Atheist Blood Drive Begins!

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Atheist Blood Drive Begins!

The Blood Drive has begun! Start logging your donations of blood on our site today! Easy registration that requires no verification!

View the Press Release.

Sponsored by: The Rational Response Squad and The Center for Atheism.

Would you like your organization to unite with us and be listed here as an affiliate? If so, please see this page for details.

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luke4h
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awesome idea

I think a volunteer organization that is active in the name of atheism is an awesome idea. I've been forced to work with Christian organizations in the past in order to help others and its a relief to know that rational people are interested in improving humanity as well.
I also can't resist making the same point I've made to my Christian co-workers on many hurricane relief sites and toy collections for impoverished children: nonreligious people doing good is a much more significant even than Christians helping others because we atheists are not commanded to do so. When a Christian gives to the needy, he is simply doing what he feels god has instructed him to do...we rationalists, however, can truly say that we work out of the goodness of our hearts. I won't go so far as to say that it makes us better people but it certainly makes us more honest.


EverLastingGodS...
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Looking forward to working

Looking forward to working with you on this cause!

 I am 50% sure that FSGP will get the Ethical Society building in Rittenhouse Square for this.  Hoping RRS or other Philadelphians will join us!


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This is a GRRRREAATTT

This is a GRRRREAATTT idea!Smiling If I were not on another continent, I'd sign up!Smiling Great great great stuff.


Iruka Naminori
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In lieu of giving blood, what can I do to support this cause?

I'm on a variety of medications, so donating blood is a no-go.


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Yes I am very happy to see

Yes I am very happy to see this get off the ground Good work you guys


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This should be on TV! Have

This should be on TV! Have you guys thought about making this a TV commercial (how much does that cost?) or are you hoping that it will  get enough media coverage in the news?Smiling


Conn_in_Brooklyn
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Are sexually active

Are sexually active homosexuals and the recently tattooed going to allowed to give blood.  the Red Cross never lets me give blood, because I get tattooed every couple of months (they even turned me away on 9/12/2001) ... They also never allowed my gay friends to give blood either, which led to us boycotting them for a few years in the 90s.  Did you guys find a way around that?

I'm off myspace.com so you can only find me here: http://geoffreymgolia.blogspot.com


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Conn_in_Brooklyn wrote:

Conn_in_Brooklyn wrote:
Did you guys find a way around that?

 

See what this org says: www.americasblood.org

We prefer them over the Red Cross, a helpful rep is openly atheist who does a lot of leg work for us behind the scenes. 

- Brian Sapient


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Conn_in_Brooklyn
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From:

From:  http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7263/722

23 September 2000

News

FDA declines to lift ban on homosexual men as blood donors

Deborah Josefson, San Francisco

An advisory panel of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has narrowly voted to maintain the ban on blood donations from homosexual men. The vote was 7-6 to maintain the ban. Under the FDA's rules, men cannot give blood if they have had sex with another man at least once since 1977.

The FDA was considering changing the blood donation rule to ban only men who had had sex with another man within the past five years. The rule came into force originally in 1985 to protect the blood supply from HIV.

Critics claim that the ban is discriminatory and outdated, as other high risk groups such as prostitutes, intravenous drug users, and promiscuous heterosexuals are deferred from donation only one year from their last high risk encounter.

Moreover, more sensitive HIV screening tests are used now than when the rule was initially formulated. Since blood and blood products are in short supply, many favour lifting the ban. An estimated 62300 homosexual men would donate blood if the ban were lifted, according to the FDA. About 8% of the US male homosexual population is HIV positive.

The issue has polarised the nation's blood banks, with half supporting easing the policy even more to one year instead of five and the other half, including the American Red Cross, opposing any change.

Even with the current restrictions, blood screening is imperfect. Of 12 million units of donated blood each year, 10 HIV infected units slip through, accounting for two to three cases of donor transmitted HIV infections a year."

This was the last time the FDA reviewed this policy, which they did not overturn.  The FDA regulates all blood banks, including America's Blood Centers, so this policy is probably still in place.  I know the tattoo policy was also still in place, at least since I last tried to give blood last spring ... 

While I think the FDA is just plain wrong on this mattrer, ABC and the people anxiously awaiting blood donations are not to blame here, people who can give blood should not be dissuaded from giving blood.  SO IF YOU CAN GIVE BLOOD, DO IT !!!

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healthy.addictions
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Conn_in_Brooklyn wrote: the

Conn_in_Brooklyn wrote:
the Red Cross never lets me give blood, because I get tattooed every couple of months (they even turned me away on 9/12/2001) ... They also never allowed my gay friends to give blood either, which led to us boycotting them for a few years in the 90s.  Did you guys find a way around that?

The tattoo/piercing thing... I'm not sure how much of a concern that really is...

They gay thing - that's just discrimination. I'd wouldn't say a thing if I were them. Don't ask. Don't tell... or... just don't tell.


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an additonal note...  I

an additonal note...

 I think anyone who can/has the motivation to do it should physically hold an atheist blood drive in their area. I'm currently looking into it and it's pretty simple.

1. Find a venue.

2. Call Red Cross & Reserve

The only work you have to do is the re-cruiting... in most cases the Red Cross (at least in my area) requires about 30 blood bags (sometimes less depending on the situation).

I'm looking into all of this stuff right now. Smiling


Conn_in_Brooklyn
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healthy.addictions

healthy.addictions wrote:

Conn_in_Brooklyn wrote:
the Red Cross never lets me give blood, because I get tattooed every couple of months (they even turned me away on 9/12/2001) ... They also never allowed my gay friends to give blood either, which led to us boycotting them for a few years in the 90s.  Did you guys find a way around that?

The tattoo/piercing thing... I'm not sure how much of a concern that really is..

I would definately characterize the gay prohibition as discrimination.  But, in terms of being a tattooed person, I think it's a stimga that's also unwarranted ... The Studio I get work done is impeccably clean, I do not have HIV, Hep A,B or C, I've never had a staff infection, nor have I had a blood born illness, and yet I can't give blood, while a promiscuous heterosexual can give blood no prob ... To me, it doesn't rise to the level of the discrimination in the same way the prohibition of gay donation does, but I'd like the perception about body mod to change ...

I'm off myspace.com so you can only find me here: http://geoffreymgolia.blogspot.com


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Conn_in_Brooklyn wrote: Are

Conn_in_Brooklyn wrote:
Are sexually active homosexuals and the recently tattooed going to allowed to give blood. the Red Cross never lets me give blood, because I get tattooed every couple of months (they even turned me away on 9/12/2001) ... They also never allowed my gay friends to give blood either, which led to us boycotting them for a few years in the 90s. Did you guys find a way around that?

 The tattoo thing is probably the risk of infection.

 The gay thing: It's the risk of AIDS. Yeah, you heard it. Apperantly heterosexuals can't get AIDS. The rule was probably imposed when AIDS was new, back in the day when it probably was a risk to have homosexuals give blood. I'm not sure though. But I am sure that it is because of the AIDS-risk, and that really is discriminating.


Michael A. Thompson
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 I donate blood every 8

 I donate blood every 8 weeks or so and today was my day to donate again (Coincidence or God?).  During the screening process I had a conversation with the nurse about this very subject.  I find it interesting that a monogamous homosexual can not donate but an unprotected heterosexual can fuck anything that moves, even animals I might add, and still be able to donate.  As if the ONLY people to get STD's are gays, intravenous drug users, hookers and those who have sex with same.  Now some people may be upset about this because it’s homophobic but I frown upon the practice simply because it an insult to peoples intelligence.  =(

"Those who have stepped into the arena shall forever cherish a feeling the protected will never know."


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should I wait?

I am scheduled to give blood tomorrow.

Should I put it off until May?  You can only give every 8 weeks so if I give tomorrow I miss being able to give May 3 by a few days.

 Maybe I should try for both if they let me.  It's close enough to 8 weeks.


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Can someone make some

Can someone make some posters that can be put up on campuses and malls and whatnot?


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vincegamer wrote: I am

vincegamer wrote:

I am scheduled to give blood tomorrow.

Should I put it off until May? You can only give every 8 weeks so if I give tomorrow I miss being able to give May 3 by a few days.

Maybe I should try for both if they let me. It's close enough to 8 weeks.

Give tomorrow.  You can still log your donation at any time.

 

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Jacob Cordingley
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All the blood donation in

All the blood donation in my country (UK) is done through the National Health Service. The UK is openly tolerant of atheists and homosexuals. There are gay MPs, atheist MPs. Homosexuality has been legal in this country for 40 years now. The only blood they don't accept is from unhealthy people.

I'm planning on giving a pint of my blood soon. Although I have a big (not entirely irrational surely(?))phobia of needles.


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As am I. My meds have put me

As am I. My meds have put me on a Cannot donate list. However, I can still get into the spirit. So far, I've raised over a thousand dollars for MS research through the MS Society, am donating my brain to MS study (I figure after I'm dead, I won't be needing it), and am Team Captaining for this years MS walk in Toledo. I also do peer councilling for the Society. My personal skills make me quite good at talking to people, and being conversant from Elvis to Eminem gives me a wide range of people I can help. I plan on getting a hold of the Rehab canter I recouperated from after my last attack and seeing if I can be of some use there. Thankfully it's connected to a University as opposed to a St. X hospital. Funny thing is, I've as of late, had my two primary focuses been MS assistance and Atheism. That these two focuses are merging has really focused my current life goals and coalesced them into something I can really get behind.

"Imperious, choleric, irascible, extreme in everything, with a dissolute imagination the like of which has never been seen, atheistic to the point of fanaticism, there you have me in a nutshell.... Kill me again or take me as I am, for I shall not change.


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That's really uplifting, I

That's really uplifting, I mean that you're doing all this amazing stuff not the illness. Good on you man, you're an atheist saint if there can be such a thing.


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Jesterspace wrote: am

Jesterspace wrote:
am donating my brain to MS study

 

Anyone know if people without MS can help in this area too?  I wouldn't mind donating everything I've got to scientific research.  I'm already an organ donor, but considering they don't do brain transplants (amongst other body parts) I'm wondering how I can donate the rest of me to science (and encourage others to do the same).

 

 

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One of the biggest problems

One of the biggest problems I've had since I became an atheist six years ago at 14 is death. It's not so much that I want immortality in heaven or an afterlife, I think to live forever would be horrible but imagining what experiencing nothing is like, I know you don't experience it, but I can't imagine not experiencing anything, that is the limit of my human brain.

There is one thing I do know, that I don't want to be put in some varnished oak coffin and put in a cemetary. I want my body to benefit science whether that be for medical students to cut me open and find out how to cure diseases or for scientists to study in more detail than they already know, especially the brain. I'd like to know that my body would be doing something useful. I'm not sure about donating organs though, the amount that I drink I don't think my liver or kidneys will be of much use to anyone, and I only have one of the other things. Blood though is important. Give blood people, it saves lives.


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Jacob Cordingley

Jacob Cordingley wrote:

All the blood donation in my country (UK) is done through the National Health Service. The UK is openly tolerant of atheists and homosexuals.



UK blood service doesn't let homosexuals donate, or women who have had sex with men who have had homosexual relationships. It's all in the thing they give you to read before you can donate.

Also did someone say you can give blood every 8 weeks in the USA? Because we can only give every 4 months over here. So I have done every donation possible (total of only 7) since 2 days after I was 17 (the youngest you can be in England), last one was yesterday, (then had a nice car crash with a stupid 4x4 who pulled out in front of my sisters car on the way home) is there any way I can log that donation on this site?

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Gays and AIDS and blood donations.

Here is my view on this.....

 HIV does not care if you are old, young, male, female, gay or straight.  If you become infected it really doesnt matter.  On the other hand, anal sex is a much more likely way to get HIV than vaginally or orally.  So sexually active gay men (whom anal sex is the only way to have penatration) are more likely to contract HIV from an infected partner than heterosexuals not having anal sex. 

 I do think anal sex should be inquired about.  and a window (maybe five years) should be used to screen out all recipients of anal sex, gay and straight.

"When the missionaries arrived, the Africans had the Land and the Missionaries had the Bible, They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the Land and we had the Bible." - Jomo Kenyatta


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theists doing good things!

I have an issue with this.

 1st let me state what I am 100% positve of.

 *This site is not doing volunteer work in the name of God. 

 *Volunteer work is not "Universally good" as the AtheistVolunteers website states.  (A Nazi party member volunteering to exterminate jews in his free time). 

*What is seen as short term good can sometimes have do long term harm.

*Something must be looked at analytically before it can be judged as doing good or doing harm. Not judged by using social norms.

 

If you accept the above, which I hope everyone does we can go to my post.

What is doing good? 

To do good you first have to know what  goal is trying to be achived.  The goal can be to end human suffering, it can be to spread the word of God. If can be to make sure you are looking out for you self interest.  In any case a goal or goals have to be worked toward in order to know if your actions are doing good or harm.

 

Next, you have to think if your action is getting you closer to your goal.  Is it getting you closer to your goal short-term but making the problem worse long term? (Think food donations to starving nations...short term it ends hunger but it leads to population growth in an area that usually cannot produce enough food to feed that population so when the free food stops more people starve than would have if the initial charity did not happen)  I think it is hard to tell if something does harm or good long term.

 

So I think some of the things you are doing are done with good intentions but I dont really know if they do harm or good long term.

 

To begin with I think we, as atheists, have many different goals for humanity.  Think about it, what is the meaning of our lives?  People with religion have it easy with this, they can just claim X needs to be done so Y can happen when you die.  For us it is not so easy.  With such different ideas of what are the goals for humanity and even more problems knowing what is the best way to reach those goals I think we have to sit back and see if what we are doing is what is deemed good in a Christian society or are actually good for mankind...and yes, sometimes they can be both.

 

Please feel free to write me or respond here, agree, disagree or educate me, I would like to hear what you think.


 

"When the missionaries arrived, the Africans had the Land and the Missionaries had the Bible, They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the Land and we had the Bible." - Jomo Kenyatta


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To Mr. Saipient. Your blood

To Mr. Saipient. Your blood drive has provoked in me the most intense curiosity. Might I inquire sir, why are you encouraging blood donation? Moreover, why sir are you personally an organ donor? 

Thank you

 

SDG

Agustine  

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Whats the matter augustine?

Whats the matter augustine? You don't think atheists can be good, altruistic, caring people too?

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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agustine wrote: To Mr.

agustine wrote:

To Mr. Saipient. Your blood drive has provoked in me the most intense curiosity. Might I inquire sir, why are you encouraging blood donation? Moreover, why sir are you personally an organ donor?

Thank you

 SDG

Agustine

I cant speak for Sapient but

I donate my blood because, people in trouble need it.

I will donate my organs because...well... people will need them.

I want to donate what is left (but I dont know how) and useful to science because if something can be learned from it, then education is served. 

What ever is left, if anything, gets cremated and scattered.

 In case your wondering, I also donate unwanted items to shelters, and ocasionally donate money to other causes.

At one point I was registered to donate marrow.

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agustine wrote: To Mr.

agustine wrote:

To Mr. Saipient. Your blood drive has provoked in me the most intense curiosity. Might I inquire sir, why are you encouraging blood donation?

So we can help save peoples lives.

 

Quote:
Moreover, why sir are you personally an organ donor?

Because once I'm dead, I don't need em, but someone else might.

 

I can't help but wonder why you asked these questions.  Don't the answers seem obvious? 

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Not to him, no. I'm having

Not to him, no. I'm having an agonizingly frustrating discussion with him on MattShizzle's forum, Original Sin. He just cannot understand why atheists should be moral/good people. As if someone should require a reason to be moral.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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To Mr Saipent. I do so

To Mr Saipent. I do so apologize sir if I offended you. That was not my intention. The blood drive merely peaked my curiosity in that as I was peering through the lense of the atheistic worldview, I cannot  understand why you or any other atheist would ascribe any value to human life at all insofar as within the atheistic ideology human beings are mere cosmic accidents, wholly the product of time + chance + primordial slime. see Gould, "...the pathways that led to our evolution are quirky, improbable, unrepeatable and utterly unpredictable....wind back life's tape to the dawn of time and let it play again and you will never get humans a second time." Given the accidental basis  as an explanation of our etiology, I am having great difficulty comprehending why atheists would find the preservation of life to be a laudable undertaking.

Thank you sir

SDG

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To my friend Mr.

To my friend Mr. deludedgod. Sir, how can you, an atheist, utilize the term "should," or any other terms that imply duty such as "ought" and "must". Without positing a common point of reference for the unconditional ought, one is left with human beings as the locus of moral values and thus notions of duty within the atheistic worldview are merely subjective, pragmatic, utilitarian or emotive. Such a view is markedly devoid of any measure of coherence.  God Bless...

SDG

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Augustine, this is very

Augustine, this is very simple.

Your comments are offensive and disguisting. You cannot possibly suggest they are not meant to offend because they are.

I cannot  understand why you or any other atheist would ascribe any value to human life at all 

I have already answered this repeatedly and ad nauseam in the other forum. I have already explained to you that the atheist beleif is very simple: We only have one life, one precious conciousness. So we had better make the most of it and help others do the same.

If you continue to lie and make the same points over and over again after being refuted, despite the fact that I have iterated this multiple times, that is considered against the rules on the forum and would be forced to consult the moderaters about banning you. This is exactly what happened to another theist on the site St. Michael.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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deludedgod wrote: I have

deludedgod wrote:

I have already explained to you that the atheist beleif is very simple: We only have one life, one precious conciousness. So we had better make the most of it and help others do the same.

I echo that. 

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Sapient wrote: deludedgod

Sapient wrote:
deludedgod wrote:

I have already explained to you that the atheist beleif is very simple: We only have one life, one precious conciousness. So we had better make the most of it and help others do the same.

I echo that.

Deludedgod has made the point; it is simple and succinct.

Ditto. 

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To Mr. deludedgod. I

To Mr. deludedgod. I understand how my comments may have made you feel and for that I do so apologize. Again that was not my intention sir. My intention was to provoke analytic thought regarding a subject of paramount concern. With respect to your comment concerning dishonesty sir, I have not nor have I ever been dishonest in our dialogues. I find such a claim entirely spurious. Although you claim to have refuted my argument, I have not been made sufficiently aware of such a refutation, especially in light of your own comments whereby you indicate that you do not even understand the substance of my argument.

 

Deferring to our previous dialogue, the initial thesis of your argument primarily consists of a negative critique wherein you decried any moral ontology grounded in theism, describing it with the pejorative “fear-based.” Operating within the sphere of Christian theism however, I countered with a series of quotations derived from the Christian source documents that indicate the contrary, for example “He then proceeded to explain to the disciples that the very the foundation of obedience rests not upon fear but upon love, to wit: “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15; Jesus then said shortly thereafter “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves Me will be loved by my Father, and I will love Him and manifest myself to him.” John 14:21” You responded with “I have no idea what you are talking about because you are not even making an argument.” The fact that you did not understand my argument coupled with the clear absence of a discernable telos on your part – I suspect resulting from your non-comprehension of my argument - makes the prospect of a successful refutation quite remote. To increase my vulnerability though, I cannot deny my culpability and so begrudgingly, I must accept evident blame for the lack of clarity on my part, and accordingly I apologize sir. I am not very bright and as such I would implore your patience.

 

Proceeding to the substance of our dialogue, the gravamen of your complaint is existential yet the very problem inherent to your worldview is logical. Take for instance your claim that I have thus far been dishonest. Sir, in raising the charge you invoke a moral law. For if you intended the word “dishonesty” to connote something good it would be entirely appropriate for me to consider it a complement. However, we all know what “dishonesty” means. Words are not infinitely malleable. Yet, in order for your charge to carry with it the force of moral opprobrium, it cannot reasonably be construed as lacking objective import. Otherwise, with all due respect sir, you have said nothing. As the philosopher and theologian G.K. Chesterton once quipped, “For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind.” Orthodoxy If it lacks objective import sir, then the substance of your claim is reduced to mere folly, wholly the product of personal preference. This is the principle reason why the atheist blood drive has peaked my curiosity. I think that what your organization proposes is a pristine example of goodness. Moreover, I think that the blood drive itself exemplifies what one ought - might I use the word “ought” - to expect from a good and descent society. I applaud your efforts! Yet, most decidedly, my claims carry with them the weight of objective import and accordingly it is not unreasonable to conclude that they would arouse the moral imagination of those within earshot. Taking into account the foregoing then, what I find to be abundantly clear is the problem resulting from the fact that the values the atheist wants to espouse cannot be rationally defended within their worldview; thus the proverbial free lunch etiology of atheistic ethics. This sentiment was expressed by the ethicist Richard Taylor quite well, quote “The modern age, more or less repudiating the idea of a divine lawgiver, has nevertheless tried to retain the ideas of moral right and wrong, not noticing that, in casting God aside, they have also abolished the conditions of meaningfulness for moral right and wrong as well. Thus, even educated persons sometimes declare that such things as war, or abortion, or the violation of certain human rights, are morally wrong, and they imagine that they have said something true and significant. Educated people do not need to be told, however, that questions such as these have never been answered outside of religion. He concludes, Contemporary writers in ethics, who blithely discourse upon moral right and wrong and moral obligation without any reference to religion, are really just weaving intellectual webs from thin air; which amounts to saying that they discourse without meaning.” cited from The Indispensability of Theological Meta-Ethical Foundations for Morality, by Dr, William Lane Craig

 

Conversely, theist in general and Christian Theists in particular are sufficiently enabled from within their worldview to rationally justify such claims. Now, the distinction I draw among the competing worldviews should be at least existentially apparent: the theist is duty bound not only to affirm such activities as the blood drive and the underlying intentions that motivate them, but is compelled to act in a like manner. Much to the contrary the atheist cannot logically affirm one position over above another. For example, within the atheistic worldview there is no objective moral difference between giving blood and/or spilling blood. It is merely the expression of what one prefers predetermined by his biology. This was expressed quite well be the philosopher of science Michael Ruse, an avowed agnostic, when he said “The position of the modern evolutionist...is that humans have an awareness of morality...because such an awareness is of biological worth. Morality is a biological adaptation, no less than are hands and feet and teeth.... Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, [ethics] is illusory. I appreciate that when somebody says, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself,’ they think they are referring above and beyond themselves…. Nevertheless…such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction and…any deeper meaning is illusory.” Evolutionary Theory and Christian Ethics, in The Darwinian Paradigm

 

The point here should be most obvious, yet I find that the explanation proffered by Dr. Ruse contains a certain glaring defect. Allow me to illustrate my point. If the sole function of morality is to aid in the survival and reproduction of the human animal, simply put, why should I prefer survival over non-survival insofar as any reasonable construction of the proposition yields a most unnerving presumption: there is intrinsic value in the continued propagation of the species. I describe it as unnerving because Dr. Ruse simply assumes this point without any argument. Moreover, this point is central to his thesis. Remove the point and his argument self-destructs. Quite curiously, I think the entailments resulting from his thesis raise a very important question, to wit: from where and more specifically how did this value originate? Is it possible that at some point in the evolutionary process whereby matter was rearranged into more increasingly complex forms could it be that a singularly monumental event occurred, mirabilis dictu, value and/or “worth” to use Mr. Ruses’ description emerged. At some point in this painfully protracted process something became valuable, the classical evolution of the gaps scenario. How then does survival take on the character of “preciousness” to use your descriptive? Now, I agree with your characterization yet I am confounded by your use of the descriptive. When I consider the entailments of Dr. Ruses’ so eloquently stated claim for our society, for our relationships…..  Can you imagine a meaningful family dialogue taking into account the entailments of such a worldview? “Hi honey, I’ve learned today that even though I say I love you such comments are without foundation. The only meaning our twenty-year marriage has is that it is useful in the propagation of our species.” Wow! Duck! “Kids, stop fighting, that’s not good for the propagation of our species. Dad, why should we propagate our species? Well son, I don’t know, the experts say there is value in it so we have to trust their opinion, and after all son they are the experts.” Despite the Huxlyian tenor of the language, there is I must confess some utility to the recognition of the logical entailments, namely you can have a lot of fun with them.

 

Moving now to the consideration concerning whether there can be a moral law without God. There is, surprisingly, significant agreement amongst thinking theists and atheists on this point, that of rational grounding and objectification of these peculiar meta-ethical postulates we call moral values. Take for instance the philosopher and probably the most prolific atheistic writer of the twentieth century, Mr. John Leslie Mackie, now deceased. In his book the Miracle of Theism, Mr. Mackie employs a peculiar argument in support of his atheistic views. He argues that it is chiefly because of the fact that objective moral values do not exist that God does not exist. Quote: “Moral properties constitute so odd a cluster of qualities and relations that they are most unlikely to have arisen without an all powerful God to create them.” Mackie deliberately grounds moral values in God and in so doing he ties the very existence of God to the question regarding whether moral values exist. A negative response to the existence of objective moral values inexorably requires a negative response to the God inquiry. Mackie understood the logical implications. Humanist Philosopher and editor and chief of the Humanist Journal Free Inquiry Paul Kurtz posited the following question concerning the ontological status of moral values, "The central question about moral and ethical principles concerns this ontological foundation. If they are neither derived from God nor anchored in some transcendent ground, are they purely ephemeral?" ibid. He later provided an explanation of moral ontology as “rooted in habit and custom, feeling and fashion.” ibid. Recognizing the logical entailments of Dr. Kurtz’s claim, Dr. William Lane Craig commented, “then the non-conformist who chooses to flout the herd morality is doing nothing more serious than acting unfashionably.” ibid.

 

According to philosopher and atheist Kai Nielsen, professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Calgary, the choice between “adopting a moral point of view versus living a life of pure selfishness in total disregard for morality and virtue is an arbitrary, non rational choice.”  J.P. Moreland and Kai Nielsen, Does God Exist Dr. Nielsen extends the inquiry to the degree which such choices cohere rationally and operating within the atheistic worldview he responds to the question in the negative. In Why Should I Be Moral? appearing in the American Philosophical Quarterly, Dr. Nielsen provides a more sobering view of the reasons or the conspicuous lack thereof attendant to adopting a moral point of view from the perspective of the atheistic worldview, quote ““We have not been able to show that reason requires the moral point of view, or that all really rational persons should not be individual egoists or classical amoralists. Reason doesn't decide here. The picture I have painted for you is not a pleasant one. Reflection on it depresses me . . . . Pure practical reason, even with a good knowledge of the facts, will not take you to morality.”

 

In summation, my purpose here has been to induce a much-needed critical thought. I support wholeheartedly the blood drive and encourage you to continue with such activities in the future. I applaud your organization and its participants for this much needed public display of affection for one’s fellow mankind. It is not my intention to disparage anyone, for that would be sinful. I have not been dishonest as some may claim. If you so choose to silence me that is certainly your prerogative, however please take the following sentiments in consideration. I am a Christian and I disagree wholeheartedly with the atheist, in point of fact the worldview that I espouse is diametrically opposed to the beliefs that you hold. Yet to quote Voltaire, “I disagree with what you say, but I'll fight to the death for your right to say it.” I would never support any effort to silence your organization. In my estimation you have the absolute right to lawfully express that which you wish even to the point of making my blood boil. The world in general and our nation in particular needs more and not less speech. I commend you sir to your considerations. God Bless….

 

SDG

 

Agustine

 

Crede ut intelligas et fides ut intelligas.............


deludedgod
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To Mr. deludedgod. I

To Mr. deludedgod. I understand how my comments may have made you feel and for that I do so apologize. Again that was not my intention sir. My intention was to provoke analytic thought regarding a subject of paramount concern. With respect to your comment concerning dishonesty sir, I have not nor have I ever been dishonest in our dialogues. I find such a claim entirely spurious. Although you claim to have refuted my argument, I have not been made sufficiently aware of such a refutation, especially in light of your own comments whereby you indicate that you do not even understand the substance of my argument.

I understand your argument perfectly, I just do not see how you have justified inherent value as a requisite for morality. I will thus return the onus to you, and await your suggestion as to why it is.

Deferring to our previous dialogue, the initial thesis of your argument primarily consists of a negative critique wherein you decried any moral ontology grounded in theism, describing it with the pejorative “fear-based.”

No I didn't. I said that anyone foolish enough to operate under the delusion that judgement after death is a requisite for morality (there are such people) are implying they are only moral out of fear, in which case they are not actually moral.

Operating within the sphere of Christian theism however, I countered with a series of quotations derived from the Christian source documents that indicate the contrary, for example “He then proceeded to explain to the disciples that the very the foundation of obedience rests not upon fear but upon love, to wit: “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15; Jesus then said shortly thereafter “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves Me will be loved by my Father, and I will love Him and manifest myself to him.” John 14:21” You responded with “I have no idea what you are talking about because you are not even making an argument.” The fact that you did not understand my argument coupled with the clear absence of a discernable telos on your part – I suspect resulting from your non-comprehension of my argument - makes the prospect of a successful refutation quite remote. To increase my vulnerability though, I cannot deny my culpability and so begrudgingly, I must accept evident blame for the lack of clarity on my part, and accordingly I apologize sir. I am not very bright and as such I would implore your patience.

But the only thing that tells me is that people who state that judgement after death is a requisite for morality are not actually following Christian theology. But the fact remains there are plenty of people who state such. If you are not one of them, I suggest we drop the matter.

Proceeding to the substance of our dialogue, the gravamen of your complaint is existential yet the very problem inherent to your worldview is logical. Take for instance your claim that I have thus far been dishonest. Sir, in raising the charge you invoke a moral law. For if you intended the word “dishonesty” to connote something good it would be entirely appropriate for me to consider it a complement. However, we all know what “dishonesty” means. Words are not infinitely malleable. Yet, in order for your charge to carry with it the force of moral opprobrium, it cannot reasonably be construed as lacking objective import. Otherwise, with all due respect sir, you have said nothing. As the philosopher and theologian G.K. Chesterton once quipped, “For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind.” Orthodoxy If it lacks objective import sir, then the substance of your claim is reduced to mere folly, wholly the product of personal preference. This is the principle reason why the atheist blood drive has peaked my curiosity. I think that what your organization proposes is a pristine example of goodness. Moreover, I think that the blood drive itself exemplifies what one ought - might I use the word “ought” - to expect from a good and descent society. I applaud your efforts!

I didn't say you were being dishonest. I said your curiosity as to why we atheists should uphold such an act of charity was both odd and tiresome. I feel we have already explained why the atheist puts value on life. This is what I meant when I said that this had already been discussed.

Yet, most decidedly, my claims carry with them the weight of objective import and accordingly it is not unreasonable to conclude that they would arouse the moral imagination of those within earshot. Taking into account the foregoing then, what I find to be abundantly clear is the problem resulting from the fact that the values the atheist wants to espouse cannot be rationally defended within their worldview; thus the proverbial free lunch etiology of atheistic ethics. This sentiment was expressed by the ethicist Richard Taylor quite well, quote “The modern age, more or less repudiating the idea of a divine lawgiver, has nevertheless tried to retain the ideas of moral right and wrong, not noticing that, in casting God aside, they have also abolished the conditions of meaningfulness for moral right and wrong as well. Thus, even educated persons sometimes declare that such things as war, or abortion, or the violation of certain human rights, are morally wrong, and they imagine that they have said something true and significant. Educated people do not need to be told, however, that questions such as these have never been answered outside of religion. He concludes, Contemporary writers in ethics, who blithely discourse upon moral right and wrong and moral obligation without any reference to religion, are really just weaving intellectual webs from thin air; which amounts to saying that they discourse without meaning.” cited from The Indispensability of Theological Meta-Ethical Foundations for Morality, by Dr, William Lane Craig

I never liked Craig's writing. Here he is stating that a "divine lawmaker" aka God is inherently necessary to judge what is right or wrong. There is no evidence which would support the notion that the religious, who believe a divine lawmaker gives them such decrees as right/wrong, are any more moral than the atheist. What I could discern from Craig's writing is that he is under the delusion that society steals from religious morality. I do believe that todangst and I have already turned that around, for it is hardly the case! Rather, religion is forced to steal from secular morality.

Conversely, theist in general and Christian Theists in particular are sufficiently enabled from within their worldview to rationally justify such claims.

Really? Well, history would tell us that the theist has never placed much more value on life than the atheist. Obviously then such a claim is meaningless.

Now, the distinction I draw among the competing worldviews should be at least existentially apparent: the theist is duty bound not only to affirm such activities as the blood drive and the underlying intentions that motivate them, but is compelled to act in a like manner.

I notice distinctly that your reference is solely Abrahamic. Furthermore, using words like "ought" and "should" far rather short of reality. There is no data to suggest that men of God are more charitable than men without. I do not think then, that such distinctions have any basis in reality. I belive I covered this on a sociological level before:

Whole civilizations, for centuries, mostly due to their geography, have been wholly cut off from the nucleus of Abrahamic Faith. Did these nations descend into barbarity because they did not hold beliefs about a ruthless, judging God? On the contrary, secular societies, with the exception of the vile, dogmatic, banal communists, have been extremely successful, peaceful and prosperous. I have had the good fortune to live in Norway and Japan, two of the worlds most irreligious societies.The religite who might expect that societies ran by men of God would be paradise would be swiftly brought down by reality. It is the societies that throw off the yolk of religion who prosper the most.

Much to the contrary the atheist cannot logically affirm one position over above another. For example, within the atheistic worldview there is no objective moral difference between giving blood and/or spilling blood.

So, you deny that you are repeating previously refuted points, then continue to do so. I think if you search through the forum you will find my answer to that. I will post it below.

Your assertion would set up a false dichotomy, namely implying that theist have objective morality. This assertion is shattered by a history lesson.

I had actually covered this point ad nauseam before. Even Christians have no objective morality. Certianly not according to history. Christianity has been used to justify slavery, but also abolish slavery. It was used to justify charity and inquisition. It was used to justify feeding the poor and stealing a very large amount of money from them. It is just as elastic as any moral system.

I pointed this out twice in the other forum:

Note that in one of your last post (I am pleased to see that you have inserted paragraphs), you said atheists "relitivize the truth". I imagine the subjective morality comment, you think boosted such a position. Sir, every atheist I have ever met hates moral relitivism. The examples from sociology I gave would indicate that I, like my cohort, am a progressivist. Thus, the subjective morality means that when I evaluate something as moral/immoral, I do so from the perspective of someone born in late 20th century Western society and raised on a certian set of values. It does not mean I embrace the contemptable moral relativism. This is what I mean by subjective morality. You are also subjectively moral, regardless of how you construe it. Much of the values you have are very much an accident of place and date of birth.

Now, if you recall, I already explained why atheists also feel duty-bound to help their fellow man:

Each one of us is here by trillion to one odds. The number of genetic permutations that could have been instead of us...outnumbers the atoms in the universe. The fact that we will one day die makes us the lucky ones.

The fact that life comes only once is what should make it taste so sweet. We must make the most of the time we have here on this Earth. Every second is precious. We should wake up and think "what is the most constructive thing to better myself and humanity that I could do today"?

As an Atheist I understand that this is my only life, and so I do everything I can to to better it. What kind of lack of appreciation would I show for the infinitesimal probabilities by which we have our lives if I did not?

Imagine a spark illuminating a dark vastness for but a split-second. This is our conciousness. It is the ultimate product of evolution: A being capable of thinking and analyzing. It is the most beautiful thing in the universe. However, it's time is very, very short. So, while it is still lit, this spark has a duty to mankind.

“The position of the modern evolutionist...is that humans have an awareness of morality...because such an awareness is of biological worth. Morality is a biological adaptation, no less than are hands and feet and teeth.... Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, [ethics] is illusory. I appreciate that when somebody says, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself,’ they think they are referring above and beyond themselves…. Nevertheless…such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction and…any deeper meaning is illusory.” Evolutionary Theory and Christian Ethics, in The Darwinian Paradigm

I think this was refuted about 100 years before he was born by Huxley. In the other forum, you stated that you were not invoking social darwinism, and now you are invoking...social Darwinism!

Social Darwinism fallacy is ridiculous. The only reason that there is a fundamental driving force to evolve is out of necessity. In nature, evolution is necessary for survival. But humans, because they build societies and protect themselves from nature, have ground evolution to a halt. I see no reason why humans should "need" to evolve, unless theists can give me a good reason.

Our origins tell us the ruthless method by which nature created us. Does that mean we have to do the same?

Morality is a product of society and neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is a necessary product of evolution. Society is a by-product of evolution in much the same way as art and religion and music. Nearly all advanced life organizes into societal groups for survival and altruistic purposes (altriusm is not an argument for God, it is displayed throughout nature). Humans, of course, are special in this respect because they can create culture, because they have higher cognition. Thus I return to my earlier point.
1) Morality has no direct relation to evolution. It is a by-product of a necessary product of evolution.
2) History has taught us over and over that morality will and must evolve
3) Social Darwinism fallacy fails to acknowledge point one.

Furthermore, I would point out the obvious, that the social Darwinism fallacy is a naive argumentum ad consequentium, except in reverse. X is undesirable therefore X is untrue. I do admit that it would feel quite nice to think that God created us for some special purpose or that we are somehow different to any other animal. But the fact of the matter is, it simply isn't true.

The point here should be most obvious, yet I find that the explanation proffered by Dr. Ruse contains a certain glaring defect. Allow me to illustrate my point. If the sole function of morality is to aid in the survival and reproduction of the human animal, simply put, why should I prefer survival over non-survival insofar as any reasonable construction of the proposition yields a most unnerving presumption: there is intrinsic value in the continued propagation of the species.

This continuation of social darwinism would obviously fail to appreciate the fact that humans are special in the fact that their higher cognition allows them to bend and break their evolutionary instinct to their will. By chance, have you read The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker?

I describe it as unnerving because Dr. Ruse simply assumes this point without any argument. Moreover, this point is central to his thesis. Remove the point and his argument self-destructs. Quite curiously, I think the entailments resulting from his thesis raise a very important question, to wit: from where and more specifically how did this value originate?

I would double back a bit and say that there is an evolutionary advantage to altruism. Dawkins and Wilson have shown that beyond doubt.

Is it possible that at some point in the evolutionary process whereby matter was rearranged into more increasingly complex forms could it be that a singularly monumental event occurred, mirabilis dictu, value and/or “worth” to use Mr. Ruses’ description emerged. At some point in this painfully protracted process something became valuable, the classical evolution of the gaps scenario. How then does survival take on the character of “preciousness” to use your descriptive?

I would venture to guess (but only to guess) that the progressive upward drive of evolution will eventually produce a being with higher cognition. However, it is quite clear that nearly all of what we call moral law is societal. On the Rift Valley savannah, our spear-sharpening ancestors would have cared not for welfare and charity. It was kill or be killed. And kill they did! All 22 Homidaea that were the human precessecors. The evolution of moral law is blindingly obvious and rooted deep in the social nature of man. After that, it departs from evolution (hence the Social Darwinism fallacy collapses) and becomes morphed by sociology.

Now, I agree with your characterization yet I am confounded by your use of the descriptive. When I consider the entailments of Dr. Ruses’ so eloquently stated claim for our society, for our relationships….. Can you imagine a meaningful family dialogue taking into account the entailments of such a worldview? “Hi honey, I’ve learned today that even though I say I love you such comments are without foundation. The only meaning our twenty-year marriage has is that it is useful in the propagation of our species.”

You continue the social darwinism fallacy? Such hypocrisy!

I would venture to guess by your fondness of Social Darwinism that you have never read The Descent of Man.

Moving now to the consideration concerning whether there can be a moral law without God. There is, surprisingly, significant agreement amongst thinking theists and atheists on this point, that of rational grounding and objectification of these peculiar meta-ethical postulates we call moral values.

At last you get something right.

Take for instance the philosopher and probably the most prolific atheistic writer of the twentieth century, Mr. John Leslie Mackie, now deceased. In his book the Miracle of Theism, Mr. Mackie employs a peculiar argument in support of his atheistic views. He argues that it is chiefly because of the fact that objective moral values do not exist that God does not exist. Quote: “Moral properties constitute so odd a cluster of qualities and relations that they are most unlikely to have arisen without an all powerful God to create them.” Mackie deliberately grounds moral values in God and in so doing he ties the very existence of God to the question regarding whether moral values exist.

I did ponder this argument for a while, and came to the conclusion that it was sound. In 250,00 years of being, humans have never been objectively moral. There is no evidence to suggest that we are. We are very flexible creatures in terms of our neurophyscology. It is this flexibility, the flux of memes and the rise and fall of cultures, the transmission of cultural information, that guarantees the success of humans. The fact that we are not objectively moral is good. It is what has allowed us to spread to become the most powerful species the world has ever witnessed. The rapid changes in moral codes that can be instigated so swiftly is surely a prized advantage.

negative response to the existence of objective moral values inexorably requires a negative response to the God inquiry. Mackie understood the logical implications. Humanist Philosopher and editor and chief of the Humanist Journal Free Inquiry Paul Kurtz posited the following question concerning the ontological status of moral values, "The central question about moral and ethical principles concerns this ontological foundation. If they are neither derived from God nor anchored in some transcendent ground, are they purely ephemeral?" ibid.

They can be. Some codes can last for centuries, others for mere years or decades. But it is always overhauling. It would surely serve as a terrible case study to look at the nations under the iron grip of Islam. For they have had no moral progress in 1400 years. Perhaps, when you have time, you can search the human rights records of these countries. You should surely be thankful that the morality of men can and does change. Sometimes gradually, sometimes not.

He later provided an explanation of moral ontology as “rooted in habit and custom, feeling and fashion.” ibid. Recognizing the logical entailments of Dr. Kurtz’s claim, Dr. William Lane Craig commented, “then the non-conformist who chooses to flout the herd morality is doing nothing more serious than acting unfashionably.” ibid.

Craig fails to appreciate the complexity of the meme web and the thousands of sub-cultures and moral codes that can exist under the umbrella of one single "culture".

According to philosopher and atheist Kai Nielsen, professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Calgary, the choice between “adopting a moral point of view versus living a life of pure selfishness in total disregard for morality and virtue is an arbitrary, non rational choice.”

And where did the atheist claim that men were inherently rational? This, I think is where you fail. The atheist dislikes religion not because of it's irrational nature, after all, men are hardly rational creatures, but rather the dogmatic nature of codified faith.

 

.P. Moreland and Kai Nielsen, Does God Exist Dr. Nielsen extends the inquiry to the degree which such choices cohere rationally and operating within the atheistic worldview he responds to the question in the negative. In Why Should I Be Moral? appearing in the American Philosophical Quarterly, Dr. Nielsen provides a more sobering view of the reasons or the conspicuous lack thereof attendant to adopting a moral point of view from the perspective of the atheistic worldview, quote ““We have not been able to show that reason requires the moral point of view, or that all really rational persons should not be individual egoists or classical amoralists. Reason doesn't decide here. The picture I have painted for you is not a pleasant one. Reflection on it depresses me . . . . Pure practical reason, even with a good knowledge of the facts, will not take you to morality.”

See? This merely iterates my point. Morality is not rational. The atheist is not a completely rational being. There is no such thing as a completely rational being short of one with a mental illness (a physcopath). Morality is not grounded in rationality. But the atheist did not claim that it was, nor should it be. Clearly, it is not just societal. Only now, with neuroscience, can we realize that there really are no requisites for baser morality. It is rooted deep in the brain. 

http://www.slate.com/id/2162998/fr/flyout 

P: Your posts are far too long. The fact that I am responding in full is a remarkable time-consuming service because many on the board will most certainly not.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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iluvc2h5oh
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To answer Agustine's question

To answer you question why would athiests have a blood drive.

 

2 answers.

 

The First is doing something that you think will help someone makes you feel good.  People like doing things that make them feel good. 

Even if you hold the view athiests have no regard for human life you have to accept they would still do something to makethemselves feel good even if it is illogical.

 

The Second one, the mission statement of AtheistVolunteers states as it goal to change the perception held by people that athiests are not "good" people.  So by doing things viewed by our society as "good" or "beneficial" get some good publicity and that could lead to a greater acceptance of atheist.

"When the missionaries arrived, the Africans had the Land and the Missionaries had the Bible, They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the Land and we had the Bible." - Jomo Kenyatta


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I can't donate blood myself

I can't donate blood myself because of a chronic medical condition that actually has me on the receiving end of blood donations.  I've received well over a dozen units of blood since this condition began almost four years ago.  For that reason I want to personally thank all of you that have given blood or are planning to in May.  I also want to encourage those of you reading this to donate. 

Throughout extensive hospital stays I repeatedly hear how 'God saved me.'  Well, surprise, surprise... God did not save me and the Easter Bunny isn't bringing me Jelly Beans next Sunday either.  Science, however, has prolonged my life and helped to alleviate pain.  But all the qualified doctors in the world couldn't do a thing for me or countless others without blood donations.

Donating blood is so important... it isn't just a catchy slogan, it really does 'give life.' 


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I was wondering how an

I was wondering how an Atheist in Atlanta could go about donating blood on the 3rd without having to go through notably theistic organizations (ie St. Somebody hospitals and what not).  Are there plans to organize atheist blood drives in major cities or is there a particular blood-donation organization being used?

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deludedgod pointed some of

deludedgod pointed this out, but I would like to contribute my own view to the subject. I would like to emphasize that people do not need good reasons to do good things. Going back to group selection in the subject of evolutionary biology: The survival of a species sometimes requires that creatures within the species be helpful to each other, even if there is no direct reward to the creature who gives the help. Over time, if altruism is a trait that benefits the survivability of a species that lives in groups, then altruism generally becomes built into that creature.


It does not matter which religion you take part in; for the most part, humans are naturally altruistic. There are, however, social, religious, and other forces that we develop socially or naturally have that can suppress our altruistic nature which is why you will not see everyone helping others. One of the points of this blood drive is to point out that atheists are human too. Although most of us will say that we have good reasons for giving blood, many of us do it simply because we have an Evolution given desire to do good.

"Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. ..." -- Thomas Jefferson


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I will be giving blood this

I will be giving blood this saturday Smiling

As this forum has also become a discussion justifying the atheist blood drive, I feel compelled to share my reason for donating blood. To repeat the reasoning of others, I know that life is short -- therefore I believe that every moment is precious. By donating my blood (A renwable resource) I sacrifice nothing but a little of my time to give someone else a chance to keep living.

Also, to quote RRS's reasons for becoming a subscriber... "Consistent support makes you feel all gooey inside."


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My friend went to sell some

My friend went to sell some plasma and was denied because he was homeless. I am homeless and want to participate in the blood drive.

 

So, can homeless people donate blood? Is this only for atheists in the Philadelphia area?


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To Mr. deludedgod. Thank

To Mr. deludedgod. Thank sir for your most thoughtful response. As always I consider your opinion to be of great value. With respect to your comment “I understand your argument perfectly……” I am less convinced. The central premise of my argument, to put it most succinctly, is that the values the atheist wishes to espouse are indefensible from within the atheistic worldview. Period! Take for instance your comment “There is no evidence which would support the notion that the religious, who believe a divine lawmaker gives them such decrees as right/wrong, are any more moral than the atheist.” I have never made this argument. I have argued quite to the contrary, to wit: I would absolutely agree that such a proposition as “One cannot be moral unless they were a theist.” is inherently fallacious.” see Agustine, post 14, Original Sin Thread. Moreover, your comment “What I could discern from Craig's writing is that he is under the delusion that society steals from religious morality,” is entirely incorrect. Dr. Craig was quoting the ethicist Dr. Richard Taylor, which ought to have been plainly apparent insofar as I made that point explicit. Here Dr. Taylor’s point, echoed by Dr. Craig, is the meaninglessness of ethics absent a transcendent foundation. Judgment in this regard resides in the periphery. Again, the obdurate persistence, albeit, the demand for logical coherence remains the focal point of the discourse. I don’t see any good reasons to assign objective import to either denunciations and/or affirmations made by atheists. I don’t even know why you would raise the specter of judgment in that it is plainly irrelevant to the instant question. As we have progressed in our discussion what has become patently clear to me is that in every instance wherein I force you to the logic of your own presuppositions you embark upon this extravagant digression. I propose kind sir that we suspend any further inclination to digress in the future.

 

You then proceeded to make the following comment, “Really? Well, history would tell us that the theist has never placed much more value on life than the atheist. Obviously then such a claim is meaningless.” You criticism herein continues to linger upon the periphery. Was it not Agustine, not me, the real Agustine that in response to this sort of negative critique he admonished the critic according to the well-settled dictum: you should never judge a philosophy by its abuse? The appeal to history as the example you cite only demonstrates the degree to which the Christian worldview has been abused. Take for example the Inquisitions. What teaching of the Lord can one rationally draw upon in order to support such barbarity? Better yet, what specific teaching of the Lord supports any of the examples you cited. I submit to you sir, none. Historical precedent only serves to demonstrate the illogical outworking of the Christian worldview. Conversely, the internal cannons of atheism, or lack thereof do, in point of fact, lend their support logically to such barbarity. (A most necessary aside - Note! I said logically. Please do not confuse logical coherence with causality as did our friend todangst.) Why? Because there aren’t any absolutes, man is whatever you define him to be. Now, please, I am not suggesting that all atheists are barbarous. No! No! A thousand times No! That is not my point, nor am I suggesting that at all. My point is irrespective of whether the atheist chooses to adopt a moral point of view and ascribe value to man – much like the Secular Humanist attempting to qualify an indefensible position on borrowed capital - or a Stalinist point of view and excise value from man, in the final analysis, operating within your worldview, it simply doesn’t matter. The atheist cannot rationally defend one point of view over and above another. Within atheism man is whatever you define him to be. This has been the focal point of my argument from the beginning, logical coherence and rational grounding. The atheist lacks a rational grounding for moral absolutes; in fact it explicitly condemns in the absolute all notions that affirm the existence of moral absolutes.

 

I suspect more strongly that you are quite aware of this most glaring defect in your worldview. This is exceedingly evident from your gratuitous use of the purported Social Darwinist fallacy, if in fact such a fallacy exists insofar as the degree to which one may rationally taxonomize it into either of the pertinent categories is argumentative at best. Shifting the point of relevance to the entailments and thus purporting a scholarly debunking of them does not speak to the problem of coherence. For the purposes of our discussion however I’ll grant that such a fallacy is valid yet the substance of my argument militates against its applicability. I have distinguished the meta-ethical foundations within the atheistic worldview qualitatively, arguing that naturalism does not provide any good metaphysical grounds for the atheist to rationally defend the values they wish to espouse. Although the blood drive is laudable, considered within the broad context of the argument, the atheist that gives blood cannot logically condemn the atheist that spills blood. In the absence of absolutes all ethics are either subjective, pragmatic, utilitarian or emotive, and thus meaningless.

 

The net effect of jettisoning absolutes, existentially, is undeniable. Let us consider the logical outworking of the atheist worldview within the context of his intellectual commitment to Scientism and its constituent aspects as exhaustive theories regarding what can be and be known, otherwise known as “the naturalist epistemology”. The atheist’s intellectual commitment in this regard - speaking to the very questions you posed concerning values - clearly enough results in a most conspicuous separation between facts and values. The language employed by the atheist concerning quote “facts” describes the very character of things known through the faculties of sense impression as true or false, real or unreal, reasonable or irrational, and consequently science is deemed the sole repository of facts. Conversely, as it pertains to values, more specifically questions concerning right and wrong, virtue and vice, ugliness and beauty, purpose and dispurpose, the very species of questions described by the Philosopher Edmund Husserl as those that science excludes in principal and yet men find the most burning; these questions cannot be considered factual. Why? Because they are not susceptible to empirical methods of confirmation within the scientific context, and because science exhausts what is true and reasonable to believe and that applies to facts, values are left to being created by mere caveat acts of will. see Moreland, J.P., The Search for Meaning A culture that adopts such a worldview will place an inordinate emphasis on individual rights and liberties; its citizens will become increasingly narcissistic, and thus with the concomitant attenuation of values and their ability to inform our exchanges with one another, relationships will reduce insofar as they are moral to rights claims against one another. ibid. The prevailing ethic will most certainly be that one can do whatever he may wish as long as he doesn’t harm another. Sound familiar? Moreover, I think your statement “There is no data to suggest that men of God are more charitable than men without,” supports the essential features of my thesis. Allow me to inquire sir, what specific experiment may we perform in order to calculate in discreet and measurable increments the degree to which the charitable sentiment is present in the hearts of men? Interesting! How does one sort the data so as to distinguish between various charitable sentiments? For example, selfish sentiments motivating giving in order to exploit a charitable provision in the tax code, or selfishly giving in order to make one feel good, or acts of giving in order to aggrandize oneself in the presence of others, or giving anonymously for purely altruistic motives……

 

Now, let me be absolutely clear, I have not argued that atheism is untrue because of the unsavory entailments. I have argued that the atheist cannot rationally affirm any particular ethic over and above another, and that makes the vociferous denunciations of the atheist appear absurd. I have alluded to the entailments solely to illustrate the logical outworking of atheism, not to affirm or deny its veracity. Returning to the substance of your response, you commented, “I notice distinctly that your reference is solely Abrahamic. Furthermore, using words like "ought" and "should" far rather short of reality.” To point one – Yes, I am a Christian Theist. Point Two – it appears as though you do not affirm the existence of “duty” in that the words “ought” and “should” are of deontological import. Finally, a point of coherence; in order to live out your worldview consistently there aren’t any good reasons for you to affirm notions of duty. Well done sir! Accordingly, the next time someone runs a red light and almost hits your car don’t get angry, for no such duty attaches to drive according to the rules of the road within your worldview and therefore no injustice has occurred. Or, if a bank teller makes a mistake concerning a deposit of yours do not get angry, no such duty exists to truthfully record deposits, no injustice done. If a scientist deliberately conceals the negative results of some experimental medicine and you and/or others become sickened by it do not demand justice by suing, no such duty to truthfully report scientific findings attaches to the scientist within your worldview. Again, in emphasizing the entailments I am merely illustrating the logical outworking of atheism and simply requesting that its adherents live out their worldview consistently, to the best of their ability, as should those who call themselves Christians.

Now, this particular comment that you made I find to be utterly confounding to the intellect, quote “Each one of us is here by trillion to one odds. The number of genetic permutations that could have been instead of us...outnumbers the atoms in the universe. The fact that we will one day die makes us the lucky ones. The fact that life comes only once is what should make it taste so sweet. We must make the most of the time we have here on this Earth. Every second is precious. We should wake up and think "what is the most constructive thing to better myself and humanity that I could do today"?” What immediately arrested my attention is the fact that your argument emphasizing quote “trillion to one odds,” however unintentional, appears to tacitly affirm design and not accident. see Mathematician William Dembski’s The Design Inference, Eliminating Chance Through Small Probabilities Unintentional consequences aside however, are you seriously suggesting that life is inherently valuable, in speaking of the “sweetness” – well said by the way – which I take to be a metaphorical reference for “value,” is the net result of an accident, the rough equivalent of a cosmic anomaly and its attendant finitude. Sir, may I inquire, even if I grant the rarity of our etiology or essentially “luck” with which you hold to so dearly, why on that basis should I ascribe any value to life operating within the atheistic worldview. An accident does not appear to be a good reason to ascribe any value to something. “Making the most,” why? Platitudes aside sir, what compelling reason do you have to make the most of anything? Why? A thousand time why? Please give me one good reason. I do not understand your concern for humanity sir when I consider the fact that looking through the lens of your worldview all either you or I am is essentially nothing. We came from nowhere, we exist but for a moment, and return immediately to nowhere. Consider the sentiment expressed by the most notable atheist Bertram Russell, "That man is the product of causes that had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins- all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand.” Value sir within the atheistic worldview, preposterous! I cannot make sense of the world intellectually through the lens of the atheistic worldview. To echo the Oxford Philosopher Ravi Zacharias, “it is plainly unlivable”. Personally sir, I couldn’t fool myself into imputing value to anything as a result of the most improbable origins and a finite existence. Improbability and finitude for me do not provide adequate grounds sufficient to satisfy the demands of logical coherence and rational grounding.

Another interesting comment you made was the following, “Now, if you recall, I already explained why atheists also feel duty-bound to help their fellow man:” Are you now suggesting that notions of duty within atheism are the result of feeling. I suspect any number of comments are appropriate here. What immediately comes to mind though, if in fact feeling provides the locus of duty is the following question: in some cultures they love their neighbor, in others they eat them, all on the basis of feeling, sir do you have a personal preference? see Ravi Zacharias, id. However, it appears as though within the course of your commentary you revert yet again to the theory of improbability and finitude as the foundation of ethics. I am completely at a loss sir….

God Bless

Agustine

Crede ut intelligas et fides ut intelligas.............


agustine
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To iluvc2h5oh. With respect

To iluvc2h5oh. With respect to your comment "Even if you hold the view athiests have no regard for human life you have to accept they would still do something to makethemselves feel good even if it is illogical." The introductory portion of your comment did not accurately reflect the substance my argument however sir you have nailed it, exactly! Well done! In the absence of absolutes your appeal here is to emotivism. Essentially, you are doing it because it makes you feel good. Well said sir! You have also recognized the irrationality of attempting to defend a position predicated entirely on emotivism. Again, well done sir! I wholeheartedly agree.....

Agustine

Crede ut intelligas et fides ut intelligas.............


deludedgod
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You cannot possibly expect

You cannot possibly expect me to reply to the whole post right now, as I must leave soon. I requested explicitly that they be less long. This is a debate not an essay exchange. I will respond to the important parts now.

 The values the atheist wishes to espouse are indefensible from within the atheistic worldview. Period! Take for instance your comment “There is no evidence which would support the notion that the religious, who believe a divine lawmaker gives them such decrees as right/wrong, are any more moral than the atheist.” I have never made this argument. I have argued quite to the contrary, to wit: I would absolutely agree that such a proposition as “One cannot be moral unless they were a theist.” is inherently fallacious.” see Agustine, post 14, Original Sin Thread. Moreover, your comment “What I could discern from Craig's writing is that he is under the delusion that society steals from religious morality,” is entirely incorrect. Dr. Craig was quoting the ethicist Dr. Richard Taylor, which ought to have been plainly apparent insofar as I made that point explicit. Here Dr. Taylor’s point, echoed by Dr. Craig, is the meaninglessness of ethics absent a transcendent foundation.

This last part is what I have tirelessly argued against. Men are not children. They need no transcendent being to tell them of right and wrong. Here is my take on morality. It is partially evolutionary as being of some selective advantage (altruism and foundational neurological ethics), to some extent, it is societal hence built upon various cultural foundations, which is why it changes (hence the subjectivity comment). Societal morality arises from necessity, and as society becomes more advanced, it's inherent drive is progressive and towards increased ethical humanity. This is easily observed. In fact, it has always been, from the Ancient Greeks to the Founding Fathers, that men of reason have always been best at ascribing humane law and moral foundations.

  What immediately arrested my attention is the fact that your argument emphasizing quote “trillion to one odds,” however unintentional, appears to tacitly affirm design and not accident. see Mathematician William Dembski’s The Design Inference, Eliminating Chance Through Small Probabilities Unintentional consequences aside however, are you seriously suggesting that life is inherently valuable, in speaking of the “sweetness” – well said by the way – which I take to be a metaphorical reference for “value,” is the net result of an accident, the rough equivalent of a cosmic anomaly and its attendant finitude. Sir, may I inquire, even if I grant the rarity of our etiology or essentially “luck” with which you hold to so dearly, why on that basis should I ascribe any value to life operating within the atheistic worldview. An accident does not appear to be a good reason to ascribe any value to something. “Making the most,” why? Platitudes aside sir, what compelling reason do you have to make the most of anything? Why? A thousand time why? Please give me one good reason

Life is not an accident. By trillion to one odds, I was referring to the possible genetic permutations (aka other people) that could be here instead of me. I have read Dembski's work. I am a biologist, so I am familiar with all that Design nonsense. Insofar as everything he says is based on Behe's long-since debunked Irreducible Complexity, I do not take him seriously.

Insofar as you would operate under the delusion that "inherent value" would be a requsite for ascribing value to something is false. There is nothing wrong with the notion that men can create value and meaning for themselves. Everything you say would thus strike me as an Argument From Nature Fallacy. The facts of the matter are that the universe has conspired to create life. We happen to sit at the top of this totem pole, having higher cognition and conciousness. This is the most beautiful gift that could be bestowed. Thus my mantra as to why I am moral and lead a good life. We only have one, it is rather short, and it should be lived to the full.

Now, let me be absolutely clear, I have not argued that atheism is untrue because of the unsavory entailments. I have argued that the atheist cannot rationally affirm any particular ethic over and above another, and that makes the vociferous denunciations of the atheist appear absurd.

As I said, we are not relativists but progressivists. And I think I already explained that we would be born into a culture which champions a certain set of ethics. Christians too, have no absolutist  doctrine. They too, merely project their underlying character onto the beliefs on which they were raised. This is why we have some nice peaceful sets, and some violent physcotic ones. 

Are you now suggesting that notions of duty within atheism are the result of feeling. I suspect any number of comments are appropriate here. What immediately comes to mind though, if in fact feeling provides the locus of duty is the following question: in some cultures they love their neighbor, in others they eat them, all on the basis of feeling, sir do you have a personal preference?

As it turns out, the most humane cultures, like I said, have been those whose foundations were based on reason. I would expect the response to be pointing in the direction of the communist regimes, to which I reiterate that these were hardly men of reason, they were physcotic and dogmatic, with ruthless Orwellian/religious overtones. 

Making the most,” why? Platitudes aside sir, what compelling reason do you have to make the most of anything? Why? A thousand time why? Please give me one good reason. I do not understand your concern for humanity sir when I consider the fact that looking through the lens of your worldview all either you or I am is essentially nothing. We came from nowhere, we exist but for a moment, and return immediately to nowhere.

We should make the most for many reasons. One, if we wish for intelligent life to continue indefinitely, which I hope it will, we should leave our contribution to humanity. Two, like I said: The facts are that we exist, and we are very lucky to exist. Now, are we going to wallow in nihilism? Or perhaps will we strive to make the most of this existence. And three, it is instinctive that we continue. It is in our genes. It's what we do. To some degree, we should need no reason. 

That man is the product of causes that had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins- all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand.

I too, used to be depressed by this notion. Personally, the fact that I shall one day die matters little to me. But such is the nature of advanced life it would surely be a shame if it went extinct. Some study into cosmology pointed me in the direction of the Final Anthropic Principle. I'm not sure of the theoretical physics community take on this. At any rate, yes, the Universe will one day die. But I would imagine that so far in the future is this event that we shall have long since left this universe for another. 

Value sir within the atheistic worldview, preposterous! I cannot make sense of the world intellectually through the lens of the atheistic worldview.

Well, that is your problem. Have I not pointed out the logical fallacy of setting up this false dichotomy between value and inherent value? 

. Personally sir, I couldn’t fool myself into imputing value to anything as a result of the most improbable origins and a finite existence. Improbability and finitude for me do not provide adequate grounds sufficient to satisfy the demands of logical coherence and rational grounding.

What then, is your implication. That we need to create Gods to give us meaning and objective value? Insofar as I can see, Gods continue to be adhered to for perhaps this precise purpose. What is the point of this argument? The atheist drinks the facts cold, and makes sense of his own life without inputting fairy tales into the equation. At the end, he still manages to turn out a good guy. Have I not point out before that baser morality is not inherently rational, but rather neurological? 

Again, I urge you to write shorter posts. 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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To Mr. XC. With respect

To Mr. XC. With respect to your comment "The survival of a species sometimes requires that creatures within the species be helpful to each other, even if there is no direct reward to the creature who gives the help. Over time, if altruism is a trait that benefits the survivability of a species that lives in groups, then altruism generally becomes built into that creature." The planted axiom, more so a tacit presumption resulting therefrom is that within the atheistic worldview survival is preferred over and above non-survival. Why, operating within the atheistic worldview, should one perfer survival over non-survival? That is, considering the entailments of assigning one's preference to survival implies a certain value that attaches to it. If in fact the human species is the result of a cosmic accident, comming from nothing and going nowhere, how then does one deduce the existence of value and thus rationally impute it to that which you prefer? The only explanation that has been proferred thus far is the theory of improbability and finitude, or in other words the improbitude theory. I finds this theory devoid of any meaningful foundation for the ascription of value to anything. I do so wish you well sir!

God Bless

Agustine

Crede ut intelligas et fides ut intelligas.............


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To Susan. I appreciate your

To Susan. I appreciate your comments however I do not find any adequate reasons from within the improbitude theory for the atheist to rationally defend the values he so desperately wants to espouse. Again, my intention here is not to refute but to induce critical thought.

Thank you and God Bless

Agustine  

Crede ut intelligas et fides ut intelligas.............


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To my friend deludedgod

To my friend deludedgod . I thank you for your time and patience. A few comments: I don't think Behe has been refuted, especially in light of the Russell Doolittle blood clotting cascade debacle. Your comment is argumentative at best. By the way Dembski preceded Behe and it now appears as the design argument is gaining momentum at a rapid pace. Thanks of course to the scientific community. With respect to your comment "They need no transcendent being to tell them of right and wrong." Why the digression sir? I was under the impression that we would suspend such non-linear argumentation. With respect to your comments "Here is my take on morality. It is partially evolutionary as being of some selective advantage (altruism and foundational neurological ethics), to some extent..." I'm not so sure what you mean here. The term "Selection" employed in its normal and ordinary sense implies intentionality, or within the paradigm of Philosophic thought "of-ness" or "about-ness". Are you suggesting that whatever was the locus of our purported evolution made choices? The imprecise use of language may in fact lead to someone drawing an inference that you have not intended. Surely the word "selection" is a proverbial slip. I'll grant that and move on. With respect to your comment "it is societal hence built upon various cultural foundations, which is why it changes (hence the subjectivity comment)." I think you are making a mistake in ethical theory here. It appears as though you are blurring the distinction between general principles and particular facts. General principles are known a priori by the faculties of pure cognition and so constitute the absolutes to which I refer. These general principles are cross-cultural and appear to be absolute. For example, murder, rape and theft are absolutely evil. Mercy and kindness are virtues. Yet, the facts that so constitute murder, rape and theft, known to us a posteriori, differ culturally. Ethicists have been quick to point this out. 

With respect to your comment "Societal morality arises from necessity, and as society becomes more advanced, it's inherent drive is progressive and towards increased ethical humanity." Your comment is replete with the value laden presumption. I really do not have any hope of an answer outside of the improbitude theory you offered. The remainder of the comment follows with "In fact, it has always been, from the Ancient Greeks to the Founding Fathers..." I don't know if you really want to go this route. The Greeks spoke of value and virtue quite extensively, and proffered a rational grounding in a transcendent foundation. The Founding Fathers, sir I do not know what would have prompted you to make this comment. "We hold these truths to be SELF EVIDENT, that all men are CREATED equal, and endowed by their CREATOR with certain UNALIENABLE rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness..." The meaning of the phrase "pursuit of happiness" considered within the eighteenth century context is of course eudaimonia or the pursuit of virtue, essentially "a state of ideal human flourishing and proper human functioning constituted by a life of character and virtue lived the way human beings were meant to live." J.P. Moreland, The Ethical Inadequacy of Naturalism Nevertheless, the Founding Fathers knew all too well of the need to ground the general principles they articulated so well in a transcendent foundation, to wit: Creator, and that beacuse government was not the source of their rights, the prevailing ethic being "what government has not giveth, government shant not taketh away..." is in point of actual fact entirely rational. In this discourse sir, I wouldn't even approach the Greeks and/or Founding Fathers as support for your position. 

Your comment concerning the applicability of the "Argument From Nature Fallacy" I think is wanting. Again, I've distinguished the meta-ethical foundations of naturalism qualitatively........ With respect to your comment "As it turns out, the most humane cultures, like I said, have been those whose foundations were based on reason." Right, as if history bears this out....... How we have become so weakened by our reliance on "Reason" alone to inform us. I think Malcolm Muggeridge described the entailments of relying upon reason to the extent with which you advocate, quote "It is difficult to resist the conclusion that twentieth-century man has decided to abolish himself. Tired of the struggle to be himself, he has created boredom out of his own affluence, impotence out of his own erotomania, and vulnerability out of his own strength. He himself blows the trumpet that brings the walls of his own cities crashing down until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, having drugged and polluted himself into stupefaction, he keels over a weary, battered old brontosaurus and becomes extinct.” The ever impending demise of the confidently rational.....

For now my friend, good night and May God Bless you....

Agustine  

 

Crede ut intelligas et fides ut intelligas.............


Mr. XC
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agustine wrote:To Mr. XC.

agustine wrote:

To Mr. XC. With respect to your comment "The survival of a species sometimes requires that creatures within the species be helpful to each other, even if there is no direct reward to the creature who gives the help. Over time, if altruism is a trait that benefits the survivability of a species that lives in groups, then altruism generally becomes built into that creature." The planted axiom, more so a tacit presumption resulting therefrom is that within the atheistic worldview survival is preferred over and above non-survival. Why, operating within the atheistic worldview, should one perfer survival over non-survival?

Why is survival preferred over non-survival? Because the creatures who are better at survival are more likely to reproduce than the ones who do not survive as well.

To me, this is purely a mechanical process. It does not require any thought on behalf of the creature, although the creature in question, humans, do think. So sets of values are not required for this process, although you may see sets of values form from humans as a result of this process.

agustine wrote:

That is, considering the entailments of assigning one's preference to survival implies a certain value that attaches to it. If in fact the human species is the result of a cosmic accident, comming from nothing and going nowhere, how then does one deduce the existence of value and thus rationally impute it to that which you prefer?



Value is a concept that we create. We learn that things have value as children. Children do not rationalize why they prefer to live or why they prefer things that bring them joy and dislike things that bring them harm. So rationalization is an exercise that we all take part in in varying degrees, but I do not think we need to rationalize the natural world in order to find value. Humans have survived and have found things that make them happy prior to our knowledge of what is beyond the sky. With the knowledge of what brought us into existence, I do not see any reason to be any more depressed. If anything, I find the natural process that gives us all life to be inspiring.


agustine wrote:

The only explanation that has been proferred thus far is the theory of improbability and finitude, or in other words the improbitude theory. I finds this theory devoid of any meaningful foundation for the ascription of value to anything. I do so wish you well sir!

The way I see it, religions are created by humans to project their view of morality. If someone follows religious text, they are simply following another humans, or collection of humans for socially constructed compilations, set of morals. To me, it is better to rationalize our morals then to simply follow a fixed set of morals, especially when the fixed set of morals comes from questionable sources. Also, we do not always rationalize our morals as individuals. We can rationalize some of our morals in large groups by creating laws. To assume that we need a fixed set of morals is to underestimate our ability to improve our morals as we go along.

I appreciate your desire to understand the world from the viewpoint of an atheist, but atheism is very different from theism, and it sounds like you are very deep into theism. I used to be a Christian (hence my screen name XC). I did not get into all of the arguments for theism as you have when I was a Christian. I admire your dedication and your willingness to explore a different line of thought, however maybe it is time to play devils advocate and practice defending a naturalistic view by reading material that supports that view. Sometimes, people here can become fatigued from arguing the same points over and over. Thanks for keeping your reply to me short!

"Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. ..." -- Thomas Jefferson