Question for atheists

chuckg6261982
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Question for atheists

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

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


BobSpence
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Magus wrote:chuckg6261982

Magus wrote:

chuckg6261982 wrote:

After careful consideration, I've decided to reply to Bob Spence.  He is actually pretty knowledgeable in his field and a formidable debater.  What this means is that I will respond to Bob and only Bob.  Anybody else who decides that Bob can't defend himself and needs to reply on his behalf-- don't bother.  I'm not even going to read your post.

In other words you are unable to even try to refute other peoples claims, and if they point this out you are putting your fingers in you ears classic.

Damn - please feel free to continue commenting, I certainly value your contributions.

I will do my best to at least make clear my position.

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

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chuckg6261982 wrote:After

chuckg6261982 wrote:

After careful consideration, I've decided to reply to Bob Spence.  He is actually pretty knowledgeable in his field and a formidable debater.  What this means is that I will respond to Bob and only Bob.  Anybody else who decides that Bob can't defend himself and needs to reply on his behalf-- don't bother.  I'm not even going to read your post.

 

Isn't that what the ONE on ONE forum is for?

Wait. He's not even going to read this. DAMNIT!

Mr. Spence, could you please ask chuckg6261982, "Isn't that what the ONE on ONE forum is for?"

 

Thanks.


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Haven't they given the

Haven't they given the asshat avatar or a ban already for saying in the regular forums they were only going to respond to one person?

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BobSpence1 wrote:Damn -

A question for Atheists indeed!  A question for the one Atheist the OP thinks is worthy.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Damn - please feel free to continue commenting, I certainly value your contributions.

I will do my best to at least make clear my position.

It is wise to admit to such a thing?  The OP might decide that you are not worthy of his attention if you invite other people to continue posting.  And who then would the OP have a discussion with?  Clearly not the rest of us, who are neither 'actually pretty knowledgeable' nor 'formidable debater(s)'.

Of course, the OP seems to have this defence thing wrong.  I don't think, Bob, that you will be defending yourself at all, but rather your arguments should they be deficient. 

It should be interesting to see how a discussion can unfold once the OP has been given, by every poster, a reason why his proposed scenario is wrong and then one more by you.  Why, what will he refute and how will he respond considering he hasn't yet relented? 

Shall we watch another poster dig himself a hole the whole while screaming and covering his ears?  Perhaps, it will rather be an annoying display this time; this whole scenario has happened so many times before.

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I don't see much point in

I don't see much point in going any further into a 'debate' on this, or ultimately empty philosophical games about it.

My last post on the subject pretty much wrapped it up for me.

The OP has already conceded that in the practical sense, we have to be pragmatic about moral decosions. The rest is merely philosophy, and I long ago lost interest in that.

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

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chuckg6261982

chuckg6261982 wrote:

MattShizzle wrote:

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

So morality is based on what we would object to if it happened to us?

Yep, Chuck, Matt has provided a perfectly good answer to your question - a basis upon which one could say your actions were "wrong". That's what you asked for, right?

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chuckg6261982 wrote:So your

chuckg6261982 wrote:

So your basis for morality is the negative Golden Rule?  That's it?  And where does that rule come from? 

What do you mean where does it come from? It just is. It's tautology violation is violation. What else could it be?

And if you are alluding to the ingenious pointing out of the obvious which is attributed to the middle eastern holy man in a popular book, that is, at best, an historical record of someone saying something very rational, it's not the source of anything but a concise articulation to which one can refer.

chuckg6261982 wrote:

Did society try out the rule and decided that it worked? 

So what if it did? the means of formulating a basis doesn't bear that heavily on it's utility. This question eludes the point.

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chuckg6261982 wrote:IF

chuckg6261982 wrote:

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

I have no problem admitting that.

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

What difference could such a hypothetical make to the argument at hand?

I would, neither, have any problem admitting that if killing people didn't kill people it would be fine to kill people, but how can you not see how ludicrous it is to admit such a fatal contradiction to the logic of this discussion?

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chuckg6261982

chuckg6261982 wrote:

MattShizzle wrote:

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

Next problem with moral relativism/utilitarianism:

Let's say that you had a son and he was a menace to society.  Everybody hated this child and this child has caused so much trouble, everybody decided that it would maximize utility if your son was executed.  Your efforts at discipline failed, no child care agency or boot camp would take him in.... all efforts have failed including placing your son in prison because he was too much for them to handle.  And so it was determined that the utility of the entire society would be maximized if we put your son to death.

According to utilitarians, that would be a moral course of action.

No, it would not be, this is a straw man. The utilitarian basis of moral judgement, if you recall, was not to do to another what you wouldn't have them do to you.  If a society is going to execute the boy, unless they all feel comfortable to line up behind him at the gallows, this basis does not moralise it for them, it falls to someone to act immorally in order to carry out an execution.

 

 

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I wonder if chuck can

I wonder if chuck can recover from an Eloise smack-down. I'm thinking no.


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chuckg6261982 wrote:If I

chuckg6261982 wrote:

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

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

 

According to our social contract and basic human rights, you violated her rights and you commited a crime which is punishble by death in some societies, or life imprisonment. You also might want to consult your conscience, because if it's working properly you would be feeling very guilty which should tell you that you also think what you did was wrong.


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chuckg6261982 wrote:If I

chuckg6261982 wrote:

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

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

Theist morality is completely arbitrary. A theist would simply wish that it was moral to kidnap rape torture and kill and little girl, and then he would tell himself that it was moral to kidnap rape torture and kill and little girl, and then he would have religious faith that it was moral to kidnap rape torture and kill and little girl. Then he could kidnap rape torture and kill and little girl without any qualms of conscience at all because he was following the objective morality revealed by God.

God's objective morality is whatever the theist wishes it to be.

Theists arbitrarily  invent their God and then they arbitrarily invent their God's objective morality.

Their religious faith is how theists convince themselves that its alright to commit the horrible crimes that they regularly commit.

-------------

The rest of us secularists, who do not have arbitrary religious morality, depend on secular morality. We listen to our moral instincts and use our reason to extend out moral instincts to situations that our moral instincts do not directly cover, and we use social consensus when reason leads to different conclusions.

Whatever is not arbitrary about a theist's morality is due to the fact that most theists are really just following secular morality.

when you say "faith" I think "evil lies"
when you say "god" I think "santa clause"


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chuckg6261982 wrote:If I

chuckg6261982 wrote:

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

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

 

 

 

I'm atheist Chuck; I know these things are wrong. Are you trying to say people who don't worship a "god" or have a belief in the supernatural cannot act appropriately in society? We know what is right and wrong according to what we learn and see growing up. "God" or any sort of religious scripture have no implication what so ever. WE create laws and moral standards because human beings require stability for longevity and survival. It's beneficial for us to have them in a complex social structure like the one we have. If we didn't have laws, standards or morals, then we would have anarchy...and I think we can both agree that would not be a nice scenario.

 

Besides, maybe you should read a little bit of the OT...there are plenty of hungry homicidal maniacs there ordered to rape, enslave and murder, by "god" himself. What do you say about that Chuck?

 

 


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God's arbitrary dictates would not be objective morality

If there were a god dictating morality, and he decides that the following was the new morality:

* all men should start having homosexual sex, both oral and anal, and
* families should turn over their children for Catholic Priests to rape, and
* Christians should lick the feet of Jews because they are the chosen race, and
* its alright to have sex with various animals, and
* anyone who gets pregnant before they are 21 must get an abortion, and
* people should not get married, but just have unmarried sex, and
* anyone who worships the bible as inerrant should be stoned to death,

then would you happily welcome the new morality?

---------------------------

What if God says that you should rape little girls, would it be moral? He already did that.

What if God told you to kidnap and hold women as sex slaves, would it be moral? He already did that.

What if God told you to kill one of your children, would it be moral? He already did that.

What if God told you to murder people and steal from them, would it be moral? He already did that.

What if God told you to have a homosexual affair, would that be moral? There are Christians who claim that God did that.

What if God inspired you to have sex with your daughters, would that be moral? It happened to Lot and he was a righteous man.

What if God told you to stone to death your children if they did not obey you, or stone to death any women who were not virgins when they got married, or stone to death anyone who worked on Saturday, or stone to death any women who were raped if nobody heard them cry out, then would that be moral? He already did and you are disobeying him.

What if it was discovered that Jesus and the 12 apostles were members of a homo-erotic drug cult, like evangelical pastor Ted Haggard,and secret Mark is correct that the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven is anal suffocation orgasm - would you be imitating Christ?

--------------------------

How is a morality dictated by God objective in any way?

It would just be the arbitrary commands of an evil dictator.

when you say "faith" I think "evil lies"
when you say "god" I think "santa clause"


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the objective morality of Hitler

chuckg6261982 wrote:
I'm saying that if you want morality to be OBJECTIVE, then you can't just base it on consequences.

 

The alternative to using social instincts and reason is your arbitrary moral assertions of ignorant superstition. Ignorant superstition is not a source of morality. So called religious morality is not a morality at all because you can not base morality on lies.

 

chuckg6261982 wrote:
You can CONCEIVE of situations where, in fact, certain actions that we consider immoral wouldn't result in the self-destruction of a society. The destruction of a society isn't metaphysically inherent in wicked acts. In fact, if nobody chose to invade Germany during the early 1940s, then Germany could have continued functioning as a society while they were placing Jews in a concentration camps.And I know some historian will want to come along and give a hundred different reasons why that wouldn't have happened but my point is, there was no LOGICAL NECESSITY for these things to happen.

 

Hitler and the Nazis believed in your imaginary God and his imaginary morality. Hitler was just trying to implement your God's plan for the Jews according to the writings of Martin Luther. Hitler was following your objective morality when he murdered the Jews. It was not Hitler's fault that your God is an evil bastard and your so called objective morality is the ravings of deluded psychotics.

 

chuckg6261982 wrote:
You cannot base morality on empirical truths because empirical truths are based on repeated observation of particular events and as David Hume would point out, you can never infer a universal from a particular... or even one million particulars. A particular instance will never instantiate a universal truth.

 

Dave Hume showed that there is no such thing as a universal absolute truth. Fortunately, we never need any universal absolute truth, all we need is approximates that are sufficient for making decisions. We know that some things are almost certainly true. E.g. it  is almost certainly true that there is no God. It is almost certainly true that the bible is fiction. It is almost certainly true that Jesus never existed. It is almost certainly true that Christianity has continuously run the largest forgery mill in the world since it was invented in the 4th century.

 

We also know that some things are likely or unlikely. E.g. it is likely that there was no Christian religion before the 4th century. It is unlikely that the Gospels were written before the end of the 3rd century

when you say "faith" I think "evil lies"
when you say "god" I think "santa clause"


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chuckg6261982 wrote:On what

chuckg6261982 wrote:

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

I'd feel horrible about it, and that's a good enough answer for me.

As for why I'd feel like that, or why any normal person would, I suppose there are several possible reasons, but my bet is on an inherent empathy and compassion in the way all humans interact with each other. Studies have shown (I can't be arsed to look them up right now) that people tend to trust each other, even when given no objective reason to.

I'm not a biology expert, so I can't really give you much of an argument about how empathy could be biologically beneficial, but I'm sure someone in this thread already did.

 

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patcleaver wrote: Dave Hume

patcleaver wrote:

 

Dave Hume showed that there is no such thing as a universal absolute truth. Fortunately, we never need any universal absolute truth, all we need is approximates that are sufficient for making decisions.

And he could also outcomsume Schopenhauer and Hegel!

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Save a tree, eat a vegetarian.

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I think the question the OP

I think the question the OP sees darkly through a glass is: CAN AN ATHEIST CROSS THE OLD IS OUGHT GAP?

I will now bulldoze through the several dozen posts that fail to do this.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.


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pablotar wrote: You're just

pablotar wrote:

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

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

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

 Morality was around long before god was invented.

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

Needless to say,God is unnecessary to explain morality.

"I was programmed by evolution to do x" does not imply "x is good".

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.


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MattShizzle wrote:Because

MattShizzle wrote:

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

"y would object to x" is not the same as "I should not do y to x." I'm sure that the former IMPLIES the latter, but they are not synonymous. Moreover, to draw the implication between the two requires premises that you have not defended and which, I suspect, you have no idea where to find.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.


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pablotar wrote:Anyway, I

pablotar wrote:

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

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

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

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

 

This post, though touching, does not establish any objective, rational basis for an atheistic ethic.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:All

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

All of your actions violate the rights of another person to lead a life free from harm.

Starting with "rights" is obviously not a valid way to construct a theory of the good. (Hint: we only know which rights we ought to grant and respect after we know what we "ought" simpliciter.)

Quote:
Causing harm to another has been found to be against the overall survival needs of civilizations. 

Having generated "rights" out of thin air, apparently we are now going to take utilitarianism as an axiom without explanation.

Quote:
Except of course when it is sanctioned by a religious group to placate a god. In these cases children have been offered up as a burned offering to the sky to gain favor such that rain may fall. In other cases killing has been sanctioned to eliminate enemies of the tribe such as in Central and South America. In Judeo-Christian as well as Muslim beliefs murdering the infidels pleases the gods at least according to the holy books these groups consider to be the words of the god.

Grrr! Evil religious people! But wait, why actually are you condemning them? Did you not just employ two major ethical concepts, rights and utility, without arguing for them? You can't criticize them for doing the same, surely.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.


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MattShizzle wrote:Actually I

MattShizzle wrote:

Actually I prefer the negative version of the Golden Rule

He "prefers" the negative version of the Golden Rule. Catch that? "Prefers" it. You can see that although the atheist appeals to high-sounding ideas, though he cites rights and utility and the golden rule, he is really running on emotionalism. All of them without exception are subjectivists.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.


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Kevin R Brown wrote:Well,

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Well, chuck, the problem is you've slipped in the word 'wrong'; not a single thing in the world (including the scenario you've just posted) is intrinsically 'wrong' (or intrinsically 'right', for that matter). The activity would be sickening, in my opinion

 

Impressively, this one can distinguish between "x is good" and "x gets me off". Tellingly, his ability to make that distinction has led him to conclude that nothing is good.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.


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Desdenova wrote:I would have

Desdenova wrote:

I would have to say that our morality comes partially from our temperament, but mostly from the influence of our family, peers, and society.

This one combines a bit of determinism with the subjectivism, I see. That excludes his moral code for two reasons: in the absence of choice, nothing is good or bad, and, of course, he does not successfully cross the is-ought gap.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.


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All other answers are

All other answers are reducible to the ones defeated above. The atheists really are helpless in the moral realm.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.


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Evolution .

chuckg6261982 wrote:

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

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

 

Maybe this has been dealt with before, but first I find your relishing of the  gruesome detail a bit of a worry.  What does that say about you?   I also find your superior tone irritating ...as though you are leading us less enlightened atheists by the hand in guidance.   

As social animals we have evolved to form social units for survival and our instincts are directed towards this end.  We are predisposed by evolution and natural selection to take care of our children, loved ones and tribe (or country).  To this end we draw up rules for the protection of individuals and the tribe as a whole because it is in our own self-interest to maintain a harmonious, prosperous social unit.  As individuals we cannot survive alone.  No man is an island.  These rules, which in time take on the force of law, are inculcated into the next generation and this is what we call morality.  It is relative to the needs of the tribe and can be changed as the needs of the tribe change or society becomes more enlightened.  Thus, in time, we do away with more primitive morality like slavery or child labor subjugation of women, discrimination against race, homosexuality and capital punishment.  The problem with absolute, bible based laws is that, being from a god, they can't be changed...just brushed under the carpet.  It must be so embarrassing being religious and stuck with all that outmoded baggage.     

Religion is a dream of the human mind.


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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

All other answers are reducible to the ones defeated above. The atheists really are helpless in the moral realm.

That is funny - Theism has nothing to say about true morality. The  biblical system is a legalistic system based on an arbitrary list of punishable offences, without even any attempt at proportionate punishment, no appeal system, no early release for good behaviour.

A morality based on consequencies is the only scheme that approaches an objective morality, ie based on a relatively clear set of guidlines, especially the requirement to weigh up the impact on other members of society.

Any attempt to simply list what is prohibited is never going to cover all situations, such as killing in self-defence, or lying to a homicidal husband about the fact that his wife is sheltering in your house.

So the Bible doesn't come close to being a moral document.

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

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Presuppositionalist wrote:I

Presuppositionalist wrote:

I think the question the OP sees darkly through a glass is: CAN AN ATHEIST CROSS THE OLD IS OUGHT GAP?

I will now bulldoze through the several dozen posts that fail to do this.

 

Oh Hello Presupp, how have you been? Beguilingly immodest as always I see. Sticking out tongue

 

Presuppositionalist wrote:

MattShizzle wrote:

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

"y would object to x" is not the same as "I should not do y to x." I'm sure that the former IMPLIES the latter, but they are not synonymous.

They're not intended to be, "y would object to x" ... well, more precisely, "virtually every conceivable y would object to x" provides a basis for defining "wrong" -- this is what the OP asked for.

Now you've moved the goal posts to "is-ought" and the OP might have IMPLIED that, sure, but what it asked for more precisely was a basis upon which certain acts could be deemed wrong. That was provided.

Presuppositionalist wrote:

Moreover, to draw the implication between the two requires premises that you have not defended and which, I suspect, you have no idea where to find.

I haven't read all of Chuck's posts in this thread so I don't know if he has forwarded the premise that you speak of, which would be: "One should not do that which is wrong" but I know that this premise is not relevant to the question in the OP. The OP asks the atheists to establish a singular basis for adjudicating wrong. Where anyone has expanded on utility for that basis they have taken it on themselves; it wasn't asked.

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Hasan wrote:chuckg6261982

Hasan wrote:

chuckg6261982 wrote:

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

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

 

Maybe this has been dealt with before, but first I find your relishing of the  gruesome detail a bit of a worry.  What does that say about you?   I also find your superior tone irritating ...as though you are leading us less enlightened atheists by the hand in guidance.   

As social animals we have evolved to form social units for survival and our instincts are directed towards this end.  We are predisposed by evolution and natural selection to take care of our children, loved ones and tribe (or country).  To this end we draw up rules for the protection of individuals and the tribe as a whole because it is in our own self-interest to maintain a harmonious, prosperous social unit.  As individuals we cannot survive alone.  No man is an island.  These rules, which in time take on the force of law, are inculcated into the next generation and this is what we call morality.  It is relative to the needs of the tribe and can be changed as the needs of the tribe change or society becomes more enlightened.  Thus, in time, we do away with more primitive morality like slavery or child labor subjugation of women, discrimination against race, homosexuality and capital punishment.  The problem with absolute, bible based laws is that, being from a god, they can't be changed...just brushed under the carpet.  It must be so embarrassing being religious and stuck with all that outmoded baggage.     

Wow...Great response!


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Presup,First off review what

Presup,

First off review what was really in the OP.

Chucky wrote:

 

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

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

He asked for a basis and that was it. He did not ask for us to prove the basis only to provide one.

 

Presuppositionalist wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

All of your actions violate the rights of another person to lead a life free from harm.

Starting with "rights" is obviously not a valid way to construct a theory of the good. (Hint: we only know which rights we ought to grant and respect after we know what we "ought" simpliciter.)

Actually since I find myself in a civilized world it is unnecessary for  me to completely construct the basics that derive rights. If I was in a place where absolutely no rules have been developed then a basis would need to be constructed. As is this is not the case  I critiqued Chucky's pervasion accordingly. I was not constructing any theory of the good but espousing that which I was indoctrinated as a member of the society to which I belong. By all means you are welcome to construct your own rules from scratch if you can find a place where no basis has occured.

Presuppositionalist wrote:

Quote:
Causing harm to another has been found to be against the overall survival needs of civilizations. 

Having generated "rights" out of thin air, apparently we are now going to take utilitarianism as an axiom without explanation.

Learning from previous generations through accumulated knowledge and the written word is what sets humans apart from other creatures on this planet. I also didn't have to invent fire or the wheel out of thin air either. As societies develop knowledge as well as  rules are modified to reflect the group's consensus and greater understanding. That all of us may not agree with them may help to alter that which a society values. 

Presuppositionalist wrote:

Quote:
Except of course when it is sanctioned by a religious group to placate a god. In these cases children have been offered up as a burned offering to the sky to gain favor such that rain may fall. In other cases killing has been sanctioned to eliminate enemies of the tribe such as in Central and South America. In Judeo-Christian as well as Muslim beliefs murdering the infidels pleases the gods at least according to the holy books these groups consider to be the words of the god.

Grrr! Evil religious people! But wait, why actually are you condemning them? Did you not just employ two major ethical concepts, rights and utility, without arguing for them? You can't criticize them for doing the same, surely.

As societies evolved enough people seemed to object to having their children burned as offerings to the gods. Human sacrifice is not currently accepted as being in society's best interests at least where I reside. As said by another poster, Hasan when these rules are cut in stone by a god they aren't easily changed. Thus stoning for disrespecting your parents or infidelity is largely not practiced. Of course being raped and reporting it in a Muslim country usually will get the victim murdered to preserve the honor of the family.

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I've been trying to read

I've been trying to read through the whole thread, but it's very long, and there are alot of things that are reapeted again and again, so now, I'll throw in a response, and hope it adds just a little to the thread. I can't be bothered to sift through direct quotes and respond to them one by one, so I hope I won't be judged too harshly if I get something wrong. Just correct me, and then we can take it from there.

 

Firstly, in terms of the "what if" scenario that Chuck keeps bringing up, the answer is simple:

If inflicting serious harm on others and/or killing them had no detrimental effects on society as a whole it is quite likely that our morality would look quite different. However, this is an alternative universe kind of thought experiment, and it doesn't really make a whole lot of difference, since we don't live in an alternative universe.

 

But let's for arguments sake imagine that it was ants, and not primates, who had developed into the dominating species on the planet. That is, imagine that we were intelligent, technology-developing, civilisation-building ants.

 

Would it be immoral if we gave some of our offspring for our Queen to eat? Well, I would think so, but that's because I'm a human being, and not an ant. Had I been, I would likely find it pervese, sickening, or otherwise weird and alien, if someone felt an emotional attachment to their offspring that prevented them from giving them up.

 

But I am not an ant, so why is it relevant? Remember that the Black Widdow spider eats her mate after mating with him? Is the black widdow "evil"? I'd say no, even though it does seem rather repulsive to me, but she's a spider, so I don't really care. Would a human woman be "evil" is she did the same? I'd say yes, because it would be perverse and sickening and wrong in my opinion.

 

Chuck and Presup: you can pretend all you like, that you get your morals from some sort of rationalisation, but you know perfectly well that you get your morals from the same place I do: your emotions. You are sickened, repulsed or offended by the things you find Immoral, and feel happy, elated, proud or inspired by the things you find moral. That's all there is to it.

 

People here have given you some good insight into where those emotions might come from, like biology (empathy) and culture (parental and societal influences) but you dismiss them without giving any counter propositions. It somehow offends your sensibilities, and the only reason I can think of for that, must be because you are both immoral, and want to find some rational justification for acting in an immoral way.

 

Well guess what: I'm going to feel repulsed and offended by anything immoral that you do, regardless of what rationalisations you try and come up with, and I'm going to call you on it, and condemn you for it, because I know what is right and what is wrong, and that's all I need. Rationalisations are superflous.

And that because moral ARE relative. Yours and mine. Wether you like it or not.

Need proof of that?

Well look around you: little girls ARE raped. People DO stone rapevictims to death. People DO all sorts of terrible things all the time.

If morals are absolute how can you RATIONALIZE that humans do this? Hmmm?

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I was spawned from original sin
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Nikolaj wrote:Chuck and

Nikolaj wrote:

Chuck and Presup: you can pretend all you like, that you get your morals from some sort of rationalisation, but you know perfectly well that you get your morals from the same place I do: your emotions. You are sickened, repulsed or offended by the things you find Immoral, and feel happy, elated, proud or inspired by the things you find moral. That's all there is to it.

The question is as follows:

What is the basis for the truth of the statement "X ought not to do Y"?

Your answer is as follows:

"X ought not to do Y" is true because X is offended whenever Y is done.


Looking at your answer, you are doing one of three things:

(1)  You are making a universal claim about the emotions of every human being in existence.  Moreover, you are making an empirical claim.  This means that in order for you to actually know that every human being reacts a certain way to certain stimuli, you would have actually had to observe every single one of them that has ever existed. 

OR

(2) You are making a universal hypothesis about the emotions of every human being in existence based on the behavior of some human beings that you have observed and have decided from the outset that any human beings who do not exhibit these behavioral characteristics are not mentally stable, thereby making it impossible for you to be wrong from that standpoint. 

OR

(3) You are saying that under the assumption that many humans react differently to certain stimuli, everybody has their own morality and moral claims are true for them individually.  Therefore, moral statements can be true for one person but false for another. 

Okay, so I know that you have not observed every single human being in existence.  So you clearly cannot be endorsing (1).  (2) commits the fallacy of inferring a universal from a particular and employs a technique known as the ad hoc rescue.  But since you've stated that morality is relative, I will assume that you are endorsing (3).

Do you honestly see no problem with that position?


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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

All other answers are reducible to the ones defeated above. The atheists really are helpless in the moral realm.

Absolutely.

Nobody in their right mind could deny the existence of moral principles. 
Principles, by their very nature, must have a truth value assigned to them.              

Either principles are axiomatic or their truth value must be justified by something outside of them.

Yet almost any justification one can give for the principles which does not appeal to the principles themselves ends up reducing morality to a means to some end.  So morality is reduced to something that has to work for us and only on that basis can we deduce moral principles.... a dangerous belief indeed.

 

 

 


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You are absolutely correct.

You are absolutely correct. 3 is what I'm arguing.

"Endorsing", however, implies that I want it that way. I don't have an opinion on that. It's like wanting the Earth to be banana-shaped. What's the point in that?

And do I see a problem in that?

I see a problem with people who find it moral to kill others. Some do just that. Some will kill in war and find it moral. Some will execute prisoners and find it moral. Yes, I see a problem with that.

But I don't deny the fact that some find it moral. I only find it reprihensible. It's not gonna be untrue that some people find some things moral that I don't, simply because I find it reprihensible.

I repeat. people rape and murder and steal and manipulate and coerce all the time. If morals are absolute, how do you explain that?

I think my moral justifications are good, otherwise I would have different morals (duh...)

Because I think they are good, it is my belief (and experience) that when I engage in discussion with people about what they ought to do, they eventually agree with me, because my justifications are good. I'm not saying it's easy, but that's how it works.

If and when I agree with them, because their justifications are good, I incorporate these justifications into my own moral framework, and my morals change accordingly. This has happened only very rarely, and has shifted my moral opinions only very slightly, but it does happen. That, and the reason that I have convinced others of my moral justifications in the past, is why I know it possible to change people's mind.

Would I like it, if everyone was just imbued with an innate sense of absolute morals, and no argument about what ought to be done ever needed to take place ever?

I honestly can't say... That's like saying, would I like it if black was white, and up was down... How can I judge how I would feel if reality wasn't reality?

Moral are relative. This is not a statement of my wishes, nor my fears. It is a statement of fact. You know it's true, because you know that some people stone rapevictims and sacrifice their children to their Gods, because they think it is the moral thing to do.

Unless you have never ever witnessed an, in your opinion, immoral act, done by someone who was clearly finding it moral themselves, then you know that morals are relative. There's no need for me to reiterate that simple and obvious fact any further. You allready know it's true.

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
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There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


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Nikolaj wrote:I see a

Nikolaj wrote:

I see a problem with people who find it moral to kill others. Some do just that. Some will kill in war and find it moral. Some will execute prisoners and find it moral. Yes, I see a problem with that.

But I don't deny the fact that some find it moral. I only find it reprihensible. It's not gonna be untrue that some people find some things moral that I don't, simply because I find it reprihensible.

I repeat. people rape and murder and steal and manipulate and coerce all the time. If morals are absolute, how do you explain that?

Saying that morals are absolute is not the same thing as saying that moral knowledge is innate.  That is not what I am saying at all. 

Moral principles are things that we have to learn.  We may learn it from parents, through our own trial and error, from a classroom, and a multitude of other ways.  And even long after certain principles have been instilled in us from childhood, we can always educate ourselves and change our views.

The question is regarding our basis for the truth values that we assign to certain ought statements.  

To say that a moral statement is absolute is to say that it has the truth value that it has, independently from what people believe.  It does not matter what you or I think.  The statement has a preassigned truth value that cannot be changed by any particular human being.

To your question; Why do people violate moral principles? 

The answer is simple:  They do not believe that what they do is wrong.

But simply because they believe that does not change the truth values of moral principles.  Truth and belief do not necessarily amount to knowledge.

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Frinky_J wrote: To say that

Frinky_J wrote:
To say that a moral statement is absolute is to say that it has the truth value that it has, independently from what people believe.  It does not matter what you or I think.  The statement has a preassigned truth value that cannot be changed by any particular human being.

And that's all well and good, but you'll have to present me with an moral statement in which its absolute truth is contained within itself. Can you do that? Saying: "The Truth Is Out There" is perhaps profound, but it's also very very banal,  (a contradiction?) and certainly, it doesn't really move the discussion along, now does it?

Frinky_J wrote:
To your question; Why do people violate moral principles? 

The answer is simple:  They do not believe that what they do is wrong.

Agreed. That's what I was saying. But there is one important question to the question above, lest the whole statement becomes pointless.

That question is: whose moral principles are they violating? The only thing we know is that it is not their own, because otherwise, they would believe it was wrong. So whose is it then? Yours? Mine? God's?

None of those will do, for me or you. You want it to be universal moral principles, but then you are still back to giving me a moral statement with it's own truth self-contained.

Frinky_J wrote:
But simply because they believe that does not change the truth values of moral principles.  Truth and belief do not necessarily amount to knowledge.

 

Correct: belief in the truth amount to knowledge. Belief in an un-truth is merely a false belief.

My argument is that there is no such thing as moral truth. Now it's your turn to show me how I'm wrong.

If you simply say: "well if there are no moral truths then I can just go out and rape a little girl" then we have gotten nowhere. It's just a statement of fact.

It is a statement of fact that you can go out and rape a little girl. We both know this because rape happens. Yes you CAN go out and do it, just like you CAN intervene if you see someone else doing it.

You can't derive an ought from an is.

So your argument has to be something else. I need not defend my observation that there are no moral truths any futher.

It is now your turn to bring a counter argument by showing me a moral truth: by your own definition, a moral statement which has it's own truth self-contained within it.

So let's hear it, and perhaps I'll revise my opinion. Otherwise how will you argue that I am not right in saying there are no moral truths?

Remember that I said that it is through discussion and argument that I revise my opinions about the universe, so please trust me when I say that I am open to sound argumentation.

But since you have yet to present me with an example of an absolute morality, I have yet to revise my opinion.

Surely you don't find that unreasonable?

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I was spawned from original sin
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There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


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Arhh dammit! So it turns out

Arhh dammit! So it turns out Frinky is just Chuck the troll in disguise? Honestly Frinky, I thought you a grown-up, and was genuilly interested in having a fruitful back-and-forth discussion with you, and instead you insist on behaving like a petulent child, by posting your pathetic tirades, trying to flood the forums? You know it's not going to harm the Forum posters, or the RRS.

All it serves to do is get you banned, and you'll have shown once again how we are right and you are wrong. Your reaction is a text-book reaction of someone who knows they are wrong, and, imaturely, feels the need to lash out at the people who have proven them such.

Please grow up, and post a grown-up reply to my above post. I'm still interested in having a mature discussion with you.

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I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


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BobSpence1

BobSpence1 wrote:

Presuppositionalist wrote:

All other answers are reducible to the ones defeated above. The atheists really are helpless in the moral realm.

That is funny - Theism has nothing to say about true morality. The  biblical system is a legalistic system based on an arbitrary list of punishable offences, without even any attempt at proportionate punishment, no appeal system, no early release for good behaviour.

A morality based on consequencies is the only scheme that approaches an objective morality, ie based on a relatively clear set of guidlines, especially the requirement to weigh up the impact on other members of society.

Any attempt to simply list what is prohibited is never going to cover all situations, such as killing in self-defence, or lying to a homicidal husband about the fact that his wife is sheltering in your house.

So the Bible doesn't come close to being a moral document.

Okay folks, critical thinking time. Here are the premises:

P1. The Bible lists a lot of punishable offenses that strike Bob as arbitrary. (Not listing them, or explaining why they strike him so.)

P2. The Bible has no appeal system, or early release for good behavior. (Presumably, referring to Hell.)

P3. The Biblical moral code is a list of offences rather than a set of guidelines, and so does not cover all situations.

And here is the conclusion:

C. Therefore, the Bible is not a good source of morality.

Which premise implies that conclusion? The answer is: none of them. You need some sort of if-then statement to draw that conclusion, and he hasn't provided it. It appears that P1-3 make him very sad, but that does not obviously make them evil, or invalidate the Bible as a source of morality. He cannot rationally conclude that the Bible is a poor source of morality without first giving a rational account of the good. And because he can't cross the is-ought gap, he can't do that.

On top of that, his P3 is actually not correct. Read through some of the books of Old Testament law, and you will see that principles actually are given, and many of the laws therein clearly derive from those principles. In Exodus, for example, the more detailed laws against and punishments for murder follow fairly clearly from "thou shalt not murder". I would be the first to admit that the connections are not always so clear, but saying that the whole Biblical code does not employ principles, or that principles are unimportant to it, is nonsense.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.


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Eloise wrote:They're not

Eloise wrote:

They're not intended to be, "y would object to x" ... well, more precisely, "virtually every conceivable y would object to x" provides a basis for defining "wrong" -- this is what the OP asked for.

Now you've moved the goal posts to "is-ought" and the OP might have IMPLIED that, sure, but what it asked for more precisely was a basis upon which certain acts could be deemed wrong. That was provided.

I haven't read all of Chuck's posts in this thread so I don't know if he has forwarded the premise that you speak of, which would be: "One should not do that which is wrong" but I know that this premise is not relevant to the question in the OP. The OP asks the atheists to establish a singular basis for adjudicating wrong. Where anyone has expanded on utility for that basis they have taken it on themselves; it wasn't asked.

I think he clearly meant a RATIONAL basis. Else you could say something facile like "because it is wrong to <insert entire text of OP here>". Yet that probably would not satisfy the questioner. The OP was not asking for some randomly chosen principle or arbitrary declaration from which it would follow that the act was wrong. I mean, nobody doubts that you could conjure up something like that. He was asking for some unique, rationally compelling reason to believe that it was wrong, given atheism.

But if he wasn't, fine. I will. Provide a rational basis for the good. Cross the is-ought gap.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.


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"Thou shalt not murder" is

"Thou shalt not murder" is not a principle. As stated, it is actually a tautology, since "murder" already incorporates the qualification of a wrong action. "Kill" would be closer to expressing a principle, but that then would conflict with much of what is actually commanded by God in the OT.

I am actually surprised you picked that.

Isn't there some expression of the "Golden Rule" in there somewhere? That is arguably a principle.

Regarding the main point:

A list without a accompanying adequate justification beyond being a commandment of God is arbitrary.

In any case, P1 is subsumed in P3 which includes a reason why it is a problem.

P2 points out an inadequacy, which would pretty much be universally regarded as a failing in a secular legal system.

A list of inadequacies justifies labelling something as not good.

I am not trying to construct a formal logical argument. Morality is ultimately heavily, but not purely, a function of personal prefernces in a society, so this less formal argument is entirely appropriate, in my world-view.

You obviously disagree, but that is because you come with a different set of Presuppositions, of course. There is no way you can 'prove' your presupposition about morality are more valid that mine, without referring back to your presuppositions themselves, so you are Godelled.

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

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This is funny. Why are you

Poster, you know you're asking an over-the-top question that you yourself could easily answer just to rile us up.

*Our world is far more complex than the rigid structure we want to assign to it, and we will probably never fully understand it.*

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chuckg6261982 wrote:If I

chuckg6261982 wrote:

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

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

 

The basis of human dignity.

 

Human beings are rational creatures who assign values to actions and objects in the world. As a human being, you can assign values to actions and objects in the world, but there is no arbitrary reason why your right to do this precedes another's right to do this. From this we derive human dignity, that, as rational beings, we should respect other rational beings.

To use a being with dignity as a tool is a grave moral transgression, for you have not acknowledged their dignity, and took it away for your own selfish pleasure.

 

In this case, you have destroyed the dignity (and the life) of the little girl for your own pleasure, and have thus commited a terrible moral crime.


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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:


Eloise wrote:


They're not intended to be, "y would object to x" ... well, more precisely, "virtually every conceivable y would object to x" provides a basis for defining "wrong" -- this is what the OP asked for.

Now you've moved the goal posts to "is-ought" and the OP might have IMPLIED that, sure, but what it asked for more precisely was a basis upon which certain acts could be deemed wrong. That was provided.

I haven't read all of Chuck's posts in this thread so I don't know if he has forwarded the premise that you speak of, which would be: "One should not do that which is wrong" but I know that this premise is not relevant to the question in the OP. The OP asks the atheists to establish a singular basis for adjudicating wrong. Where anyone has expanded on utility for that basis they have taken it on themselves; it wasn't asked.


I think he clearly meant a RATIONAL basis.



Maybe Chuck would like to jump in here and state whether he did actually expect any qualifications that he didn't explicitly state in the original question?

Presuppositionalist wrote:


Else you could say something facile like "because it is wrong to <insert entire text of OP here>". Yet that probably would not satisfy the questioner.



Your objection is facile, Presupper, "wrong" is just a word, an arbitrary sign, it's given meaning by its relation with the subjective feelings of individuals and so objectively general trends of subjective feeling are the only rational source for knowledge of this meaning.

Not even the bible tries to claim absolute or divine arbitration of words, Presupp, they're just words, they're just us making noise. This is the main problem I find with discussing ethics in theological context, theologicals have a habit of co-opting the very concept of communication to whatever end suits the god. Presuppositionalist wants to assert that god decreed "wrong" full and equipped with inherent absolute truth value so that we need god in order to define it - BUT it's a word, OK ?? it is not a divine decree -- unless you can substantiate the claim that it is?

Presuppositionalist wrote:

The OP was not asking for some randomly chosen principle or arbitrary declaration from which it would follow that the act was wrong.

There's nothing random about this principle providing a basis for wrong, it IS the basis for wrong it is, precisely, what is signified by the word "wrong". When we say wrong, we are indicating a personal objection.

Presuppositionalist wrote:

I mean, nobody doubts that you could conjure up something like that. He was asking for some unique, rationally compelling reason to believe that it was wrong, given atheism.

The qualification "given atheism" is redundant, what is rationally compelling is that "wrong" signifies objection and therefore the golden rule is tautological.

Presuppositionalist wrote:

But if he wasn't, fine. I will. Provide a rational basis for the good. Cross the is-ought gap.


You're asking me to support P2 where P2 is:


One should not do that which is wrong.


right ? If so the rational basis for this statement is simply, logical integrity.
Observe:


P1 - If you would not have someone visit some act upon you then it is wrong (definition)
P2 - One should not do that which is wrong (non-contradiction)
ie: P2a ~(wrong and ~wrong)


Conclusion - DO not do unto another what you would not have them do to you.

There you go........

 

 

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spike.barnett
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chuckg6261982 wrote:My point

chuckg6261982 wrote:


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

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

And I thank you. 

I am not going to speak for anyone else, but I for one am a moral relativists. Can you tell me what's wrong with that? Or better yet, can you offer an argument for moral objectivism? One that does not rely on God mind you.

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Rubbish....

Frinky_J wrote:

[Absolutely.

Nobody in their right mind could deny the existence of moral principles. 
Principles, by their very nature, must have a truth value assigned to them.              

Either principles are axiomatic or their truth value must be justified by something outside of them.

Yet almost any justification one can give for the principles which does not appeal to the principles themselves ends up reducing morality to a means to some end.  So morality is reduced to something that has to work for us and only on that basis can we deduce moral principles.... a dangerous belief indeed.

 

 

 

Rubbish!  The only form of morality that is concerned with a means-to-an-end is religious morality whereby the observance of random, absolute, divine rules give you heaven or the avoidance of hell.  Paradoxically, it is basically immoral...doing 'good' merely for the hope of gain.  It is the same reward/punishment system used by Pavlov in training dogs.  

True morality operates for the benefit of maintaining a peaceful, cooperative and prosperous society.  It is something that evolved via naturaL selection as a survival mechanism for the preservation and well-being of social animals such as us.    

  

Religion is a dream of the human mind.


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This question has an

This question has an amazingly simple answer, yet the problem with any answer that anyone can possibly give as to the question of how can we determine "wrong" is that they are all absolutely relative. As humans we learned early in our evolutionary progress that being kind to eachother and cooperating with eachother was the best way to ensure the maximum level of comfort for ourselves and our offspring. As with all animals, we are motivated by basic instincts, we need food, water, and shelter. Using this simple truth about our species we can then realize that our morality is simply devised from our own needs, and the needs of our offsprings and/or loved ones. Causing any harm to another often impedes us from obtaining what we need for our survival. As for actually stating that the actions you would take in your kidnap/rape scenario and giving them the label of wrong is absolutely impossible. If a person comes along and believes that little girls love to be kidnapped and then raped then to them it won't be wrong it will actually be very right to them. The best (and of course most cliche) example of this is Hitler. He caused the greatest conflict our world has ever seen and murdered millions in cold blood. He believed he was right, and truly on what basis can we use to call him wrong? He killed millions, sure, he also brought Germany out of a crippling depression and, in all actuality, saved many lives. If you were a radical muslim you believe that flying planes into skyscrapers killing thousands actually gets you immediately into the promised land. I will give you my simple answer for my morality, compassion for the human race. I do not wish pain on anyone. WHY do I think this? What exactly brings me to that conclussion? I personally dislike pain, and I assume no one else does either. Also kind acts to others bring joy back to me. When you buy someone a gift and they smile radiantly do you not get a warm fuzzy feeling? Why is that considered right? We have no true reasons for this. Humans as a society have gathered a basic moral code from the morals of individuals. To me it is extremely obvious that atheists are indeed moral individuals as we are roughly 10% of the American population and yet we are only .2% of the population that is incarcerated in this country. However, Christians make up 75% of the country, and yet, even with their supposedly higher moral code sent from god they are represented with a full 75% of the jail population. Before you ask us where we garner our morals from, you should first examine where the morals of religion come from as well. Christians morals come from the bible of course, (which does have some great moral guidance!) but a lot of the things sanctioned in the bible are no longer allowed in society. Slavery is no longer allowed, yet it is sanctioned in the bible. We cannot sell our daughters into sexual servitude as is allowed in the bible. Millions of people work on the Sabbath even though the bible states not to. Morality cannot be pinned down and a blanket reason given as the cause of our morals. Right and wrong are not black and white but are full of shades of grey. The bible says Thou Shall Not Kill, but what if you could kill one evil man to save a thousand innocent lives, do you believe that it would be moral to do so? Or are you going to allow the death of a thousand to be allowed by not taking one life. It's as if you sanctioned the death of the thousand yourself.

The question of this topic is also extremely easy to turn around. What basis do Christians use to say that it would be wrong? God says it's wrong? Well why do you care? Oh ... because he will punish you with hellfire and damnation. Again, this is an obvious case of the instinct for self preservation and avoidance of pain that motivates morality. Why do Christians wish to convert others? They wish to save them from hell ... again they wish their fellow beings not to suffer. Quite obviously since Christians and Atheists both share the belief of sparing others from pain, and yet one group believes in god and the other doesn't. How can you explain both groups obtaining the same morals for the same reasons? Humans as social creatures have learned to feel empathy and compassion towards one another and there is no reason to question such morality as it is obvious that it exists from the actions of so many in our society.


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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

pablotar wrote:

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

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

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

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

 

This post, though touching, does not establish any objective, rational basis for an atheistic ethic.

Thanks! 

 

The bible, though touching, does not establish any objective, rational basis for ethics.

Ha!

 

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


Zaq
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chuckg6261982 wrote:If I

chuckg6261982 wrote:

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

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

On the surface, the fact that it is illegal.

I could of course cite a person's innate right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Or maybe the fact that if people kept doing this, we'd run out of little girls and then the human race would die out.

Really, much of it comes down to the average human's emotional response.  Basically the basis that I use to tell you this is immoral is the same basis that Christians use to tell me that anything is immoral.  The bible is so full of contradictory "moral lessons" that any reader must use some non-religious basis to pick out the good lessons from the bad.  Wherever anyone's morals come from, it's not religion.

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

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Okay so the discussion here

Okay so the discussion here is about morality and whether or not it exists outside religious pretexts. The answer here seems to be an uncontested yes. (in My opinion). Now with this idea of morality being established in the individual for the benefit of sociaty and the human race I would like to bring up another question.

If some one conforms to a religion and the belief in a diety, is that person morally wrong or right?