asked him another "what if" question where there were no consequences.

"Another 'what if' question where there were no consequences"   

????????  Umm, okay.

Quote:
You're question has been answered.  You said you came here already knowing the answer to your question.  You aren't going to accept any answer except for "goddidit", which you were called out for in the very first reply.  So instead of accepting the answers which were given, answers that are based off of what we know, based off of reality, you instead want to "imagine some sort of alternative universe" where the rules of reality don't apply. 


My point was to expose atheists as utilitarians, consequentialists, and moral relativists... and I've done that nicely.

And you were so stupid that you, along with the peanut gallery, actually took the bait. 

And I thank you.

 


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
RatDog wrote: As opposed to

RatDog wrote:


As opposed to what?  Do what I say or go to hell?

As opposed to the belief that beating, raping, and killing someone is wrong REGARDLESS of what may result from it.  Whether society benefits because of it or not, it is wrong.  It is wrong just because it is a universal axiomatic rule.

Quote:
That is a good question.

Then why didn't you answer?

Quote:
What if in a hypothetical universe it was considered alright to throw large rocks at children for being disobedient, or at people who work on a certain day of the week?  If it didn’t cause harm to the overall survival of civilization would it be moral? 

That's my question.

Quote:
I personally will always think certain things are wrong.   I am not so delusional to think that my belief must have some kind of reality outside myself. 

And that's what makes you a moral relativist.  Thank you.

Quote:
What do you mean by this?  Are you saying that if we believe something enough it will be true? 

I'm saying that if you want morality to be OBJECTIVE, then you can't just base it on consequences.  You can CONCEIVE of situations where, in fact, certain actions that we consider immoral wouldn't result in the self-destruction of a society.  The destruction of a society isn't metaphysically inherent in wicked acts.  In fact, if nobody chose to invade Germany during the early 1940s, then Germany could have continued functioning as a society while they were placing Jews in a concentration camps.  And I know some historian will want to come along and give a hundred different reasons why that wouldn't have happened but my point is, there was no LOGICAL NECESSITY for these things to happen.  You cannot base morality on empirical truths because empirical truths are based on repeated observation of particular events and as David Hume would point out, you can never infer a universal from a particular... or even one million particulars.  A particular instance will never instantiate a universal truth.


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
JillSwift wrote:As children,

JillSwift wrote:

As children, we learn our social mores from our parents and the adults around us. We evolved as social creatures with the instinct to absorb social behavior specifics (including what we call morality) in that manner. It makes for good troupe/tribe cohesion.

Exactly what those mores are changes through a long process of discussion, reaction, and learning among the whole of the group and even the whole of the species. For instance: It wasn't all that long ago that slavery was considered just fine by the majority of the people in the US. After a period of many discussions and debates among the people, that balance shifted, helped produce the Civil War, and eventually emancipation and a law representing the new zeitgeist's rejection of slavery. The racism related to it has also been slowly being changed out of the zeitgeist in a similar fashion.

I'm already aware of how we learn our morals.  The question is not regarding the genesis of knowledge.  It is regarding the justification of knowledge.  What justification can you give me for the truth value of the moral claims that you espouse?  Is it just based on what you believe will benefit society in the long run?


 


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
Empirical Infidel wrote:One

Empirical Infidel wrote:
One thing that has not been mentioned that drives moraity is that empathy appears to be inherent in humans, and, in fact has been observed in all the great apes. Human children begin demonstrating concern for the feelings of others at about age 3 years, long before they have an understanding of either religion or law. As pointed ot by Desdenova pointed out, it seems to require religion or sociopathy to counter the effects of empathy

All you are doing is arbitrarily taking a group of people who happen to be empathetic, grouping them together and defining them as normal... and then you are taking people who happen to not be empathetic and defining them as crazy.  You've already done that through the outset and you've defined empathy as being inherent in any human who is not crazy.  So obviously, it will be impossible to show you that you are wrong because even if I bring in a million people who are not empathetic, you will just say, "Oh well, they are sociopaths."

John Wayne Gacy was a serial killer/child predator.  He continued to murder people for more than half a decade.  He had no empathy whatsoever.  After he was arrested and executed, doctors and scientists examined his brain and found no physiological abnormalities whatsoever.  His brain looked like yours and mine.


JillSwift
Superfan
JillSwift's picture
Posts: 1758
Joined: 2008-01-13
User is offlineOffline
chuckg6261982

chuckg6261982 wrote:

JillSwift wrote:

As children, we learn our social mores from our parents and the adults around us. We evolved as social creatures with the instinct to absorb social behavior specifics (including what we call morality) in that manner. It makes for good troupe/tribe cohesion.

Exactly what those mores are changes through a long process of discussion, reaction, and learning among the whole of the group and even the whole of the species. For instance: It wasn't all that long ago that slavery was considered just fine by the majority of the people in the US. After a period of many discussions and debates among the people, that balance shifted, helped produce the Civil War, and eventually emancipation and a law representing the new zeitgeist's rejection of slavery. The racism related to it has also been slowly being changed out of the zeitgeist in a similar fashion.

I'm already aware of how we learn our morals.  The question is not regarding the genesis of knowledge.  It is regarding the justification of knowledge.  What justification can you give me for the truth value of the moral claims that you espouse?  Is it just based on what you believe will benefit society in the long run? 

If you're looking for some intrinsic morality, you won't find it as it does not exist. As I suggested in my earlier post, the justification for any given moral code is decided - arbitrarily - by the zeitgeist. It is guided to some degree by our social instincts.

To be clear: There is no justification for any moral code, only a loose tacit agreement by a given society on a moral code.

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
MattShizzle wrote:The basis

MattShizzle wrote:

The basis on what is good for society is a way better way to base morality than on what some fictional god says.

I never even mentioned God, but obviously you want to take yourself off the hot seat.  I understand, but I'm not going to let you.

Are you saying that all societies have the same morality?  And if not, how do you know which one has it right?  It would appear to me that in this case, miserably loves company.

Quote:
The "what if" thing is just a bullshit game.

It exposes the holes in your moral framework, which is why you don't appreciate it.  You know that if the situation presented itself and one was to follow your moral guidelines, you could conceivably be justifying murder and rape.  I am able to bring up the hypothetical situations because in fact, they are not logical impossibilities. Instead of sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming, "That couldn't happen!  That couldn't happen!"... you should stop and ask yourself some really important questions about the moral laws that you take for granted. 

Quote:
The FACT is that such acts do harm society and imagining otherwise is no different than imagining drinking drano to be harmless

Like I said, if it was safe to drink Drano, then it would be okay to drink Drano.

And according to you, if murder and rape did not contribute to the destruction of a society, then they would be okay as well.  Instead of confronting this, you are just denying that such a situation could ever be possible when you really don't know if that will ever be possible or not.

You also seem to think that society is a finished product and that we don't need to evolve any further because we've got morality all figured out.  LOL


JillSwift
Superfan
JillSwift's picture
Posts: 1758
Joined: 2008-01-13
User is offlineOffline
chuckg6261982 wrote:All you

chuckg6261982 wrote:
All you are doing is arbitrarily taking a group of people who happen to be empathetic, grouping them together and defining them as normal... and then you are taking people who happen to not be empathetic and defining them as crazy.  You've already done that through the outset and you've defined empathy as being inherent in any human who is not crazy.  So obviously, it will be impossible to show you that you are wrong because even if I bring in a million people who are not empathetic, you will just say, "Oh well, they are sociopaths."

John Wayne Gacy was a serial killer/child predator.  He continued to murder people for more than half a decade.  He had no empathy whatsoever.  After he was arrested and executed, doctors and scientists examined his brain and found no physiological abnormalities whatsoever.  His brain looked like yours and mine.

The examination of Gacy's brain was cursory by today's standards, so it doesn't tell us much. That we can't yet detect the particulars of the mechanics of social behavior (or lack thereof) in a human brain does not negate the fact that sociopathic behavior is (a) uncommon and (b) behaviorally quantifiable and regularly observable in individual sociopaths and differentiable from 'average/normal' behavior.

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
JillSwift wrote:The

JillSwift wrote:

The examination of Gacy's brain was cursory by today's standards, so it doesn't tell us much. That we can't yet detect the particulars of the mechanics of social behavior (or lack thereof) in a human brain does not negate the fact that sociopathic behavior is (a) uncommon and (b) behaviorally quantifiable and regularly observable in individual sociopaths and differentiable from 'average/normal' behavior.

In other words, you don't have any evidence that people with no empathy are physically messed up, but you can just assume that because sociopaths don't constitute a majority of our population.

And you seem to be an expert on the whole Gacy case... care to tell me a little more about what went into the examination of his brain?  Cite some sources while you are at it.


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
JillSwift wrote:If you're

JillSwift wrote:

If you're looking for some intrinsic morality, you won't find it as it does not exist. As I suggested in my earlier post, the justification for any given moral code is decided - arbitrarily - by the zeitgeist. It is guided to some degree by our social instincts.

To be clear: There is no justification for any moral code, only a loose tacit agreement by a given society on a moral code.


Okay, so you admit that you are a moral relativist.  Thank you.


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
So what exactly is wrong

So what exactly is wrong with moral relativism or utilitarianism? If you want to be an absolutist how do you decide on the more "iffy" things? LIterally no sane person approves of rape but where do you draw the line on controversial things like abortion, economics, gun control, etc? How do you decide on a moral absolute when people disagree? I'd rather deal with reality than making up shit.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


JillSwift
Superfan
JillSwift's picture
Posts: 1758
Joined: 2008-01-13
User is offlineOffline
chuckg6261982 wrote:In other

chuckg6261982 wrote:
In other words, you don't have any evidence that people with no empathy are physically messed up, but you can just assume that because sociopaths don't constitute a majority of our population.
It's not that simple. There is evidence that humans do have an innate social instinct. There is also evidence that our brains are the mechanism from which consciousness emerges. It is therefore likely that in anyone lacking those instincts has some difference in the structure of that mechanism. Modern studies of sociopathic brains don't demonstrate any gross structural changes, but do demonstrate subtle differences in common. There isn't enough evidence in yet for any solid conclusions, but we do seem to be on our way.

chuckg6261982 wrote:
And you seem to be an expert on the whole Gacy case... care to tell me a little more about what went into the examination of his brain?  Cite some sources while you are at it.
Don't put words in my mouth, dear. Technology and knowledge of neurophysiology have advanced significantly since then, meaning their best examination at the time could easily have missed structural difference.

 

chuckg6261982 wrote:
Okay, so you admit that you are a moral relativist.  Thank you.
Not what I said, dear. I said the zeitgeist changes, and there is no innate justification for what the zeitgeist settles on.

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
MattShizzle wrote:So what

MattShizzle wrote:

So what exactly is wrong with moral relativism

Lot of things, but I'll start with one basic thing: It is self-contradictory.

According to moral relativists, moral laws cannot be universal.  And yet the statement, "Moral laws cannot be universal" is itself a universal statement.  So even without thinking of it, they've committed themselves to an absolute claim.


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
"Moral laws cannot be

"Moral laws cannot be universal" isn't contradictory. It's a statement of fact, not a moral law. Statements of fact can be universal.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


JillSwift
Superfan
JillSwift's picture
Posts: 1758
Joined: 2008-01-13
User is offlineOffline
chuckg6261982 wrote:Lot of

chuckg6261982 wrote:
Lot of things, but I'll start with one basic thing: It is self-contradictory.

According to moral relativists, moral laws cannot be universal.  And yet the statement, "Moral laws cannot be universal" is itself a universal statement.  So even without thinking of it, they've committed themselves to an absolute claim.

It is a universal statement, but not a moral statement. So it's not contradictory because it is itself not a morally universal statement..

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


chuckg6261982
TheistTroll
Posts: 78
Joined: 2008-11-29
User is offlineOffline
JillSwift wrote:It's not

JillSwift wrote:

It's not that simple. There is evidence that humans do have an innate social instinct. There is also evidence that our brains are the mechanism from which consciousness emerges. It is therefore likely that in anyone lacking those instincts has some difference in the structure of that mechanism. Modern studies of sociopathic brains don't demonstrate any gross structural changes, but do demonstrate subtle differences in common. There isn't enough evidence in yet for any solid conclusions, but we do seem to be on our way.

Here's your argument:

(1) It has been observed that most people are empathetic.

(2) Empathy comes from a part of our brain.

(3) Therefore, people who aren't empathetic are probably missing that part of the brain.

Not only do you turn evilness into a symptom (which means that serial killers are not responsible for what they do), but your argument is totally speculative.   

Quote:
Don't put words in my mouth, dear. Technology and knowledge of neurophysiology have advanced significantly since then, meaning their best examination at the time could easily have missed structural difference.

And what makes you think they still are not examining the brain today in light of all the advancements in the field?  And what if they still don't find any differences?  Are you still going to stick your fingers in your ears and scream, "LA LA LA" or will you admit that sociopaths are not crazy and actually know what they are doing?

Quote:
Not what I said, dear. I said the zeitgeist changes, and there is no innate justification for what the zeitgeist settles on.

Care to explain how that's not moral relativism?