Atheism and morality

GENESIS
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Atheism and morality

Where does atheism get their ethics and moral values from?


Cpt_pineapple
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Same place everyone

Same place everyone does.

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Same

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Same place everyone does.

 

 

 

Which is?


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GENESIS wrote:Cpt_pineapple

GENESIS wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Same place everyone does.

 

 

 

Which is?

 

Society, internal feelings, laws, etc...

 

 

With respect to atheists and theists all the evidence I've seen suggests that one isn't more moral or less moral than the other.  Which of course indicates that we get it from the same place.

 

So one is as likely to be moral or immoral as the other. There is nothing unique about religion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Would you say morality are

Would you say morality is relative or exclusive?


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GENESIS wrote:Would you say

GENESIS wrote:

Would you say morality is relative or exclusive?

By "exclusive" do you mean "absolute"?

"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


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When anyone suggests that

When anyone suggests that moral must come from a deity, they are actually arguing that moral are not useful.   If you concede that morals are useful then the answer is quite clear.  We can determine them based completely on their usefulness no god needed.  If you don't think morals are useful then why do you think we need them again?

 

 

(I didn't see you suggest this yet, but it is implied that is what you think since you don't know where atheist get them and the only thing that is different between an atheist and a theist is belief in a deity.)

Sounds made up...
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Morals are not absolute.  I

Morals are not absolute.  I am a pacifist.  I believe it is morally wrong to kill people and harm people. 

Do I hope that I would hold true to those morals, no matter what the situation?  Yeah, but I am pretty sure if I had to, I would get violent to protect my children.  And even though I don't agree with the death penalty, I do struggle with it because some people just are terrible.  I know it is wrong to want vengeance and that killing them doesn't solve anything, but a baser part of my mind will occasionally make itself heard.

Who is a better person:  Someone who is kind to others, doesn't harm others, tries to help the world because they feel it is the right thing to do, without any god involved, or a person who is doing the right things because they are afraid of a punishment from a magical overlord? 

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I think moral is a

I think moral is a behaviouristic concept. Whether or not you are a moral person can only be determined after the fact.

Where does it originate? Good question. I will have to resort to the ill-defined concept of personal conscience.

Personally, I have no "moral" as such, but I have aesthetical paradigms that guide my behaviour.

Most of that which is commonly perceived as bad, or evil, I would simply say is ugly - and thus I want no part of it.

My life in this world is motivated by the creation and appreciation of beauty and grace.

 

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Marquis wrote:My life in

Marquis wrote:
My life in this world is motivated by the creation and appreciation of beauty and grace.
By which you mean by a fucking peacock.  (Please don't hurt me.)


 

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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jcgadfly wrote:GENESIS

jcgadfly wrote:

GENESIS wrote:

Would you say morality is relative or exclusive?

By "exclusive" do you mean "absolute"?

Yeah, absolute.

Intent is prior to Content.


Ciarin
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morality is relative.

morality is relative.


Marquis
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Thomathy wrote: (Please

Thomathy wrote:

 (Please don't hurt me.) 

 

Oh dream on, masochist!


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Ciarin wrote:morality is

Ciarin wrote:

morality is relative.

 

And Bible followers are the ultimate relativists.  They have a set of rules they claim are absolutes, but then throw them out the window if GOD tells them to do something.  (like, for example, genocide)


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I think the formula for

I think the formula for solving what is and isn't moral could be the only thing resembling an absolute, but the values put into that formula change when depending on the goals of society and the individuals involved.  

 

Sounds made up...
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GENESIS wrote:jcgadfly

GENESIS wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

GENESIS wrote:

Would you say morality is relative or exclusive?

By "exclusive" do you mean "absolute"?

Yeah, absolute.

But that is only your belief, it is not universal, therefore your moral code is still subjective. 

Simply saying you believe it is absolute does not make it so.

How would you provide objective evidence that there is some external standard of behaviour that is self-evident to everybody?

You could say that it is close to an absolute truth that successful, thriving societies need to generally follow some common codes of behaviour, such as not allowing members to go about indiscriminately killing other members of that society. But this is easily shown to a rational deduction, so does not need to be justified by some divine pronouncement.

Whereas other things like various sexual practices, involving consenting adults, which do not cause physical or emotional harm to the participants, are typically also condemned in many religious texts. The belief that these practices are 'bad' is believed' to be absolute, by believers, but if that cannot be justified outside the context of the belief, that still makes it subjective.

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GENESIS wrote:Where does

GENESIS wrote:

Where does atheism get their ethics and moral values from?

Morality is subjective. It is built by experience and filtered by emotion.

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stuntgibbon wrote:Ciarin

stuntgibbon wrote:

Ciarin wrote:

morality is relative.

 

And Bible followers are the ultimate relativists.  They have a set of rules they claim are absolutes, but then throw them out the window if GOD tells them to do something.  (like, for example, genocide)

They have to follow the example of their God - absolute morality for his followers that he can disregard at a whim.

"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


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Yes Ciarin

Ciarin wrote:

morality is relative.

 

            I have relatives who are moral,  not meny of course but some of them are.

 

 

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GENESIS wrote:Where does

GENESIS wrote:

Where does atheism get their ethics and moral values from?

Ethics and morality are BS concepts. Every person including the religious are only concerned with their own survival, comfort and convenience. Everyone is essentially a selfish hedonist, we have no free will to be anything else. Religion invented heaven and hell because this is the case.

You are a religious person because this brings you comfort and convenience. You are expecting the reward of heaven and avoidance of hell. You win approval of other religious people. So this only demonstrates that so called Christian 'morality' is really just self centered hedonism.

But feeling like you are moral makes you feel good so you continue to put on the morality act, that religion somehow made you 'unselfish', but there is never anything that you can do that is 'unselfish'.

“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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Genesis it's easy

We get our morality as a cultural referral from the ten commandments. Up until we heard of them we spent all our time raping and pillaging, conducting wild crusades against the infidel, and burning witches for brewing peppermint tea. All I can say is thank god for jesus, the great puppeteer and for the excellent work by his dad in scrawling the ten commandments on a piece of rock using his mighty claymore. Were it not for them I'd definitely be a murderer and worship a golden calf. Thanks lord. You really fucken rock.

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote:We

Atheistextremist wrote:

We get our morality as a cultural referral from the ten commandments. Up until we heard of them we spent all our time raping and pillaging, conducting wild crusades against the infidel, and burning witches for brewing peppermint tea. All I can say is thank god for jesus, the great puppeteer and for the excellent work by his dad in scrawling the ten commandments on a piece of rock using his mighty claymore. Were it not for them I'd definitely be a murderer and worship a golden calf. Thanks lord. You really fucken rock.

Nice way to evade the question.

Intent is prior to Content.


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Well Genesis

GENESIS wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

We get our morality as a cultural referral from the ten commandments. Up until we heard of them we spent all our time raping and pillaging, conducting wild crusades against the infidel, and burning witches for brewing peppermint tea. All I can say is thank god for jesus, the great puppeteer and for the excellent work by his dad in scrawling the ten commandments on a piece of rock using his mighty claymore. Were it not for them I'd definitely be a murderer and worship a golden calf. Thanks lord. You really fucken rock.

Nice way to evade the question.

 

In case you're not aware of this, morality is an intrinsic human quality that allows us to live together effectively in groups. There's no magic deity that created morality and to suggest that there is, as you are obviously doing with this question, is a significant insult to those who manage to be moral without god. Religions simply trademark the finer qualities of human beings - they add nothing to them whatever beyond a shallow claim of ownership over the universal. The existence of a propensity among all humans, religious or not, to do right by each other, in no way proves there is an invisible deity in the sky who loves us and wants to be our best friend. The way all theists duck and weave and approach god from a philosophical or metaphysical angle is the really nice to evade the question. You say there's a god but I don't see him. Show him in some meaningful way where I don't have to use my imagination. 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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GENESIS

GENESIS wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

We get our morality as a cultural referral from the ten commandments. Up until we heard of them we spent all our time raping and pillaging, conducting wild crusades against the infidel, and burning witches for brewing peppermint tea. All I can say is thank god for jesus, the great puppeteer and for the excellent work by his dad in scrawling the ten commandments on a piece of rock using his mighty claymore. Were it not for them I'd definitely be a murderer and worship a golden calf. Thanks lord. You really fucken rock.

Nice way to evade the question.

 

Nice way to ignore everyone else who answered you?


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So now that you even brought

So now that you even brought theist in the picture and said how they evade philosophical questions. Look Dr. William Lane Craig and Ravi Zacharias. Second, let me ask you this, I want to hear from your mouth. All morals subjective or objective? I have an entire argument for this and it can go for pages and pages. But just answer me that. Are morals subjective or objective?

Intent is prior to Content.


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Subjective. I too have

Subjective. I too have arguments that go on for pages, as do others (especially Hambydammit). Take your best shot. Smiling

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GENESIS wrote: Are morals

GENESIS wrote:

 Are morals subjective or objective?

 

Look, I think that in your innocence, you have probably no idea how silly you seem with your rather clumsy attempts at establishing a rhetorical framework for whatever point it is that you are dying to make. Why not just skip all this back-and-forth smartass nonsense and get straight to the fucking point?

But I'll humour you a little. Morals are both subjective and objective. Subjective before and obective after the fact. Okay?

And just to give myself a giggle, I will state that ethics is the quantum mechanics of philosophy. Until an act is performed, which collapses the wave function into particular manifestation, a multitude of possibilities exist as wave forms. "Moral" is an insignificant vector in this picture.

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The universality of human morality

GENESIS wrote:

So now that you even brought theist in the picture and said how they evade philosophical questions. Look Dr. William Lane Craig and Ravi Zacharias. Second, let me ask you this, I want to hear from your mouth. All morals subjective or objective? I have an entire argument for this and it can go for pages and pages. But just answer me that. Are morals subjective or objective?

 

In terms of its ability to influence our behaviour towards other people is universal but utterly subjective. The cultural variations in morality support me, not you or that silver fox Ravi Zacharias. I think morality is learned and that our ability to act in a moral way deepens as we gain life experience. If you can provide proof that some moral template exists that applies to all humans equally, please do. I do, however, believe there are physiological elements that apply to human qualities like empathy, with undersupply of oxytocin to the brain a proven pointer towards sociopathic tendencies.   

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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My Suggestion for the Definition of Morality

I debate against atheists all the time. And here is one of my arguments I have written and took note of for the debate.

Keep in mind that I repeat a lot of points in this script here. And well, that's because that is how debates work. You assert your argument. Someone argues the negative and then it's just rebuttals from there on basically.

 

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Morality is a very disturbing subject in atheism. The anti-theist worldview posits that all morals are relative, that any ethical framework of thinking is subjective. If this is correct, then first, why should anyone subject themselves to any other moral standard? Two, truth as an absolute category no longer exist if you posit a moral standard that is based on human emotions and empathy.

You say that humans can receive morality by empathy. However, there is no point of reference. Again, why should anyone subject themselves to any other’s moral standards? What authority does one obtain to convict someone of wrong doing? I can cook a baby in an oven and say that it is morally correct. You may say, “On the basis of human empathy, this is wrong.” First of all on who’s authority is this wrong? Second. Empathy? Cooking a baby in an oven is my empathy, and it makes me happy and gives me pleasure. Now what do we do? See the setback here. There is no point of reference.

Self-consistency posits a moral law emerging from an individual, is it not? And to add to it, if you posit an ethical framework from an individual then every human on this planet is perfect when it comes to morality. None of us have sinned, have we? Yeah, you may be a saint, but compared to whom? You and your own moral standards? Hence, you posit an ethical battleground for humans, titled “Ethical Free-for-All.”  Second point. Immanuel Kant reasoned that there were normative virtues that were universal and this led him to formulate his maxim that we should each will and act in keeping with the way everyone should will and act. Such as “Always tell the truth,” “Always keep promises,” “Do not commit suicide.” However, here is the problem here, and I want to catch this. The trouble with these noble maxims is that each can bring to death of a thousand qualifications and still be universalized. For example, it is easy to universalize a principle that states, “Always tell the truth – unless it will lead to the death of another person.” Kant’s argument is improvable within his own stated parameters and involves some glaring oversights.

Benefits of social order contradict Kant’s reason theory for a moral law. I can easily that based on my own reasoning that I should kill anyone who disrupts the social events and human intercourse. Second point. You say we are required to conform in many ways to contribute to a harmonious way of life. However, let me suggest that we came about through natural selection. Humans are to survive and that is essentially our purpose in life, as Darwin’s theory on natural selection puts it. Why should we care about human suffering? Why do we care that children, who are thousands of miles away, are starving in third worlds? Richard Dawkins says that we are not like primates; we are primates. If we are mere animals, then why on earth should care about any other human animals dying? Where do get this love from? This compassion from? …This empathy from? It’s called a conscious and it couldn’t have evolved because it’s not something genetic. Richard Dawkins says that we are primates, but we are able to hold our own existence in our own hands and examine it as if we were an outside third party. And you can’t argue that. It is clear that humans are not programmed by instinct and predetermination. We have a choice, we have free will. Where did we get this capacity from? Surely we are mistaken.

Now, back to Immanuel Kant, the godfather of goodness. In his theory for reason, he asserts two points. First point, rules of morality were rational and hence compelling for all rational beings. Here he posits a premise that that humans beings, either Western or Eastern, urban or suburban, religious or irreligious, could arrive by unaided reason at a normative dictum for right and wrong. Second point. Kant believed that this dictum was not a mere “ought.” He believed, rather, that mankind had within itself the capacity to perform that “ought,” upon will. His argument points out two things here. First, God is not necessary for a revealer of what is right and what is wrong because we come up with what is right and wrong by reason apart from God. However, the second point is what skepticism love to ignore. Kant stated that an individual’s moral choice is determined by the happiness test. Again, Immanuel Kant does not deny the need for happiness in all of us, just as he does not deny the existence of God. But he demolishes those contingencies as a basis for choosing between right and wrong. Understand? Take Marxism for example. The Marxist world posited right and wrong by reason and expelled God out of the framework on the behalf of the society. While doing this, the new world of democratic utopia inscribed the pursuit of individual happiness as a fundamental right for all individuals at the cost of the collective good. Hence, ethical chaos and moral anarchy in essential terms. Furthermore, let me suggest, as Ravi Zacharias puts it, that this presupposition of this theory for reason is precisely the reason for a total breakdown of understanding between East and West. The categories of right and wrong emerging from a secular viewpoint find no common ground with cultures whose ethics and political theories are born out of their religious commitment. Understand? What may be reasonable in India may not be reasonable in France, and what may be reasonable in America may be pure, utter evil in Iran. Understand? Hence, you subconsciously must implicitly posit a subjective moral framework that was based from religious backgrounds that contributed multiple cultures in defining life’s meaning, morality, hope, and destiny. This theory for reason fails the test of reason. The presupposition asserts that, in every instance, the purpose for life was presupposed before there was a postulation of ethics, and a purpose of life apart from God makes the ethical battleground a free-for-all as I said. Time and again it was proven that it is not possible to establish a reasonable and coherent (key word coherent) ethical theory with first establishing a supernatural being, the purpose of life, and the destiny of human life. Even Kant concluded that without a supernatural being it all got wrongheaded. If life itself is purposeless, ethics fall into disarray. As Dostoevski said, “If God is dead, everything is justifiable.” Now, listen to the atheist Canadian philosopher, Kai Nielsen – “We have not been able to show this reason requires the moral point of view, or that really rational persons unhoodwinked by myth or ideology need not be individual egoist or classical immoralist. Reason does not decide here. The picture I have painted for you is not a pleasant one. Reflection on this actually depresses me. Pure, practical reason, even with the good knowledge of the facts will not lead you to morality.” And this is a qualified atheist saying that. Rationally you cannot get there. Listen to Bertrand Russell – “I cannot live as though ethical value was a matter of personal taste; I do not know the solution to this.” And so, when you deal with reason, morality has lost its absolute category. 

Now – my turn. Allow me to suggest my rebuttal.

Morality is subjective, period. That is the presupposed assertion that the antitheist worldview posits. Now, if this is true, and we are indeed developing our morality from ways of life and social events and reason then why worry about any other moral law posited by anyone else? If my happiness is right and the ultimate goal of life, why worry about anyone else’s claims to happiness? And if I MUST worry about someone else’s happiness, whose? If life has no purpose, then why do ethics serve any purpose except my own? If am the product of matter and predeterminism, why should I subject myself to anyone else’s moral convictions? Because remember, atheism posits that we have all evolved from primates and the primates came from atoms in a big bang; we are merely a physical compilation of atoms that had no prevision of what it was forming. Aren’t we? If this is correct, then why should anyone subject themselves to anyone else’s moral standards? That is why Richard went so far as to say that we have to deny that there any such thing as evil if our argument is going to stand. And he’s right. If you posit a subjective moral framework then how can you emerge absolute, essential good and absolute essential bad? You can’t.  Listen to Christopher Hitchens in his debate against Rabbi Boteach. He says this – “I do not know how Christians agree to God’s law that says to love your enemies. Natural selection weeds out the weak and saves the strong to the benefits of human survival.” And he’s right. If humans are here because of natural selection and are trying to survive why do we care about any other human beings? Let natural selection do its work. Hitchens further continues to say, “Like a child who has down syndrome. That child is a burden it his or her parents and cannot contribute to the survival of individual human beings, and should discarded from the life on this earth.” And this is an atheist saying that. Let me give you an illustration from Stalin. A woman was interviewing Stalin and asked what he thinks about the way he rules over his people. Stalin asked one of his men to fetch him a live chicken. Stalin grasped that chicken by the neck in one hand and then started to defeather the chicken with another hand, until the chicken was completely denuded. Then Stalin placed the chicken down, got up and walked to the other side of the room. Then we took bread and crumbled it and knelt down and started to feed the chicken. He walked around the room and the chicken followed him for food. And Stalin then asked the woman if she got her answer. He said people are like that chicken; you torture and beat them and they will follow you for food for the rest of their lives. Mr. Dawkins, is that evil? Dawkins says – “No, we’re dancing to our DNA.” Is that what we are doing? Is that what Stalin was doing? Is that what Mao was doing? Is that what Hitler was doing? It’s easy to say God is dead, God doesn’t exist. How then do make any moral pronouncements of ANY kind? How can you say that moral standards just came from society? In China they kill (at least they used to I believe) the firstborn child if it is a female. Hence, morality is subjective. They don’t care that 70,000! female babies were eradicated in China only because they were female! And the difference! It would be in violation in what the Judea Christian worldview believes in; in atheism it could logically emerge. Why? Because all morals are relative and are based on society. So is this alright? Or is this the human heart displayed in such heartbreaking ways. How can talk of evil in this world then? Let me suggest what Ravi Zacharias likes to bring up. The conversation between Frederick Copleston and Bertrand Russell. When Copleston asked Russell how could he tell what was good and what was bad. Bertrand said the same way he told the difference between what is blue and what is green. Copleston said, “Wait a minute! You define what is blue and what is green by seeing don’t you?” Russell – “Yes.” Copleston – “What about what is good and what is bad?” Russell said on the basis of feeling what else. OK, Sir Russell. In some countries they love their neighbors, in other countries they eat them, both on the basis of feeling; do you have a personal preference? But Bertrand Russell admitted; he told the recorder of the debate that he did not know how to deal with issue of morality; he says and I quote – “It haunts me.” Let me say this. Morality wasn’t given to Moses on Mt. Sinai by God to emerge evil and good, and to teach people what is good or what is bad. That’s not the point. As I said, it is say that they are God’s laws and He’s alone. And we cannot just rationally come to morality apart from God when there is no point of reference, because we are the products of mere atoms that had an accident. Understand? If we came from atoms, then how can we posit a moral law when life is meaningless? There is no way to posit an absolute purpose in life if we are here by accident. The presence of accidence is the absence of purpose. If life has no purpose, then how can we say this is bad and this is good, when there is no meaning behind what is right and what is wrong? But with God, we have purpose, and with God we have meaning, and with God we have meaning behind His moral laws. And let me suggest this Bible verse, Hebrews 8:10. It talks about how God written His moral in our hearts. Why don’t you think we cannot escape this phenomenal feeling of evil? However, we have killed God, and now we must become gods ourselves to define meaning in life that corresponds to an absolute morality in a coherent fashion. Surely we are mistaken.       

 

You base your morality on reason to alleviate the situation and to resolve the problem. Correct? You said, “Killing a person is wrong, but killing a person to defend yourself or your family from danger is not. In that sense, the moral restriction against killing a person is related to the situation.” From reason, a person who kills someone to protect danger from his or her family is a moral virtue. However, have you not considered my argument against reason? Again, listen to Christopher Hitchens – “I do not know how Christians agree to God’s law that says to love your enemies. Natural selection weeds out the weak and saves the strong to the benefits of human survival. Like a child who has down syndrome. That child is a burden it his or her parents and cannot contribute to the survival of individual human beings, and should discarded from the life on this earth.” This is purely based on logical reasoning. The child is a burden to the this earth and therefore must be discarded from earth. …What? You then say – “This provides a basis for a discussion between two people or groups of people regarding who has the morally superior position that is solidly based on axiomatic truths.” First of all, if this is correct then truth as an absolute category no longer exist, because the assumption you suggestion implies is that assertion that hence we must develop a cogent argument in who has the superior moral standard. You contradict yourself because you say that objective truth DOES exist. However, how can you posit an objective truth without a point of reference? Understand? You’re essentially saying your point of reference is reason and empathy. Follow me now, because this is a big, BIG contradiction you’re making. Reason can change, can it not? Reason is relative, and empathy is relative. Hence, you say empathy, which is relative, is your point of reference for a moral standard. And then say that truth is objective, including your posited ethical framework. See the point? Following from that, I come to the second point. If you are seeking out who has the superior moral standard, we will always come to a null conclusion. How can anyone say that their moral standards are better than someone else’s moral standards? See the point? And I should’ve clear about having a point of reference. Let me rephrase. You must have an “absolute” point of reference. Sure, your point of reference is empathy, but why is your moral standards better than mine? There is no one at authority is there. You say, “Ah, we can come to a rational moral system that benefits society.” However, why should one society’s reasoning for moral standards be better than any other society’s moral standards? This comes back to Bertrand Russell and Frederick Copleston. When Bertrand Russell said that he bases what is good and what is bad on the basis of feeling, or empathy. OK, Sir Russell, in some societies that love their neighbors, in other societies they eat them, both on the basis of empathy, do you have a personal preference. And of course, Bertrand Russell, comes to the conclusion that he does know the solution to this issue of morality. Why does say he can’t come to a conclusion? Because there is no absolute point of reference. There is no up, down, left. Nothing is absolute, nothing is objective, when you posit an ethical framework of thinking purely based on feeling and reasoning. See the point? And… to add to it, even if you do arrive at some moral law, we will always want it our way. Take a look at the economy. The economy in America is bad right now. If we knock out religion that gives us absolute moral standards, then we are going to dig ourselves into total ethical chaos, just as we have dug ourselves in economic chaos, because there is no absolute point of reference.

Alright, so this goes back to empathy. First point. You say that their such a thing as conscience. However, in the anti-theist world view they posit that we have evolved from primates. It doesn’t explain conscience evolving. Why? Because it’s not something genetic. Conscience is individual feeling; it is the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one's conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action. Hence, you are subconsciously proving the existence of God. How on earth do have conscience when we a merely animals? That was the first point. Now, you missed the point when I said there is no point of reference. You cannot posit any meaning behind the conscience that gives intrinsic worth and compassion towards another being, can you? There isn’t meaning. There isn’t anything it draws down to, just based on flux, nothing flux, chance, nothing but chance. And so, we cannot posit absolute meaning behind any moral standard purely based on empathy. Back to cooking a baby, you missed the point. Try to listen. If I cook a baby because I have empathy for that child, because I have the capacity to agree on others’ emotions and feelings which let’s hypothetically say are emotionally moved to cook babies, we hence posit this as a morally correct. However, based on someone else’s empathy, based on someone else’s love and compassion for babies, this is satanic and pure evil. Understand? Where did conscious come from sense we evolved from primates? No meaning behind a moral standard without an absolute point of reference. No absolute category since we humans tend to inevitably disagree amongst each other. Perhaps, you sir, should not fight me on this point.

Your rebuttal against my argument for self-consistency subconsciously proves that God indeed does exist. Follow me now, you say that it is not a free-for-all and has built-in consequences. Of course, sin (religion calls it) has its consequences.  Now, again, you ask why should anyone trust in anything I recommend. It is not my recommendation but God’s recommendation. These are His laws and He has written them in our hearts, hence empathy, self-consistency, and even reason. All of your arguments that you point out are implicitly substantiating the verse I pointed of earlier, Hebrews 8:10. God has hidden His moral standards in our hearts. Understand? So it comes within us. And let me put a foot note on that. Everything physical in this universe cannot explain its own existence and meaning. It must find its meaning and the reason for its existence outside of itself, and I challenge you, now, to explain why we have empathy. Obviously it does exist. Where did come from? What happened? Why are we not programmed to instinct and predetermination? Why did humans get this conscious from? If we are merely animals, why do we even care for each other? How did issue a morality come to be then, if we are animals?

Now for social benefits. You missed the point. I know Darwin posits that posits that evolution occurs in population. Now, try to listen. With no absolute point of reference why should anyone subject themselves to anyone else’s moral standard.  If indeed my philosophy of life comes within me, and that moral standard comes from society in order to benefit social intercourse, then why should that be the absolute objective ethical framework? We contradict ourselves as humans, and we constantly disagree with each other. Why? Because we have a conscious, we have the capacity to exercise and conduct what is right and wrong. We both know that dogs don’t get together and discuss doginess; what does it mean to be a dog. We both know that Gorillas don’t get together and discuss morality. Why? Because they are programmed by predetermination and instinct. Animals don’t have a conscience. Look at us humans. How pathetic we are. We are supposed to be on the most dominant species on this earth and we still don’t know… who we are. We still argue and discuss issues of life. What kind of animal does this? You see, our conscience comes within us. So, when you say benefits for social events, you are subconsciously contradicting yourself because you say it is possible to arrive at an objective moral standard, while us humans have a conscious and can completely flip the way of life if we wanted to. The picture I have painted is not a pleasant one. But this is the human conscience displayed.  

Now, you talk of freewill. You say that it is simply the actualization of considering ones choices. I don't know if that makes sense to you. What? When I make chooses, I am actually considering someone else’s choices. First, then that’s not free will. Second, that’s not true. Just not true. What are you trying to pull here? Third, if I am considering someone else’s choice, where did that person consider his choice from? Perhaps, you sir, should not fight me on this point.

Yes, you are right. Immanuel Kant’s theory did really come through. But nice try, quite plausible. Now, you say that the Bible promotes slavery and all it implies. This is an entirely different subject. In your response, tell me if you really want to me to counter this point, and I will.


“Now whose fault is that? How is that different between one religious cultural commitment and another? The theistic world view has no advantage here. In fact, they are stuck. Their Holy book says that a face punch from the great Jombie is good, I believe the Holy book, that settles it. The secular society can proclaim "You shouldn't punch people in the face because it is brutal and absurd. People are suffering from it." They'll get "All hail Jombie!" in response. Meanwhile, a child with empathy can tell you it is wrong.”

You know, some people complain how God only makes one way to Heaven. I’ll tell you right now, if God made 1,000 ways to Heaven, we would’ve wanted a 1,001. Us humans always wide up wanting it our way and not God’s way. Which leads to my second point. About the child with empathy can tell someone it’s wrong to punch somebody. What about lying? Children love to lie to their parents all the time. What about respect for their elders? Do you know how many children and teenagers lack respect for elders? What about being lazy? The Bible over and over tells us not to be lazy, and to have diligent hands. What about no sex before marriage? Don’t want baby-momma drama as some call it. What about the moral law for children to obey their parents. What about that? That is not based on empathy what so ever. So, we know it can’t come from empathy. Self-consistency is out of the picture because individuals have distinctive conscience. Either way to go about lying, either you tell the truth or tell a lie, it doesn’t really benefit the society in social intercourse does it?  Can’t be reason. You know what that’s called? Moral virtue, good deeds. And the secular worldview can’t posit anything like it. The moral law the secular worldview gives us is so shallow. If a Mom tells his teenage son to obey him and stay in house for the night to, say, study for an exam. What teenage boy can easily say, “On who’s authority? You’re just my Mom what do you know about my life?” No respect. And so, we will dig ourselves into total moral chaos. Because when comes to morals that don’t deal with empathy, self-consistency, social benefits, and reason, we must posit a moral law based on flux, nothing but flux, because there is no absolute point of reference. And parent has the right to raise their child in the way they should go. However, how about the parents who tell their children that it’s OK to be lazy, and don’t worry about school and making good grades. How can you subject them your moral convictions in any manner? And see I got you now. This can’t be changed if throw God’s law out the window. And, to add to it, remember Hebrews 8:10? God has written his moral law in our hearts. This will explain why indeed parents discipline their children, whether it’s spanking them or giving them time out. This will explain why people find it repulsive when they just sit around the house all day; it renders a bad image. You see, the four points you gave me do not apply to any of these moral virtues, do they? Hence, regarding those moral virtues, you must posit a relative, ethical framework of thinking.

There are four things that a secular world struggles with, moral law, meaning, hope and recovery.

Meaning. Do you know how many people strive for meaning and definition for their life and its purpose? If atheist posit that the big bang theory is true, and we are indeed here by accident, then how can we posit any absolute meaning in life? You can’t. That is why atheist say that each us must define our own meaning in life. So you can see the human having a homeless mind. A mind which to nothing both on an emotional basis and literately (scientist saying the big bang came from nothing). Listen to Stephen Jay Gould, from Harvard – “We cannot read the meaning of life passively in the facts of nature. We must construct these answers ourselves – from own wisdom and ethical sense. There is no other way.” So he is denying any absolute, intrinsic meaning in life. You cannot escape meaning in life and you cannot say that everything in life is meaningless. Ravi Zacharias at a “Q & A” session at a prestigious university, in Thailand I believe, responds to someone who stood up shouted that everything in life is meaningless. Listen to conversing of the two –

Student : “Everything in life is meaningless.”

Ravi Zacharias: “You don’t believe that.”

Student: “Yes, I do.”

Ravi Zacharias: “No you don’t.”

Student: “Yes, I do.”

Ravi Zacharias: “No, you don’t”

Student: “Who are you to tell me I don’t.”

Ravi Zacharias: “Stand up and say it again.”

Student: “Everything in life is meaningless.”

Ravi Zacharias: “I assume that you assume that what you just said was meaningful. And if what you just said was meaningful then everything is not meaningless. On the other hand, if everything is meaningless, then what you just said was meaningless too; you basically said nothing. You can sit down.”

How can you say that everything in life is meaningless? How can you meaningfully say that? You see, it impossible to debunk meaning, while making a meaningful negation. Understand? Hence we must posit that there is such a thing as meaning in life. Atheist say that meaning comes from reason and logical, intellectual confirmation from individuals. However, if this is correct then truth as an absolute category no longer exist. If meaning consistently changes, (anyone can change their mind at any given time), then truth is relative. How is truth relative? That is what atheists are saying. All truths are relative. Does that statement include itself or exclude itself? If it includes itself, then that statement is also relative and is also not always true. If it excludes itself, how can you deny what is absolute when making an absolute negation? Alright. So what is the meaning is life? Do you know the meaningless doesn’t come from weary of pain, but weary of pleasure. Meaninglessness comes from weary of pleasure. Jack Higgins, the renowned author of ‘The Eagle Had Landed’ has said that the one thing he knows now at this high point of his career he wished he had known as a small boy is this: “When you get to the top, there’s nothing there.” Ravi Zacharias begs to suggest that this is one of the most difficult of life’s realities to accept. Those who have not yet experienced the success they covet find it impossible to believe that those who have attained it find it wanting in terms of giving meaning to life. Of course you will find this assertion hard to believe because you have not experienced weariness of sincere pleasure. Mel Gibson came to Christ because when he got to the top he saw that there was nothing there; he came up empty handed; he found no meaning. So we see that meaning falls into disarray in the atheist worldview; they cannot postulate what meaning actually means.

Where is hope. If there are just primates that formed from mere atoms that had no clue what they were doing, how can we arrive at hope in the destiny of human life? Destiny loses its hope. There is now beacon in life, there is nothing that glows. We are at the mercy of predetermines. Just some random cosmic accident and “Bloop,” here we are. Atheists have nothing to give for hope. Nothing. When you die, or a family member dies, it is nothing but an end of a physical compilation of atoms that had no prevision of what it was forming.

The most important topic in life is if there is a God or not. Did you know that? And in the atheistic worldview they have weak recovery. Answer me this, wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry? If the Christian worldview is wrong, then I have lived a good life but worst case scenario I have practiced unnecessary religious practices and have lived a deluded life and when I die, I just die. But atheism is wrong, worst case scenario you lived a happy life but a deluded one, and when you die you face damnation. Which is the more noble pursuit? In Christian’s perfect world, everyone would follow God’s law and incorporate peace unto the world. In the atheism’s perfect world, everyone follow their own moral law and everyone plays on a battleground, titles “Ethical Free-for-All.” Which is the more noble pursuit? So you posit that issue of God is something to take seriously.  You have to, if you don’t take it seriously then you subconsciously saying that you rather reject God and suffer in Hell; you don’t care if you suffer in Hell. What? This is not something to be taken lightly. Why do you think this issue of God and religions are in your face where ever you go. Again, there is absolutely no recovery for an atheist if comes up short and turns out to be wrong.

 

“Even semi-intelligent creatures with no frontal lobes for reasoning and abstract thought can show kindness to one another and a sense of community. Sometimes they do this through instinct, sometimes it is a learned behavior that benefits them or the group, sometimes it is through empathy. I showed you a video with my last message that gave you a few very good examples.”

How dare you compare the intelligent humans to semi-intelligent creatures.

And reason. I thought we covered this topic. You said yourself, reason can change. Hence, if reason is our tool for morality, you posit that all morals are relative, which draws down to the battleground titled, “Ethical Free-for-All.” We are just going to argue and argue and argue trying to figure what can be moral and can be considered immoral. I guarantee you we will NEVER come to an agreement. Listen carefully, because it amazes me how you can argue the issue of morality when qualified atheistic philosophers have come to the conclusion that even they do not have a solution to it. Even Richard Dawkins said, “We have to deny there is any such thing as evil, if our argument is going to stand.” Follow me now, morality based on reason will never arrive to an ultimatum because we are all just mere physical compilations of atoms. Understand? God have blessed us with the capacity of free will; he gave us a spirit; he gave us the conscience to decide for ourselves. Why don’t you think animals don’t argue with each other? Like I said you don’t see cats gathering together to debate against what should right and what should be wrong. Every creature on the face of this earth is unified with its respective species. It is only humans who are not unified. Why? Because we have a spirit; we have a conscience. And so, when you try to arrive at a moral law based on reason, you come up with total, utter chaos, because each human has a distinctive, individual mind. And I’ll even grant you that. Say society came to a moral standard which is supported by reason. Who is anyone tell anyone else what to do? We are at the mercy of atoms that had no prevision of what is was forming. Understand? We cannot posit any moral responsibility. Can we? We are just here by mere accident. What authority does anyone has to tell anyone else what to do? Who are you to tell me that you’re the one who is right and not I? You’re just a compilation of physical atoms that expanded overtime matter, time, and chance. What authority do you have over me? What authority do I have over you? Nothing, but with God we have a point of reference, and we can posit meaning, and we can posit purpose in life, and fight the forces of evil, because we are all fashioned to do God’s will. Understand? It’s really important that you rap your head around this. Why don’t you think Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Bertrand Russell, Immanuel Kant, Stephen Jay Gould, Alan Dershowitz, and any other anti-theist physicist, or anti-theist philosopher can come up with a solution for this? They all figured it out, why can’t you? They all are intellectual enough to see the reason why you can’t arrive to a moral just based on reason, ESPECIALLY when we are all here by random chance, and are at the mercy of atoms that just so happened to come together. Key phrase “just so happened;” that phrase itself should turn you to God. You see, what you are doing here is chopping off the head of a country. You are discarding the only being that is necessary to have authority over a country. What happens when a country loses its leader and furthermore assigns nobody replace the leader? Do you understand what I am saying what you are saying? If you deny God, then what are you affirming in his place? You say that you can replace God with society. Hence, you are positing a moral society with no leader; with no one to draw the lines. Then you go to say that when can arrive to an absolute moral framework. What? Reason can change, and you said it yourself. Hence, morality emerges as a relative standard. And two, who has the authority to lay down any absolute moral framework? Mr. HugeSinker, perhaps you shouldn’t discuss the issue of morality. And then you end with this – “The goal of reasoning is, by definition, to come to a better understanding of truth.” See I got you now. You say truth; what is truth? When you take reasoning as the foundation of absolute truth, truth becomes relative, because even you sir said that reason can change. You can have the two most intellectual, intelligent men when it comes to reasoning, and they can both very well disagree with each other.

Now, for Hitchens. He did not utter these words, but was quoted from his book, “God is Not Great.” Against Rabbi Boteach, I believe. Rabbi Boteach quoted from Christopher Hitchens book.

Now, empathy. Granted, the very definition of the word itself. However, here’s the point. Empathy cannot be posited as the point of reference for a moral standard, because anyone can have disagreeing capacities when it comes to empathy, can they not? What you might have empathy for, I may have a vendetta for. Point two, empathy does not possess any kind of authority. We are the products of immortal slime, why on earth should I care about anyone else around me? You say because of empathy. Well, sir, I have no empathy for anyone of this earth. Now, what do we do? You see it has no authority. Why should I care about anyone’s compassionate feelings for babies? What, just because a mom has empathy for her child, means I shouldn’t go over there and kill the child? You’re telling me a mom’s love has the authority to tell me what to do? I have no empathy for the mom’s child; why should I subject myself to her empathy for the child? Especially when that mom and child are here by a mere accident? Point three, again, empathy subconsciously suggests the existence of God. How God has embedded our hearts with love and empathy and emotions and compassion, suggests that there must be a God, because God by definition is all loving. Otherwise, you must ask yourself where did this love come from, where did this empathy come from? Why do humans and animals have love for their family? Where does love come from? You must asks yourself this because you sir believe that this universe just came together by a random series of atoms, matter, and chance. You see, empathy should actually have you believe that God exists. Because remember, love and conscience can’t evolve because it’s not something genetic. So… where did it come from? And I challenge you now, to tell me where love came from, besides physical and sexual attraction. Sure, we can easily love the opposite sex because there is attraction. However, other than that, where does love come from? Why we find ourselves putting people above ourselves? Why is it that a lion will protect its cub? Why do animals and humans have this? Where did it come from? What happened over the billions of years of atoms forming into a physical, complex compilation. And when you answer, remember, love couldn’t have evolved because it’s not something genetic.


“Imagine we live in a world with three divine commandments among many. They are both perfect and equal in the sight of the Great Jombie according to Her Holy Scripture. There are no other scriptures contradicting these laws, they are absolute:
I. Thou shalt not boil or eat babies.
II. Thou shalt always wear a funny hat on Wednesdays.
III. Thou shalt participate fully in the face-punching festival.”

Now, the Bible doesn’t say anything like this, does it? Here’s my point. If that was the law, for man, I guarantee you it would’ve been a moral virtue in our eyes. Because remember, God has written His law in our hearts. Listen carefully. Ready? Everything that Bible says is agreeable to the human heart. It’s as if we were to find a carving on the wall that listed everything that see as good, good and everything we see as bad, bad. However, we discard the person who wrote these moral laws and instead we say we have these morals because of empathy and reasoning, and social benefits. Understand? You cannot take the cause without the result. Look at the human heart and say “Ok, I see now, this is bad, and this good.”However, evolution doesn’t explain why you think that way does it? And this is a big point, and I want you to get this. If we came from a mere cosmic accident, why do we have that conscience to exercise and conduct moral virtue? You don’t have an answer, because you agree to evolution, and evolution doesn’t explain why see lying as a bad thing. Does it? Why is telling a lie a bad thing? Why do we think that way? What happened? Get the point? Again, it subconsciously suggests to you that there must be some being who has fashioned the human heart to think this way. And you may say, “Well, what about those you think the opposite? What about those who believe that killing is a good thing?” That, my friend, is what you would call – evil. And… to add to it. In the anti-theist worldview it could logically emerge, in the Judea Christian worldview it would be in violation of what it believes in.

And you say for to stop playing God and saying God did it. Ya know, that is why I tell so many atheists that it is so much easier to believe in God. Now, this isn’t a political statement; I’m not saying that it’s easier to believe in God, therefore God exists. However, please take this challenge. Where did this empathy, love, conscience, and all that implies that are not genetic, come from? Please, point out your assertions and reasoning to where this came from, if you posit that we indeed are the products of immortal slime that accidentally came about on a random occasion over a random period of time, having no prevision of what is was forming. If God did not do it, who did? This reminds me of an atheists I was debating against. He asked, you say that everything needs a starting point, where is God’s starting point? I replied, “You’re question doesn’t make sense to me, because when you say where is God’s starting point, you assume there was time he didn’t exist, but God is infinite. He’s outside the realm of time. God by definition has always existed, there wasn’t a time he didn’t exist. So what you’re asking me is, when did the being that always existed, not exist?” And the atheist told me after the debate that he is angry at God for “not not existing.” I know it’s frustrating, when you hear Christians say, “God did it.” Why? Because you have an intelligent mind and you refuse to come such a basic and simple conclusion; perhaps you, sir, are the ignorant one.

Now, for values in life and meaning. Agreed. You can posit a relative purpose among individuals, but an absolute purpose? No, you can’t. And this leads to hope. Because when you die it’s nothing but slime that had nothing do with your conscience mind in loving others. Hence, searching for truth is chase after the wind, because you’re going to die anyway. Understand? Even if you left behind so much for the world. The people of this world are going to die anyway. Understand? Hence, your search for truth is actually meaningless, because we’re just here by random. And I guarantee you when you reach the top of whatever truth you’re searching for, you will be left empty. Furthermore, with truth, us Christians are actually ahead of atheists according who believes in what. Christians are like, “Yeah, um, I got the truth right here, and uh, yeah, I’m gonna just live my life, instead wasting my life in trying to figure out something that could be false anyway.” When atheists are down there, “No, no. This can’t be. God couldn’t have done this.” And so they are still trying to figure things out. However, that’s not the point. The point is that their values are ultimately meaningless because it draws down to a mere expansion of atoms that had no purpose to begin with anyway. The presence of accidence, is the absence of purpose.

For the minor corrections. No corrections needed. I agree with what you said here, you missed the point. I know we ARE primates. I quoted Richard Dawkins when he said in his book “The God Delusion,” “We are not like primates; we are primates.” Now, for animals also having guilt and remorse for their wrong doing… where did it come from? This conscience, this mind, how did it come to be, if it doesn’t come from genetics? And for free will. It’s exactly what I mean, free will. And oh, don’t try to flip now. I read what you wrote and that is not what you said. But I’ll grant you that it was a mistake.

And furthermore you answer why anyone should subject themselves to anyone else’s moral standards. This just proves my point that all morals are relative. You have your reason, and I have my reason. Mine could just be as good as yours, and if it is, what would we do then? In addition, why does your reasoning have authority over me? You sir are just the product of immortal slime, why do I have to listen to you? What right do you have over me? See this major problem here? This is the setback of atheism, when positing a godless universe.

Next you talk about lying. Allow me to wipe out this paragraph right now. God has written his moral law in your heart. This is what explains the phenomenon of morality. Now, you come back to the complaint that Christians just say “God did it,” but it’s only because God did do it.

Alright, and from here you kind of get off course and start complaining rather than giving reason for the argument. 

But I’ll end with this, and it breaks my heart that you used to be a Christian. But here it is. It’s a Parable by Friedrich Nietzsche, “The Madman.”

This was an another debate I written against an atheist, here it is:

This is the parable by Friedrich Nietzsche. And I want you to get message he is saying here. Friedrich Nietzsche was a great philosopher and his parents were missionaries and his grandparents were also missionaries, but he turned to atheism. He lived his short life from 1844-1900 and during that short time of life, he implied a pivotal impact to existentialism; he did not coin the phrase "God is Dead," he popularized it. Nietzsche spent the last 15 years of his life literately and mentally insane. He predicted show much in our time in the 20th century and was right. He predicted that God would not be able to handle the onslaught of philosophical and scientific reasoning and concept. He asked that how could anyone with a rational still believe in a supernatural being. He said that there would an utter cry in the 20th century of violence and chaos. And he was right. World War I, World War II, Vietnam War, Hitler, Stalin, 9/11 and so and so forth. The 20th century is by far the most violent century the world was ever seen and accumulates into really a world massacre. Listen as he predicts this on the basis of the result in positing a godless universe -

"Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly: "I seek God! I seek God!"---As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated?---Thus they yelled and laughed.

The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Whither is God?" he cried; "I will tell you. We have killed him---you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.

"How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us---for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto."

Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners; and they, too, were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke into pieces and went out. "I have come too early," he said then; "my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time; the light of the stars requires time; deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than most distant stars---and yet they have done it themselves.

It has been related further that on the same day the madman forced his way into several churches and there struck up his requiem aeternam deo. Led out and called to account, he is said always to have replied nothing but: "What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God? God is dead; we have killed him."

 

Friedrich Nietzsche is basically saying that this is such a humongous a deed that everything will have to redefined, everything! There is no up, down, left. Even the trees are moving now, are they not? There is no absolute category anymore. He is not trying to point out that God doesn't exist; he is saying that we as human beings have killed God under our philosophical and rational theories. We have ignored God's wisdom and turned to our own in terms of philosophy and science. That's why Nietzsche asked that why would any human being in his right mind still believe in a supernatural being. We have strained into an infinite nothing. When we fall backwards we go forward, when we go right, we go left, we must light a lantern in the morning hours now. He is saying that existentially points of reference will be lost and new points of reference will have to be found. Follow me now, try to listen - We better become aware of that, because if you remove this transcendent absolute notion that existed in cultures as a point of reference as our daily definitions of life's meaning, its destiny, its origin, its value, he says if that has been wiped out, we have better find new ways of measuring in answering the question of life. And now don't miss this huge factor that is the most difficult issue that atheists face today. Here it is as Ravi Zacharias puts it - "If God does not exist, there is no objective point of reference for any moral framework." You raise such a category of evil, but if indeed we have evolved from primates, from mere animals, from mere atoms that exploded over a series of nothingness, then how can you say what is good and what is bad? If we are basically animals, how can we even posit good or evil? When one human kills another wouldn't you just call that natural selection? As Christopher Hitchens puts it - "I don't know how Christians can follow God's law when he says to love your enemies, I am sorry, but my motive is to kill the weaker ones and save the stronger ones, for we are animals and this nothing but natural selection" He said this in his debate against Rabbi Boteach. And as Darwinism puts it - "Red tooth and claw."And let add suggest this also - most cultures obtain there moral laws from religion. Don't they? Russell Kirk, the noted American historian, wrote the book "The Roots of American Order." He suggests why caused Americans framework of thinking, why Americans thought the way they did. And he draws back to America's roots to four cities: Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, and London. Jerusalem gave this culture its moral categories. Athens gave this culture its philosophical categories. Rome gave this culture its legal categories. And London, of course, the immediate that gave birth to this nation. And as God is dead, we as a nation still remember Athens, still remember Rome, still remember London, but we have forgotten Jerusalem. We speak of a godless universe, then we must now discard everything religion has to say from a transcending supernatural being, such as God, and must now play the role of god to redefine moral value in life. That's just morality, we still need to define life's meaning, purpose, hope, and destiny. Is this the best we can do? Listen to Stephen Jay Ghould, from Harvard - he says that the fact that we are here by accident is ultimately exhilarating. Do you feel exhilarated? How is is exhilarating to know that you are here by accident? Is atheism cheating me? What a homeless mind the humans possesses. Such complex entities, that trouble even the top scientists even today, are the products of immortal slime that had no idea of what it was doing and went "bang!"

 

No moral law, hence no such thing as evil and good, no meaning, no hope - for GOD is dead, we have killed him. We must now play gods to obtain a point of reference in this battleground, titled "Ethical Free-for-All," for we have lost our absolute, transcendent point of reference. Surely we are mistaken.

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

And oh I asked the question first instead of making a point because I wanted to see what everyone had to say. And it proves my point. In atheism all morals are relative. Look at the replies; each one you had a different answer regarding how we come to a moral standard.

 

 

 

Intent is prior to Content.


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I'm not atheist and I say

I'm not atheist and I say all morals are relative. And I didn't read that long ass post.


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Your text wall broke my

Your text wall broke my clipboard.. and my brain. I attempted to read it, but text walls on computer screens are not my friend, especially when a glaringly obvious answer appears to be screaming over the course of the first several paragraphs. I'm not sure if there's more to your textwall post  than the question, "Why subject myself to anyone else's version of right and wrong?" So I'm going to adress this and leave the rest of it to stronger wills than my own.

To this I ask you a question. Do you live in a bubble? Does nothing you do lead to a chain of effects that in turn comes back to effect you?

I suspect that no, you do not live in a bubble, and indeed, even if you did, it probably wouldn't keep the rebound effects of your actions from returning to smack you in the rear.

Ethics, for I prefer the term to morals which is usually seen as this rediculous notion that "bad" and "good" are absolute terms set in place by some mystical entity, are not accepted by anyone needlessly. The best ethical principles are those which serve the most good, for everyone. If you're dysfunctional enough to want to roast babies than society will eject you. Few people can live without any outside assitance. We depend on eachother for our survival. That mystical Golden Rule, which I personally have rephrased to be more modernistically appropriate, "Treat others with the respect with which you would like them to treat you," didn't come about for no reason. It came about because it is practical. I scratch your back, you scratch mine. If you live in a society that governs behavior, and you are caught behaving in a way that is prohibited, you'll be punished for it. Maybe you can get away with it, but maybe you can't, odds are in favor of not attempting to piss off other creatures that can ruin your chances of reproducing. Then of course, there are things that make you feel good, and don't hurt anyone.. atm, but in another 100 years or so, might cause the Ozone layer to completely disintegrate, or kill off all the wildlife, or any number of environmental problems, which *le gasp* would hurt your DNAs replicated self, not something that would be good for your DNA!

So, even if you're never caught, your DNA wants to replicate, if it does replicate and you have children and then die leaving a bad legacy your offspring will pay for it, if not them, then your grandkids. Therefore it is only logical and for the benefit of your genetic line to behave in others best interests as well as your own. Frankly, your DNA isn't as interested in your pleasure as it is in your ensuring its successful replication. And guess what, if you make the other homo sapiens happy with you, you're more likely not to get kicked out of the human race for foul play.


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Your big wall of text

Your big wall of text doesn't even address that morals are useful.  As such only their use need be the only reason to follow them.

Sounds made up...
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 I get the curious

 I get the curious impression that nobody clicked my links.

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

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What a sprawling nightmare of a post

 

"There are four things that a secular world struggles with, moral law, meaning, hope and recovery."

 

This must be one of the most groan-worthy statements on the boards. And it's entirely subjective. I don't struggle with moral law. I make my own meaning - what else can you do? Hope for what? Eternal life? Come on. Recovery from what? Doubts that theism is nothing but a painful human manufacture? I suppose this wall of words constitutes Genesis' full broadside so after going to the art gallery with my ex-girlfriend and looking at beautiful paintings I'll try to sink HMS Calvary. If some one else breaks out the bangalores in advance it would be much appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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It's not about sensible argument Hamby, damn it!

Hambydammit wrote:

 I get the curious impression that nobody clicked my links.

 

It's about Genesis telling us how he feels.

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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It takes a lot of convoluted

It takes a lot of convoluted confused 'reasoning' to demonstrate the absurd idea that religion actually has anything to do with real ethics or morality.

Its just a crude system of conflicting commandments and edicts backed up by an extreme reward /punishment system, more like a poorly designed legal system, with the 'Supreme Being' providing a terrible example of vindictiveness and favoritism, the opposite of justice and mercy.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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GENESIS wrote:No moral law,

GENESIS wrote:
No moral law, hence no such thing as evil and good, no meaning, no hope - for GOD is dead, we have killed him. We must now play gods to obtain a point of reference in this battleground, titled "Ethical Free-for-All," for we have lost our absolute, transcendent point of reference. Surely we are mistaken.

So......what is your argument? Atheism is wrong because it hurts your feelings?

GENESIS wrote:
And oh I asked the question first instead of making a point because I wanted to see what everyone had to say. And it proves my point. In atheism all morals are relative. Look at the replies; each one you had a different answer regarding how we come to a moral standard.

Subjective, yes, because morality is a human concept. It only "exists" as an abstraction of what we feel ought to be based on our instincts, experiences, culture, etc. You don't have to "prove" it. We agree.

Edit: I think you almost get it. I think your emotions are preventing you from throwing away your appeals to consequences and putting in the last few pieces of the puzzle. Ugh, I probably sound really annoying right now.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Subjective, Relative, Objective, Absolute

The OP really seems to be confusing these four terms.  I do not think they mean what he/she thinks they mean.

 

For demonstrative purposes, let's have two people, Alice and Bob, considering the morality of some action X under some circumstances.

 

Morality is subjective:  For Alice, Alice performing action X in these circumstances is moral.  For Bob, Alice performing action X in these circumstances is not moral.  Neither Alice nor Bob is wrong in their assessment of action X.

Morality is objective: If for Alice, Alice performing action X in these circumstances is moral, then for everyone else (like Bob), Alice performing action X in these circumstances is also moral.  If Bob thinks otherwise then he is objectively wrong.

Morality is relative: For Alice, Alice performing action X in these circumstances is moral, but either Alice performing action X under some other circumstances or someone else (like Bob) performing action X under the same circumstances is immoral.

Morality is absolute: If for Alice, Alice performing action X in these circumstances is moral, then for anyone, anyone performing action X in any circumstances is also moral.

 

Absolute implies objective, and subjective implies relative, but not the other way around.  Importantly, morals can be both relative and objective, which is my take on the whole morality issue.  Morals are relative to the situation, so killing on a whim is immoral while killing in self-defense is not.  However, morals are objective, so the fact that me killing someone in self-defense is not immoral is true, and this truth does not depend on the person seeking it.

 

Morals come from social evolution reaching a Nash Equillibrium.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.


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Zaq wrote:Absolute implies

Zaq wrote:

Absolute implies objective, and subjective implies relative, but not the other way around.

 

 

I think this ultimately boils down to a question of self respect.

For instance, I wish to be able to face my own mirror image every morning, while shaving, without hating or despising what I see. To this end I apply "moral", in the sense that there are things I think are right and things I think are wrong... and those value projections determine my chosen line of action at any given moment in any given situation. But these are of course issues that can be argued to be about personal vanity. Nevertheless, they are real. Which means that my moral is subjective. It only becomes objective in the perception of an observer; who might agree or disagree in my ideas about what is right and wrong, but it is still always after the fact.

In other words, we should separate between moral predicaments and moral judgments.

 

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)

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 I sure wish people would

 I sure wish people would actually read the stuff I've written that answers all these questions.

Since asking folks to click links doesn't work, I'll just quote myself.

Hambydammit wrote:
Let us suppose that God is the source of all morality. For now, we will take the most extreme Christian view – that morality is impossible to derive from human wisdom, and that we must rely solely on the word of God to know what is right and what is wrong. If this is true, then it must be true that there is no logical reason to do what is right other than fear of God’s punishment or desire for God’s reward. If this conclusion seems odd, just consider the alternative. If we can think of any reason to do the morally correct thing, then we are basing morality on something natural. If it is right for me to feed my infant child because otherwise the child will die and that would cause me grief, then there is a natural reason for me to feed my infant child.

It doesn’t take much thought to realize that morality doesn’t derive solely from God. Virtually every day of our lives, we are faced with moral choices, and we reason out the best course of action. Our thought processes involve causes and effects, not calling to memory a set prescription from the Bible. It should be painfully obvious that if morality does indeed come from God, it is not solely dependent on arbitrary dicta. There are unmistakable real world consequences to our actions, and we can judge their relative value based on individual situations.

For emphasis, let’s think of it another way. If God truly was the only source of morality in existence, then we should not be able to distinguish right from wrong except when it was specifically mentioned by God himself. When presented with a unique moral dilemma, we should be at a complete loss for any means of deriving the correct answer. This is obviously not so. As human civilization has advanced and technology has increased, we have created moral dilemmas that couldn’t have been conceived when the Bible was written. In many cases, we have established very clear ideas of what is right and what is wrong.

There is only one thing we can do if we are to save the idea that God is the source of morality. We must admit that God has instilled in humans a conscience, and that man is able to reason out morality on his own without reference to an arbitrary set of rules. This is the position that most reasonably intelligent Christians take, for the simple reason that the exercise of a modicum of intelligence pretty much necessitates it.

 

Unfortunately, this position fails on several levels, although the failures are more subtle, and take a little more critical thinking. Straight out of the gate, we must ask a crucial question. If God has instilled in humans the ability to judge right from wrong, what is the Bible good for? This question isn’t as flippant as it may appear. Pastors all over the world thump the Bible on their podiums while decrying Godless heathens who don’t act as it dictates. In heated debates over moral hot button issues, the Bible is used as a final arbiter. God says it. I believe it. That settles it. Anytime the Bible disagrees with our innate sense of morality, we ought to believe the Bible over our own conscience.

We are forced now to ask the question. What is the final arbiter of human morality? Is it God’s word or our conscience? If it is God’s word, then we are headed back towards where we started, only now we are in a worse position. We’ve admitted that our conscience is a real, God-given tool for determining the morality of a given situation, but now we’re also admitting that God’s word trumps our conscience. This is another way of saying that when God wants us to do something, it is good, regardless of what our conscience says.

While many Christians would happily agree with this statement, it leaves us with a horrible dilemma. There are, at present, somewhere in the neighborhood of fifteen thousand denominations of Christianity, worldwide. Each one of them has different views on morality, ranging from the insignificant to issues of global human existence. We have two choices. Either there is one correct version of Christianity or there are multiple correct versions. If there is only one correct version, how are we supposed to identify it? Every denomination claims that it is the correct one (or at the very least, that it is one of the correct ones!) so we can’t rely on these claims to make our decisions. Each denomination interprets the Absolutely True Word of God Which Trumps Conscience in a way that makes sense to them.

Let me reiterate that last sentence, because it’s really important. Every denomination that believes the Bible trumps our conscience interprets the Bible in a way that makes sense to them. Did you catch the trap in this sentence? They use their conscience to decide which interpretation of the Bible trumps the conscience! Again, we are faced with a nasty choice. Either there is a correct version of the Bible that doesn’t rely on conscience or logic to find, or we are right back to conscience and logic being the ultimate guide for morality.

If we assume that there is, in fact, a perfect interpretation of the Bible, we are at something of an impasse. Since logic and conscience can’t be our criteria for making the decision, we must rely on something else, but what? Divine revelation? Again, every denomination makes some claim of divine revelation, so which one is correct? How will we decide? What if none of them are correct? What if, after reading the Bible, you come to the conclusion that everybody’s got it wrong, and that you have the perfect interpretation. God has spoken directly to you, and you are certain you are correct. This is fine for you, but how am I to judge whether or not I believe you? You are now in exactly the same situation as the other fifteen thousand denominations. You must ask people to use either logic, conscience, or divine revelation to decide to believe you.

The sad truth is that if there is a true interpretation of the Bible that does not rely on human logic or conscience, then it is unknowable beyond individual interpretation, which is the same as saying that it’s entirely subjective.

 

Did you catch that last sentence? If the Christians are right, then morality is completely subjective. What is it that Christians always say about atheists? Aren’t they the ones who accuse atheists of having no basis for morality? According to them, the world would be ruled by anarchy and there would be no way to know right from wrong. Civilization would descend into self serving madness. The irony is that their very own doctrine, if true, leads inevitably to the very state they attribute to naturalism!

 

Now, we must backtrack. We have reached an absurd conclusion when we followed one line of reasoning. The other line must now be scrutinized. Since it is not possible that there is one correct version of Christianity, perhaps there are multiple correct versions. Again, we’re faced with choices. Perhaps there are some things that are universally right and wrong, and some that are malleable according to individual situations. The other option is that all things are malleable and based on specific circumstances.

If we accept the former option, we are immediately forced to address the question of which things are universals, and which are subjective. Unfortunately, this is no easier than the dilemma we faced earlier. Either logic and reason can tell us the answer, or it must be found in the Bible, or through divine revelation. If it is found in the Bible, then where is it? Having read the bible myself, I can recall no such clear cut explanations of morality. Instead, I remember reading contradictory edicts from God himself. Don’t kill, unless God orders you to, or if it’s lawful to kill. Then again, turn the other cheek and repay evil with kindness. Then again, Jesus came to uphold the law. Then again, Jesus came to repeal the law. Then again, it is better to kill yourself than to cause a child to stray. Then again, suicide is an unpardonable sin. Then again, and again, and again, and again.1

The latter option leaves us in a real pickle. If all things are malleable and based on specific circumstances, then the only conclusion is that there is nothing that is set in stone. There are no absolutes, and God’s word is not the final arbiter over conscience. With no instance by instance definitive statement from God himself, there is no way to ascribe any absoluteness to any moral imperative, and we clearly have no such step by step guide.

If there are no absolutes, and God’s word is not the final judge of what is moral and immoral, how is a Christian to judge right from wrong? At the risk of becoming pedantic, I’m afraid I must point out that there are two choices. Either the Christian can continue to use the Bible, or church doctrine, or some other source as a basis for morality, or they can admit that morality is ultimately judged by humans on a case to case basis, without any arbitrary intervention by God.

If some theist source is used, then the Christian is right back where we ended up earlier – arbitrary subjective morality. If it is admitted that morality is ultimately judged by humans, we have relegated God to irrelevance. Whether or not God created man with a conscience or the conscience evolved is a pointless distinction. If the conscience, or logic, or any other natural method is used to determine morality, then man can determine morality without God. The foundation of one of religion’s most ardent claims collapses. Man does not need God to live morally.

Ok... so enough with this nonsense about needing to get morality from outside of human existence.

Now, subjective vs. objective vs. absolute:

Quote:
Morality is Interaction

 

Though many people find morality hard to define, I believe a very simple definition will serve us the best:  Morality is the measure by which we judge the relative value of human interactions.  In other words, a moral act is one in which the action of one individual causes a change in the environment of another individual.  Morality does not exist in a vacuum.  Unlike the proverbial tree which still causes a sound if there are no ears to hear, the spoken lie which is not heard has no moral value.

 

In my framework, morality is also much broader a concept than is commonly accepted.  While some people think of morality as only concerning “crises of conscience” — the difficult decisions — I maintain that it governs nearly every action we perform nearly every day of our lives.  Many moral actions are hardly noticable because they are so mundane.  Like the news reports that only mention those things that are out of the ordinary, we often think of morality as only concerning those things that seem important, but even the most basic of human interactions can be judged by the same standards as the worst crimes or most benevolent acts.

 

Morality is Not Arbitrary

 

Before we get into all of that, we need to establish one very important characteristic of morality. I said that both sides of the debate are partly right, and they are. Morality is subjective. However, it is also absolute. This seems contradictory, but when we add one more characteristic, we will see that the two sides are actually quite compatible. Besides being both absolute and subjective, morality is also non-arbitrary. That is to say, it is subjective within absolute limits.

 

When we say that morality is not arbitrary, we are acknowledging that it comes from human nature, which is not infinitely flexible. Human nature evolved because it was the most effective way for our genes to program us to be good reproducers. Because of this, there are some ideas that virtually all humans agree on as general principles. (Sociopaths and psychopaths exist, and they suffer from a variety of mutations in their genes that do not produce the same moral ideals. We expect this based on the principles of random mutation and genetic drift.)  The absolute boundaries of morality are defined by our genes.  If you think about it for a second, you’ll realize it’s almost a tautology — humans can only do what humans are capable of doing.  As an example, by all evolutionary accounts, humans are not capable of forming groups in which cutting off the hands of random family members is considered good.  Sure, some particularly charismatic cult leader might be able to convince a small number of humans for a short time, but his reign would end and the cult would die as all such cults die.  On the other hand, we’re quite capable of maintaining a culture in which female genital mutilation is considered good.  This is an example of the absolute limits of human nature which still allow subjective differences.

 

Morality is Environment-Dependent

 

Another factor that cannot be overlooked is external circumstances. In any situation with a moral element, there are external factors that are real and objective. These impose real limits on the flexibility of human morality. Let’s consider a simple example. Across all cultures, it is generally considered immoral to kill one’s own children. This makes sense, of course, for evolution has programmed us to do everything in our power to keep our children alive. Now, suppose that a mother is presented with a dilemma. She has twin children, each of whom has the same chance of growing up and being successful, happy, and fertile. A crazed gunman captures the mother and daughters, and tells the mother that she has one minute to decide which daughter he will kill. If she does not decide, he will kill both daughters.

 

This is a horrible situation to consider, but let’s examine it as calmly as possible. The mother has only two options. One of her daughters must die, and she must choose which one it will be. In doing so, she will also be saving the life of one of her daughters. Suppose that she gives in to the gunman and chooses one daughter, who is then killed. Is she an immoral person for making that decision? Anyone with half a heart would say that she is certainly not. She has made a horrible choice, but it was the best thing she could do under the circumstances.

 

We can make this even worse. Suppose that instead of choosing which daughter the gunman will kill, the mother is told that she must kill her own daughter by strangling her with a bit of rope. Now, instead of just being an accessory to murder, she is a murderer herself. Will we still hold her unaccountable for the act that is ordinarily seen as immoral? The sad truth is that many people will not. There are many who feel that murdering one’s children is always wrong, no matter the situation. I’ve asked this question of many Christians, and an alarming number of them have said that the mother should trust God to work the situation out for the best, and refuse to kill either of her daughters.  The gravity of this statement should not be overlooked.  When we believe in an absolute standard for all situations, we can justify the position that allowing two children to be killed is more good than preventing one child from dying.*

 

Let’s suppose for the moment that the mother decides to kill one of her daughters. We can look at this situation objectively and say that in terms of the survival of her family, she did the best thing she could do. On paper, it’s an easy answer. In our guts, though, we may find that we still harbor some disapproving feelings towards her. Worse still, if this woman is a normal human, she will feel extraordinary guilt, and will probably be plagued by her conscience for the rest of her life. Far less traumatic situations have driven people crazy from guilt.

 

This is where we see the hand of instinct stirring and muddying up the waters of rational morality. One of our strongest instinctual drives is the impulse to protect our offspring. It is so strong because it is of paramount importance to our genes. It is literally why we are alive. To reinforce this genetic dictate, we have been programmed with a “guilt module” that delivers intense negative feelings if we even entertain the thought of harming our own children.**

 

Unfortunately for our hypothetical woman, our genes have not had the foresight to program us with an “In case of coercion” module that will suspend the judgment of our conscience when we have no choice but to kill our own offspring. It’s doubtful that even one out of a hundred million women have been put in this painful position. There’s simply nothing for natural selection to work with.

 

We can take a valuable lesson away from this gruesome scenario. Our genes have not programmed us to feel good about making the correct logical choice in every situation. Instead, they have given us general guidelines that will benefit the species as a whole, though some individuals will suffer from the broad brush strokes of instinctive moral judgment. To put this in very simple language, our conscience is not a reliable judge of rational morality. That is so important, it needs to be repeated. Our innate feelings of guilt and pleasure are general guidelines, and will not be accurate in every situation.

 

Here, we have a great example of the absolute and subjective aspects of morality working together in harmony. Humans have an objective sense of immorality about killing their own children. It is biological in origin, and practical in nature. If humans had no qualms about killing their own children, our species would likely have died tens of thousands of years ago. The first serious famine would have led to all the children of the tribe being killed by the more powerful adults. However, the complexity of culture has opened up new avenues for creating situations for which natural selection could give us no preparation. In these cases, the correct answer to the moral question is the one that directly contradicts our objective instinct.

 

In all fairness, some might argue that this is not really a subjective issue. Subjective applies more to things that have no correct answer. Whether or not a person likes spinach is entirely subjective. There’s no imperative that they enjoy it, and enjoyment is something that varies between individuals. Any mother, faced with the choice of saving one daughter or letting both die ought to save one. There is some truth to this objection. In this instance, I am using the word subjective to mean “variable depending on the circumstances,” not “variable depending on the individual.” My goal in this instance is to convince you that sweeping moral generalizations are not adequate for the complexity of human experience, and that emotions are not an effective judge of moral correctness.

 

Let’s suppose there is another circumstance with less drastic choices. If a man discovers that his next door neighbor sells marijuana to the neighborhood school children, he might be immediately inclined to go to the police and report him. However, if the man also knows that the drug dealer has five young children, and that the income from the marijuana is the only thing keeping the rent paid, he might think again. Is it worse for five children to be homeless and destitute, or for school children to be able to buy pot?

 

As illegal drugs go, marijuana is far less dangerous than many others. In addition, there aren’t many choices for the woman if her husband goes to jail. Poor women with husbands in jail and five children have a very hard time finding jobs or men to help care for and support the children. Her odds are not good. However, the drug dealer might be selling pot to ten children. Are ten children smoking pot worse than five homeless children?

 

Which answer wins the day? Is the rule of law more important than the welfare of five children? Is pot smoking a lesser evil than homelessness? Does civic duty trump charity? The man must make a decision. Inaction on his part ensures that the rent will be paid but that schoolchildren will have drugs. Action on his part doesn’t prevent the children from getting drugs from another dealer, but then again, if nobody does their part to stop drug dealers, the larger problem of drugs in schools will never be solved.

 

This is indeed a very difficult question. In an informal survey among college students, I received nearly equal votes for each side. In each situation, some good and some bad consequences result from either action, and there is no objective way to measure the value of poor children against children with drugs. Sure, many people feel very strongly about their own opinions, but in the end, the question is too complex to have a single answer. In this case, the man’s decision is entirely subjective. He might well turn the drug dealer in, and another man, put in exactly the same situation, would remain silent. Neither person can be called truly immoral, for both are trying to accomplish a goal that is generally agreed upon as good.

 

Notice that this second example has many of the same elements as the first. The welfare – not the lives – of children is at stake, and protection of offspring is innate, or objective, in humans. Again, a choice is offered between children who will suffer and children who will escape. This time, however, the relative value of the decision is not clear cut, and there are both good and bad elements to either decision. Finally, there is still the element of forced choice. Inaction has consequences, and once the dilemma has been presented, there is no escape from responsibility.

 

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

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Remember - the long post I

Remember - the long post I posted was an argument for morals being subjective in the atheistic worldview. The atheist that I was debating against was arguing that we can still arrive at an objective moral framework without a God. However, that is clearly not the case. If any of you want to take me head on, then let me know.

Intent is prior to Content.


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 Quote:Remember - the long

 

Quote:
Remember - the long post I posted was an argument for morals being subjective in the atheistic worldview. The atheist that I was debating against was arguing that we can still arrive at an objective moral framework without a God.

Did you read my post?  Morals are subjective in a naturalist worldview.  (The atheist position does not address morality.)  They are, however, not arbitrary.   There is an absolute limit to the template for human morality.

Quote:
However, that is clearly not the case. If any of you want to take me head on, then let me know.

Except that most theists are not using the word "subjective" in the same way as the naturalist.  So... there are some problems with understanding.  If you read what I wrote, you'll see that the theist version of morality which relies on something outside of human experience for moral guidance is the truly arbitrary moral system.  The edges of a naturalist morality are a bit fuzzy, but there are actual limits, whereas the theist version is only limited by human creativity.

 

 

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

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GENESIS

GENESIS wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

We get our morality as a cultural referral from the ten commandments. Up until we heard of them we spent all our time raping and pillaging, conducting wild crusades against the infidel, and burning witches for brewing peppermint tea. All I can say is thank god for jesus, the great puppeteer and for the excellent work by his dad in scrawling the ten commandments on a piece of rock using his mighty claymore. Were it not for them I'd definitely be a murderer and worship a golden calf. Thanks lord. You really fucken rock.

Nice way to evade the question.

Where do humans get their sarcasm?


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Then take me to a private

Then take me to a private thread, if that's possible on the website or email or something, if you want to debate  with me. And, let us start off clean slate as well. Let us wipe away my pre-written arguments and your pre-written arguments. If you're willing to do so.

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It is apparent that genesis

It is apparent that genesis has no interest in debate. Only in knocking down strawmen and preaching.

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GENESIS wrote:Remember - the

GENESIS wrote:

Remember - the long post I posted was an argument for morals being subjective in the atheistic worldview. The atheist that I was debating against was arguing that we can still arrive at an objective moral framework without a God. However, that is clearly not the case. If any of you want to take me head on, then let me know.

I'd like to debate if you can have an objective moral framework with a God. How can you? Everyone's god and hence morality is whatever is convenient for one's self.

“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 think it developed

smartypants wrote:

GENESIS wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

We get our morality as a cultural referral from the ten commandments. Up until we heard of them we spent all our time raping and pillaging, conducting wild crusades against the infidel, and burning witches for brewing peppermint tea. All I can say is thank god for jesus, the great puppeteer and for the excellent work by his dad in scrawling the ten commandments on a piece of rock using his mighty claymore. Were it not for them I'd definitely be a murderer and worship a golden calf. Thanks lord. You really fucken rock.

Nice way to evade the question.

Where do humans get their sarcasm?

 

As an alternative to telling some one who is implicitly suggesting you are evil to f'coff. It's an interesting question. Let me look into it.

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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I was a strong Christian for

I was a strong Christian for over 15 years when I became Athiest (but that's another story for another time)  and you know how much my morals changed? None at all. I will not murder my mother and I will not break the law.

               


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GENESIS wrote:Where does

GENESIS wrote:

Where does atheism get their ethics and moral values from?

Good question, Genesis.

As a Christian, I can get morals from the Bible. Its ideas are profound and I think everyone should try to implement them in life. Who could argue with "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," right? And don't kill, don't steal, good solid stuff like that. Now there is a widely accepted idea that some verses of the Bible are not okay to follow because, basically, we don't feel like following them anymore. That's just not Biblical or Christlike. I mean, those verses are in the Bible and Christ said not one word of the Law shall be negated by his teaching. So I, and I think you should do this too, do stone witches sometimes. But you have to be really careful because the law of man and the law of God do not always align. Like when I knew one of the teachers at Jeremiah's school was a witch, I had to throw rocks at her from the bushes when nobody was looking. I was falsely betrayed by an anti Christian, but it is better to lose a hand or an eye than to lose the kingdom of heaven.

But the point is that on Christianity, there is a good solid basis for moral behavior. The Lord, the Creator of the universe, has told us to do certain things. It's just obvious that we should do them. One time Jeremiah was telling me that he didn't want to go to church three times a week any more, since the pastor gives the same sermon at all three services. But I reminded him that Jeremiah, I am your father and I made you, so you have to do what I say. I remind my kids of this a lot because it is a good solid moral principle that everyone should pay more attention to. But it's not just that God created us. I mean, God is also good by definition, so his commands are double obligatory or "super good." 

On atheism, the only real basis for moral behavior is one's own well being. But how do we define "well being," right? And why act for my own well being? It just makes no sense. Or maybe the basis for morals is my moral intuitions. But why follow those? I just see no force to either of these positions. John Calvin tells us that the eyes of the non elect are blind to the truth. I don't know if that's true, but things like this make me think seriously about it.

So good question. I hope you get some interesting responses here.

Cheers,

Dan Handsome

The Discovery Institute


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