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Featured Atheistic Double Standard?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Jeremiahcp, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Now, were those 'scientists' from several thousand years ago fully informed? No! So their viewpoints need not align with objective reality.

    You also have your history completely messed up. Before the telescope was invented, the rings of Saturn were completely unknown. So neither 2 nor 3 would have been a viewpoint prior to Galileo using the telescope on Saturn. Also, nobody claimed Saturn to be a 'sun'. They all noted it was a 'planet', i.e, it wandered through the sky. Note: the sun and moon were also considered to be planets then and the Earth was not.

    To not be subjective means that the objective is public, not personal.

    So, the views of those scientists above would have been objective (according to your definition): the views were based on the facts as they knew them without prejudice. They were also wrong.


    You aren't listening. Morality isn't determined by how we walk, but by how we think and emote. Were are a social species, so we need rules to interact with others of our species. Those rules are morality. Furthermore, the goal of morality is the well-being of humans since it is human morality (not that of wolves or space aliens) that we are discussing.

    The objective truth is that humans are a social species.

    The *only* objective moral values and duties are those the are oriented to human well-being.


    Wrong. What is good for humans may well be different than what humans want. it isn't the *agreement* of human ity that is important. it is the *well-being* of humanity that is important. And it most certainly isn't the opinion of even a creator that is important.

    I'm not talking about 'popularity'. It may be a very popular thing to take drugs, but it isn't (always) something that promotes well-being. it may be popular to accept religion, but that doesn't mean it promotes well-being.

    Is it an objective thing whether a rule promotes human well-being? Can we determine, for example, whether a policy of genocide promotes the well-being of people? The answer is that, yes, we can. And it doesn't.

    I don't expect that a cat or a dog will have a moral sense because they don't have self-consciousness. They are not moral agents. But humans are. And there are some rules of conduct that *objectively* promote human well-being. those rules are the rules of morality.

    Objectivity means that a fully informed sane person would agree to the result. To have objective morality means that any fully-informed sane person would agree that a given behavior upholds human well-being.
     
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  2. 1robin

    1robin Christian/Baptist

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    Oops, sorry.



    It is easy to see why I made that mistake above, it is sandwiched between claims about morality. BTW I will use the end of this post to get us on the same page as to what objective morality means.

    I am talking about morality as a whole. That would primarily center on humanity but there is no reason to complicate this with limits that I can see. You may be fine with speciesm (in fact it kind of comes with the territory) but that does not make it right. If I were to follow your moral criteria to it's logical conclusion it would be that what makes an action right or wrong is whether it matches your preference or not. There have been similar systems to that, Stalin's Russia, Muhammad's Saudi Arabia, many of the worst periods in the Roman empire. I do not like those systems and thank God I never had to live in one of them.

    Again, we are simply left with objective morality equals whatever you prefer. That is a logical contradiction. What you (or all of us) prefer is by definition subjective. It is subject to our preference or opinion.



    Well, at least your getting closer to what objective actually means. Let me use this spot to clarify what the ontological meaning of "objective" is in a moral context.

    First a simple statement. "Objective" moral values and duties are binding and true independently of whether anyone believes in them or not. Well over 90% of the population believes that at least some moral values and duties are objective (and virtually 100% act as if they do). Now on to formal definitions.

    1. Let's start with what objective means given the word’s versatility. In philosophy, objective refers to existence apart from perception. An object independent of perception does not change with our feelings, interpretations, or prejudices. Applied to moral values; if they are objective, then they are discovered, not invented. Contrast this with subjective moral values which change from person to person, culture to culture, etc. If morality is objective, it is reasonable to ask: What is the mind-independent basis for objective morality and is this basis sufficiently binding? In other words, it is not enough to show some external ground for morality and then subjectively link that grounding with obligation. Obligation to a particular ethical system must transcend personal preference and also have some significant grounding in the object of perception.
    apologetics.net | What is objective morality?

    2. By “objective” morality we mean a system of ethics which universally pertains irrespective of the opinions or tastes of human persons: for example, the holocaust was morally wrong irrespective of what Hitler and the Nazis believed about it, and it would have remained morally wrong even if the Nazis had won World War II and compelled everyone into compliance with their values.
    Moral Argument

    3. A proposition is objective if its truth value is independent of the person uttering it. A fact is objective in the same way. For morality to be objective, moral propositions such as "Killing is bad", "Stealing is bad", etc... need to be true independently of the person who is stating them. Moral statements are basically statements of value. Some value statements are clearly subjective: "Tabasco flavored ice cream tastes good" can be true for me, but false for you.
    What is objective morality?

    4. “Objective” means “independent of people’s (including one’s own) opinion.”
    Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/objective-or-absolute-moral-values#ixzz4ig5BJDip

    5. And finally the one I use the most. Malum in se (plural mala in se) is a Latin phrase meaning wrong or evil in itself. The phrase is used to refer to conduct assessed as sinful or inherently wrong by nature, independent of regulations governing the conduct. It is distinguished from malum prohibitum, which is wrong only because it is prohibited.

    For example, most human beings believe that murder, rape, and theft are wrong, regardless of whether a law governs such conduct or where the conduct occurs, and is thus recognizably malum in se. In contrast, malum prohibitum crimes are criminal not because they are inherently bad, but because the act is prohibited by the law of the state. For example, law in the United States requires drivers to drive on the right side of the road. This is not because driving on the left side of a road is considered immoral, but because consistent rules promote safety and order on the roads.

    Also check out this link to see why the subjective morality left without God is so horrific that no state has ever based their legal system on it.
    Moral Truth

    In summary. You cannot possibly have objective moral values and duties without God. That is why Jefferson (no fan of Christianity) said the only source for inherent human rights must be God. So from here on in the idea that objective morality's existence without God is no longer on the table. If it is mentioned again I am just going to refer you back to this post.

    However that still leaves open:
    1. Whether objective morality exists (which basically just asks whether a personal God exists)?
    2. Moral epistemology (how anyone could come to know what these objective moral values and duties are)?
    3. Whether (if objective morality exists) are there also behavioral traits that are confused with actual morality?

    So while there is plenty left on the table to discuss, the existence of objective moral given the absence of God, is not one of them.
     
    #682 1robin, May 31, 2017
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  3. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    OK. I basically agree here. Now, how is human well-being NOT an objective criterion? I am not tlaking about human desires, I am talking about well-being.

    So, for example, I may not desire to go to the dentist, but it is for my own well-being that I do so.

    It is possible for a person to desire to eat until they are obese, but it is not in their well-being to do so.

    Now, these are just at the personal level. We can also go to the level of our species. What rules of behavior promote well-being in general? Can you agree that is a question about an objective fact? It isn't just a subjective opinion.

    Now, those activities that you point o that are objectively wrong do NOT promote human well-being, do they? No society that has murder, rape, or theft as basic rules for the society is likely to last. Nor will those in that society be at their best. SO those are immoral rules.



    Well, that link mostly talked about moral relativism, which is NOT the position that I advocate. And it doesn't mention a deity at all. In fact, devotion to a deity is more likely to lead to immoral behavior than lack of such.

    But, let's go one step further. In your link, the basic problem with moral relativism is that it leads to a de-valuing of human dignity. Isn't that ultimately a justification based on human well-being? So even your own link ultimately realizes that human well-being is the standard.

    And when we do base our moral decisions on human well-being the rest of the objections in your link disappear also. It cannot cheapen human life while promoting human well-being. We can, and should, improve our morality by considering carefully the consequences of our actions on others. We can, and should complain about evils we see (whether behavioral or not) and figure out how to fight them and promote human well-being. And we can, and should live so as to promote human well-being. it isn't even that difficult.

    So, again, I reject that morality without God is horrific. In fact, I think that often morality *with* God is the horrifying prospect. Those who think they know what God wants tend to be much more likely to commit horrible crimes simply because they think they are doing God's work.

    And, unlike Hitler and Stalin, who were mainly after their own power, we know and understand that human well-being isn't promoted by uplifting any one person (or any one being) to absolute power.



    I believe I have shown that morality without God is not only possible, but it is a better alternative.

    Very different questions. No, a personal God does not exist. And the existence of such would not give an objective morality anyway.

    Now, that is a much harder thing. We are always subject to our lack of understanding, even when it comes to our own well-being. At one time, using leeches to bleed excess blood was considered to be a helpful remedy for many ailments. We were wrong about that. But it is clear that true morality requires understanding the consequences of our actions and caring about how those actions affect others. THAT is the basis of any true morality.

    Again, because of what I have presented, I strongly disagree.
     
  4. 1robin

    1robin Christian/Baptist

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    Is anyone fully informed about anything? If so that would certainly include that the earth is a solid sphere. Yet quite a few people believe in a hollow earth and even a flat earth. Exactly what percentage of agreement is required to declare something objective? and where did you get your criteria?

    No I don't.

    1. Before the telescope everything scene in the night sky was considered a star by most who apprehended them.
    2. When the telescope was invented the sun reflected off the rings on both sides of Saturn. Producing a distorted mickey mouse appearance.
    3. It was generally considered to be 3 stars.
    4. Then Galileo called it either a planet or star with "ears".

    But cosmology is not the point here. Is that perception has no effect on the nature of what is perceived.

    As promised refer to #682. You have it exactly wrong.



    No wonder you like staying in the Quantum so much. My point was precisely the opposite. That their subjective perceptions were objectively wrong.

    Your confusing moral epistemology with moral ontology. I am talking about the nature of morality, not how we come to know about it. See post #682

    That had nothing to do with the point. The point is that even a child knows that commands are not binding unless properly sourced in an objective foundation.

    See post #682, boy I am glad I got that out of the way.

    So a perfect moral being, which has all possible knowledge, and which holds complete sovereignty over everything should be denied in favor of a race of morally insane primates who have had 300 out 5000 years without significant warfare and which kill our own young in the womb based on convenience on an industrial scale. Sometimes you guys are terrifying to listen to. Your the one who placed such importance on agreement, not me.

    Re-using an arbitrary and vacuous term (or goal) isn't going to make it objective. See post #682

    You have yet to show that human well being is an objective moral goal, it by definition can't be. See post #682.

    Ok, what threshold IQ, synaptic speed, arbitrary intellectual function, or number of neurons separate the moral agents from the amoral? Where did you get your standard?


    No it means what I quoted in post #682.
     
  5. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Just as with everything else, there are some facts that are clear and others that are not.

    OK, thi sis an aside, as I am sure you agree. But before the telescope, there was a distinction made between stars (which were fixed) and planets (which were not). Saturn was considered to be one of the seven planets.

    Yes, when Galileo first turned the telescope to Saturn, he was a pair of lobes on either side of the planet, which he attributed to be two more planets (not stars). This view was very short-lived, though, because better telescopes shows the ring structure more clearly. Even a very small amateur scope today will show the rings.

    Not at this scale, agreed. There is an objective fact about the nature of Saturn.

    I wrote this in response to #682. I disagree with what you saids there. And I explained why.

    Which shows that your definition of objectivity is problematic. Which was *my* point.

    Again, that was the post I was responding to.

    No, actually, you didn't. And in my response I gave specific reasons why.

    Let's put it this way. Suppose an advanced race of aliens said that they know what is good for humans. Since they have knowledge far in advance of ours, would you agree to let them make all the decisions for humanity? I would assume not. But you are making exactly the same argument. I don't and will not push to a non-human the right to decide what is good for humans. Yes, we often make horrible mistakes and decisions. Yes, we often ignore what is good to serve our own self-interests. But it is far, far worse to put power in the hands of those who *think* they are speaking for a deity when there is no possible way that can be the case.

    Your post #682 saw human well-being as simply agreement of humans. It is different than that and goes way beyond that.

    Self-consciousness? That is the typical standard, I believe.


    And I showed in my post #683 how human well-being satisfies your criteria. So not deity is required for morality.
     
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  6. 1robin

    1robin Christian/Baptist

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    I bet your new understanding will relapse within the next 3 statements

    Remarkable, it took less than one. Did you read any of the definitions I gave? It is not an objective criterion if God does not exist. Without God it is merely a subjective preference. Still does not seem like you get it.

    Yes that is a subjective preference, but is more of a utility than a moral duty.

    Given God gluttony is objectively wrong, without God it is merely a inconvenient or non-optimal for your health.

    We would probably agree on at least 80% of what is wrong and what is right. The difference is that only with God would could our agreements correspond to actual objective moral values and duties.

    The scale will not change the Godless ethical fashions into Godly objective moral values and duties.

    As I said it is not so much that we would differ on what is wrong or right. The difference is the actual nature of rights and wrongs.

    I will give you an example. We probably both agree that murder is wrong. However if we were wronged in some horrific way, which world view would more likely prevent us killing the one who wronged us.

    A. That humans are nothing but biological anomalies with no more inherent dignity, value, or meaning than a fruit bat, and if we could escape the law we would never be judged.
    B. That humans are specially endowed creatures with infinite inherent worth, value, meaning, and dignity above all other creatures, and even if we escaped earthly justice there is no hope of escaping eternal justice.

    Yes it is, you think morality is relative to the goals of humanity (specifically your goals for humanity). That's pretty much the definition of relative morality.

    I gave 6 or 7 links, and not all they contained would apply to you. Which quote from which link are you referring to? Regardless if you look at me two scenarios above it is easy to see how the lack of God reduces human lives to biological anomalies with no more inherent value that the germs we eradicate by the millions, which is probably why the truly great eradications of human life have accrued in atheist utopias and secular movements (like abortion). Abortion equates a baby to a tumor, which reflects exactly what you deny.

    I see what you doing here. You saw that you had lost the contention concerning whether morality without God is objective or subjective so you simply switched to an argument that using the subjective goal of human well being is still good, even if only subjective. I believe that human well being is a primary goal of morality but I believe that it is the eternal well being of humanity that is the goal not merely the temporal well being that is the goal. This will require another huge and different discussion. However at least we have established that for better or worse only with God do objective moral values and duties exist.

    That was an off-ramp from the point I was making. If you want to Discuss the suitability of human well being as the basis for law we would need to drop all this other stuff.

    No, you denied God, then took his place and picked an arbitrary goal for morality and declared it to be objective.

    That was a cardinal mistake. You claimed to know the truth of a universal negative which even if true you couldn't possibly know. Prove that there is no personal God.

    If Yahweh exists there is an objective moral truth to try and find, and a biblical promise that if sincerely sought moral truth would be found.

    Since you brought up medical events.
    1. The bible contains the first written instructions concerning sanitation.
    2. Germ theory.
    3. Use of antibiotics.

    Even in the 1860's 100,000s were dying because men of science ignored what God revealed, and Moses recorded 3000 years previously.



    I mention two nature of morality of which one must be true. It's like I said the quarter is lying heads up or heads down and you replying that you disagree.

    Do you know why all forms of government fail? Almost all of them can and have worked well. Communism, different forms of democracy, monarchy, tribalism, warrior cultures, caste systems, city states, colonialism, even a reasonable attempt at social Darwinism, etc..... all utterly fail in the end. It's because they are all composed of men, and power attracts the corrupt. The only one I don't think that has been tried yet is a direct democracy. Our own form of government was designed knowing the failures of all previous systems and knew well how flawed men were. They designed a system who's primary purpose was to have multiple checks and balances on everything. Essentially to not be able to screw up what the founders and framers created. Took less than 250 years for the cream to fall to the bottom and the corrupt to rise to power and put our grandchildren so far in debt that confiscating all the money in existence wouldn't pay it off. Man is too leaky a vessel to put much hope in. That is why God (Christianity) is the only ultimate hope for mankind.

    We can discuss the value of Godless ethics as a basis for legalism if you want but we call this life a veil of tears and say that most men live a life of quiet desperation for good reasons. Without God no ultimate solutions are available, our obsession with the natural can at best only modulate the misery we must all suffer on our universal one way march into annihilation. That's why I spend so much time on theology instead of science these days.
     
  7. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Bingo.

    However, this neither proves nor disproves that there's a God or Gods, thus my faith statement at the bottom of this post.
     
  8. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    OK, let's go through it. In #682, you gave the following as criteria for objectivity:

    So, perhaps we should first ask if there is an objective standard for human health. I would say that there is. And human morality is similar to human health in this regard. So, let's go through your criteria:

    1. Human well-being doesn't change depending on our feelings, interpretations, or prejudices.
    Just like with human health, human well-being is a standard that may or may not agree with our feelings. You may *feel* that eating ice cream every day is a healthy thing, but it isn't. In the same way, somoene who feels that rape is justified is simply wrong.
    2.Again, human health is something that makes sense irrespective of the tastes or opinions of the person involved (at least occasionally). In the same way, human well-being can differ from the opinions or tastes of those involved.
    3. Just like human health is independent of the person uttering, so is human well-being.
    4. Again, just like human health in general, human well-being is independent of any one person's opinion.
    5. Since there are actions and rules that objectively go against human well-being, there are actions and rules that are wrong in and of themselves.

    It looks to me that human well-being satisfies all of your criteria for objectivity (at least as long as human health is an objective standard).

    Right. But a rule to ban dentists would go against human well-being in general and hence be wrong.

    I don't think gluttony itself is morally wrong. it is *stupid*, but not wrong. However, societal promotion of gluttony or rules that demand gluttony would be wrong.

    Having a God only makes it 'objective' in the sense that it is God dictating it. That is just a different sort of subjectivity.

    No, it will give Godless ethical and moral values. This is what you fear.

    Yes, I understand that. I do not, for example, expect an alien race to agree upon morals in general (they will adopt morals appropriate for their biology). But I *do* expect that they would agree what is and is not conducive to *human* well-being. In *that* sense, human morality is an objective thing.

    How about:
    C. Humans are biological creatures that can reason morally. The goal is for human well-being.

    I find that one far better than either of your alternatives.

    OK, this is just terminology. We are humans. What is good for the well-being of humans is an objective thing. Just like what is good for the health of humans is an objective thing.

    And the best societies ever have been *humanist* at core. The belief in a deity has made for bad societies just as the disbelief in deities has. The difference between the good and the bad is *always* whether they promote human well-being or not. Even the theistic societies work under that same rule.

    No, we have NOT. You keep saying that, but I deny it. A God only gives a *different* subjectivity. To be objective, it has to ultimately be based on our biology. Which is why human well-being is a valid criterion.

    It is hardly arbitrary. Even religions will agree that human well-being is a good standard and use it to criticize other religions.

    I have done the experiment guaranteed to detect such a being if done honestly. I did not detect it.

    HArdly. Egyptian priests were obsessed about it far before the Bible.

    Neither are Biblical.

    Only under an interpretation that only became obvious after the fact. I call BS.

    You gave a false dichotomy: that either there is a God and objective morality or there is not one and all morality is relative. I showed that dichotomy was false.

    ALL societies are founded by humans, even (especially) the theistic ones. Belief in a deity is of no help in constructing a good society. If anything, the attempts to do so have failed so miserably I am surprised anyone still promotes the idea. Just look at the reign of Calvin over Vienna. That shows what a theocracy will do.


    What a pathetically depressing viewpoint. Science is allowing us to prevent diseases that killed millions. It has opened up methods of connection to others not dreamed about even a few years ago. It has made it possible to speak to loved ones across continents and instantaneously. There is no doubt that science has increased human well-being on an average and that we are getting better (albeit way too slowly) more moral. The best way to promote true morality is to do away with the superstitions of religion.
     
    #688 Polymath257, May 31, 2017
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
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  9. 1robin

    1robin Christian/Baptist

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    Ok then, exactly what are "we" supposed to be informed about so that we may come to know that human well being is the objective goal of moral truth?



    Yes it is an aside but it's a stacked deck. I said that people over a thousand years had gotten to true nature of Saturn wrong. That means to be correct all I have to do is provide two people in addition to Galileo (who literally described Saturn as having ears, but he didn't mean it literally) that claimed what I said they did. Are you actually claiming I can't? The point here is that perception does not determine ontology.

    Size isn't relative to the problem here. Morality does not really have not really have physical dimensions, which also points to it being non-natural. It does not matter whether no-one, everyone, or any number in between thought that murder was evil, it would only actually be objectively evil, if God exists.


    Everything I quoted said that objective morality describes moral values and duties independently of human opinion and preference. Yet every time you mention a moral value or duty it is founded in human preference and opinion, so you and post #682 are not on the same page.

    No isn't. I stopped giving you my definition and instead gave you between 4 and 6 formal definitions to show that my own position and the position of formal philosophy are exactly the same. Your moral position is 180 degrees out of phase with every formal definition for objective morality I gave.


    You may have responded to the question of what 2 + 2 = but you keep answer with pizza, scuba diving, and cabin fever so I have no recourse but to refer you back to post #682. When you get your morality founded outside human preference then we can move on from #682.


    No I didn't what? Your recent responses do not seem to be relevant to what you responded to.

    Your just not getting my analogies. Every one I make comes back in another context. I never said anything about any aliens claiming they were interested in human well being. I said that since you think the species with the highest level of intelligence subjugating all lesser species to maximize it's own well being makes the practice objectively good or right, then you should quietly wait to be barbecued when they show up.


    I can't quote the whole thing so I will only quote the primary points in post #682:

    1. In philosophy, objective refers to existence apart from perception. An object independent of perception does not change with our feelings, interpretations, or prejudices. Obligation to a particular ethical system must transcend personal preference
    apologetics.net | What is objective morality?

    2. By “objective” morality we mean a system of ethics which universally pertains irrespective of the opinions or tastes of human persons:
    Moral Argument

    3. A proposition is objective if its truth value is independent of the person uttering it. For morality to be objective, moral propositions such as "Killing is bad", "Stealing is bad", etc... need to be true independently of the person who is stating them.
    What is objective morality?

    4. “Objective” means “independent of people’s (including one’s own) opinion.”
    Read more: “Objective” or “Absolute” Moral Values? | Reasonable Faith

    5. . Malum in se (plural mala in se) is a Latin phrase meaning wrong or evil in itself. The phrase is used to refer to conduct assessed as sinful or inherently wrong by nature, independent of regulations governing the conduct.

    Those points can't contradict what you claimed they said more emphatically, even if I re-wrote them myself for that very purpose.

    First that is as arbitrary a standard as any other you have given. Second no one really knows what species are self conscious. Third last I heard even some small shark I never heard of was claimed to be self conscious by a biologist studying them. So I guess by your standards we need branches of government for sharks, purposes, dolphins, some whales, primates, Octopi, and some species of birds. You get everyone together and then we will eat all the rest. I was joking but that literally is similar to what would have to be done to apply your moral standards, and even then the result wouldn't be objective.


    Well being is a goal in your head and is by definition a literal textbook example of subjective morality. However at least 90% of humans believe that objective morality exists and at least 99.9% of us act as if objective moral values and duties exist, so you have explained where .01% of us get our ethics from, from the other 99.99% God is still required.
     
  10. 1robin

    1robin Christian/Baptist

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    For pity's sake, post #682 was to save me time, but that is the one thing it hasn't done. I can picture an auditorium full of students wondering why you do nothing but type of your computer all day as they fill out their drop class requests. I just joking, but how much teaching, studying, and grading can you possibly be getting done?

    Then I take it that both abortion and homosexual behavior get scratched off at this point. Abortion is obvious but I will give you some data for homosexuality. The 4% of the US population that are gay result in over 60% of new aids cases (alone) per the CDC. So they are both gone from the word go, correct?

    I hate it when your premise is wrong because everything built on it is going to be a waste of your time. To select human well being as the goal for a moral system is a subjective preference and therefor is only grounds for a subjective argument.

    However I will pretend along with you just to compound the problems you have.

    How can anyone know (just for convenience) that Hitler's strategy of strengthening the strong by eradicating the weak would not have lead to a net gain in human well being over time? Maybe all hardened alcoholics should be sterilized? Should we eliminate all welfare programs because the incentivize single parent homes? I could ask these questions for years. Even as a mind game applying your standards seem impossible.

    Except for it's selection to begin with.


    Being a dentist or not being a dentist is not a moral issue either way. However by your standards we should decide how many dentists is enough then force certain people to be dentists. There is no dentist compulsion either way in Christian morality.

    Yahweh exists, it is morally wrong.
    Yahweh does not exist there is no evil or good for a behavior to be. So all gluttony does without God is defy your preferred ethical goalpost.

    I have already explained this. God's morality does not come from his whim, or from him selecting from an external standard but from his eternal nature. It comes from his eternal nature.


    Fear? Nothing you responded has anything to do with my preferences or fears. It had to do with what is necessary to make moral ontology objective.

    Human well being is an objective thing, it isn't an objective moral thing. Saturn is an objective thing, the sun is an objective thing, the 400 golf balls I have hit into the water are objective things, existence does not make something moral. This far in, seeing you trying to show that the existence of a thing qualifies it as the objective goal for morality is quite depressing. I did not realize just how disconnected you are with what I have been saying. For some reason this makes me think of those cargo cults that sprung up in the late 40s in the south pacific.

    Sorry, but I need to take a break until tomorrow.
     
  11. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Once again, it is definitional.

    You can't find *anyone* thousands of years ago that thought Saturn had two ears. Galileo was about 400 years ago.

    Yes, people got the nature of Saturn wrong. We figured out the true nature via observation.

    OK, let me put it this way. Is it possible to think about human health aside from opinion and preference? In other words, is there an objective criterion for human health?

    I would say that there is. An absence of disease processes, for example. Such can be objectively defined. That doesn't depend on just human opinion and preference.

    Now, there *are* cases where there is not objectivity: where reasonable people can disagree about whether something is healthy or not. In the same way, there are clear situations where rules promote or discourage human well-being. Those are cases of objective morality. However, the vast majority of cases are not like this and there is no objectivity.

    Human well-being is not a matter of human preference.

    And if such being show up, I might well be barbecued. But I will still fight then for human well-being. I would *prefer* to be able to cooperate with said aliens as I think it would lead to mutual benefit, but if that is not the case, my side is on that of the humans.


    Already answered.

    And I am concerned about the treatment of, say, chimps. We have no reason to treat them as we do and they clearly do have some self-consciousness. They are not attempting to eliminate us, so why do we do what we do?

    No, God is NOT required. People just feel that morals need to be justified by an overlord. I disagree.
     
  12. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    No, in this system, murder would be immoral if God exists *and* decides that murder is illegal. That isn't objectivity. That is using the subjectivity (or nature, if you will) of God to decide the matter.
    If God had decided to make murder mandatory, then murder would be moral, even required.

    And *that* is the system I reject. The opinions of a deity, even one that created the universe and is all knowing, is irrelevant to humans and what is good for *us*. If God had decided that murder was moral, it would *still* be humanly immoral. If God decided that it was moral for you to kill your then in your system it would be moral. In mine, it would still be horribly immoral.

    That is the ultimate difference between our systems.
     
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  13. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    I have been on break since the beginning of the month. Summer school starts on the 19th.

    No more than the fact that people not washing hands leads to the spread of colds and flu. It *does* mean that we can significantly improve human well-being by finding a cure for AIDS. But you knew that also. It *does* mean that education and prevention programs are a good idea. I would also say that it is immoral to have unprotected sex without knowing your HIV status and communicating that with your partner. But that is as true for straights as it is for gays.

    OK, so you don't think that human well-being is an objective standard? Would human health be one?

    You are now asking how we know what is moral and what is not. As you well know, that is a different thing than what morality is. For the *vast* majority of real world problems, there is a playoff between competing interests and thereby there may well not even be an objective answer. But I can attempt to answer your specific issues:

    Hitler's strategy would NOT have created a net gain *because* it is actually far better to interbreed various strains (hybrids tend to be more healthy) rather than select and breed a single strain (which tends to make the strain liable to being wiped out by a single disease).

    Sterilization of alcoholics wouldn't be good either since it doesn't prevent the harm they do during their lives and the hereditary aspect is much less important than the social aspect of alcoholism.

    As for welfare, we should figure out how to help those in single parent homes because no matter what happens, such homes will occur in cases where a parent dies. To not help others because of the fear of incentivising something that happens at a certain rate unavoidably is cruel and, again, not conducive to overall well-being. And you clearly understand that.

    So you do agree it satisfies your criteria?

    While there may well be situations where we need to encourage or discourage people from going into dentistry, forcing people to do so would not be conducive to overall well-being, now would it?


    If, that is, Yahweh *decides* it is morally wrong. If Yahweh decides it is morally good, then it is morally good. Or, in your system, if murder agreed with God's nature, it would be moral.

    Again, it is stupid, not immoral. The promotion of gluttony would be immoral.

    OK, so what about his 'nature' shows that murder is immoral? What about his 'nature' shows that gluttony is immoral? For that matter, what about his 'nature' shows that compassion is moral?


    GOOD! We agree!

    Yes, it is. It is an *objective* moral standard.

    Yes, human well-being is an appropriate goal for morality. Do you really disagree? Since morality consists of that which we should do, do you really disagree that we should strive for human well-being?

    You realize I am an atheist and a humanist, right? Do you realize how disconnected you are to what I am saying?

    You claim that morality cannot exist if there is no deity. I disagree and show how to define it objectively without a deity. You admit it is an objective thing I point to. And I suspect you agree it is moral. So how is it NOT an objective moral standard to *define* morality via human well-being? Is that not what we should strive for?[/QUOTE][/QUOTE]
     
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  14. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    It is a good thing in this context to point out that we *do* frequently use natural laws to explain why certain phenomena occur. So, we can use Newton's law of gravity and his dynamical laws to explain why planets orbit the sun in ellipses. We can use Maxwell's equations to explain why and how a radio works.

    The point is that 'why' questions are answered by an application of a more fundamental law. But that means that no *fundamental* law can possibly explain 'why'. Such an explanation would inevitably require an even more fundamental law. So, for the most basic physical laws, all that is *possible* is for them to be descriptive.

    This, by the way, is true even if you want to allow for a supernatural. If that supernatural is to be an explanation for a natural event, then there has to be a law that governs that explanation, or else it is NOT actually an explanation, but merely an assertion or description.
     
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  15. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    I think you mean that he was not biologically dead. "Clinical death" is a misnomer, as is "sudden death," since the terms refer to a state that can be survived with early and effective life support interventions such as CPR and advanced life support (use of high tech modalities such as defibrillators).

    After several minutes of clinical death, which is potentially reversible, reversible changes in the tissues due to inadequate tissue perfusion called ischemia become irreversible changes in those tissues ensue, the state called tissue infarction. This is biological death.

    That term can be used to refer to a region in an organ (stroke and heart attack, or cerebral and myocardial infarction respectively) or to the entire organism - what we normally mean when we say that somebody died. Incidentally, for completeness sake, cerebral and myocardial ischemia, which are potentially reversible if sufficient tissue perfusion can be restored quickly, are called TIAs (transient ischemic attacks) and angina.
     
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  16. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    That's probably best explained as religious mythology, which is orders of magnitude more likely than assuming that the biblical account represents a historical resurrection from biological death.

    Or perhaps you believe that the alleged resurrections of Adonis and Osiris are best explained by invoking the supernatural, whatever that is. I'm going with mythology there, too.
     
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  17. 1robin

    1robin Christian/Baptist

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    Ok, on rides the mail.
    That still does not make ethics objective. I don't care what path you take or what terminology you use without God all you have left is the preferences of the strong being imposed on the weak.

    It is not an objective moral thing. This conversation is about objective morality, not objective weight, objective mass, nor objective power.

    Nope, they were Mesopotamian Babylon (theologically centered), Persia (theologically centered), Egypt (theologically centered) they were all part of a general Semitic power base that were all (theologically centered), Greece (militaristic and pagan), Rome (militaristic, colonialist, and pagan), Judeo-Christian Europe (theological centered) X 2, Islamic Caliphate (theologically centered), British empire (theocracy), USSR (communist), USA the (the greatest though not the longest of world powers) (theological in culture somewhat secular in governance). China and Russia as well as India fit in there some where (the were different things at different times but humanist isn't among them).

    I have already explained this twice.

    Christians, on the other hand, believe that moral norms come from God’s nature or essence. Rather than believing in some passing fancy bound to society’s ever-changing whims, as Christians we are committed to a specific moral order revealed to us through both general and special revelation.
    Christian Ethics


    Without an absolute standard, morality would be relative and dependent on each individual. But morality is not a human invention; it flows from the nature of God, who is eternal and unchanging.
    Why Is Scripture the Ultimate Standard for Morality and Ethics?

    Is 4 times enough?

    Most religions probably include human well being in their doctrines but that can come in many forms. In Christianity Christ subordinated human well being in this life for eternal well being in the next life. Since you mistakenly referred to at least Christianity as agreeing with you standards I am forced to do a scriptural blitzkrieg.

    New Living Translation
    Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
    2 Timothy 4:5
    But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
    2 Timothy 2:3
    Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
    Acts 9:16
    for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake."
    Philippians 1:29
    For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
    Matthew 10:38
    "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
    Matthew 16:24
    Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
    Mark 8:34
    And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
    Luke 14:27
    "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
    Luke 9:23
    And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
    1 Thessalonians 3:3
    so that no one would be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this.
    1 Thessalonians 3:4
    For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know.
    2 Timothy 1:8
    Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,
    1 Corinthians 12:26
    And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
    Matthew 24:9
    "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.
    Acts 20:23
    except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me.
    1 Thessalonians 3:7
    for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we were comforted about you through your faith;
    1 Peter 1:6
    In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
    1 Peter 2:19
    For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.
    1 Peter 3:14
    But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED,
    1 Peter 3:17
    For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.
    1 Peter 4:19
    Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
    1 Peter 5:10
    After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
    Romans 5:3
    And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
    2 Corinthians 6:4
    but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses,
    2 Corinthians 4:8
    we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;
    2 Corinthians 4:17
    For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,
    2 Corinthians 1:7
    and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.

    Christ did not send his sheep out among the wolves so that the sheep would flourish. He did so knowing they would suffer, be persecuted, be tortured, by killed of every horrific way imaginable. So no, at least Christianity does not have the same goal as you for morality.

    Got to split this up - again. Continued below:
     
  18. 1robin

    1robin Christian/Baptist

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    No you haven't because the experiment can't be done. First you would need to invent a God detector (whatever that is) then you would have to go to every real and abstract location that exists and use it. Happy hunting.


    The oral tradition eventually recorded by Moses have roots that go back further than Egypt.


    Both are.
    1. Hyssop is a ANE plant used as an antiseptic.
    2. A couple of examples of the other claim, the bible said to clean the instruments, clothing, and body after contacting the sick or dead in running water. Civil war surgeons killed more people than the bullets themselves by not following those rules. Just a few years back some arrogant scientists claimed they had proof the bible was wrong. The bible said leprosy can survive outside the body and so the clothing, effects, and the house the leper lived in must by burned, cleaned, and left unoccupied for a certain length of time or they would infect others. The scientists said that was all wrong because leprosy was genetic.

    Of course the bible did not specifically talk about germs, no one back then would have had any idea what he was talking about. However there is no mistaking why these laws existed:
    Bible Law Index
    Ancient Bible Health SECRETS Revealed Today!
    Medical Evidence - Evidences of the Bible

    No you didn't, because no one ever could. What you did was posit your moral preference, and claim that the thing you prefer exists objectively. Many things objectively exist, that does not make them objective morals. As I keep saying, it is almost a universal axiom that nature can only tell us what is not what should be. You mentioned something that is, then claimed
    it should be the goal of morality. Sorry but you lack the necessary ingredient to declare anything "should" be done. No atom has a moral property.

    All human societies are founded by humans (usually in the quest for Gold), however there are societies more numerous than our own without a single human present. Christianity was not intended to run an empire, it was intended to save people from their sins, and help them live a more moral life. However Christian morals would make one heck of a good basis for legality.


    Imagine a society:
    1. Which forbid murder (even in the form of abortion).
    2. Which forbid sex outside of marriage and discouraged promiscuity.
    3. Which forbid homosexual sexual behavior.
    Just those three alone would have saved tens of millions of lives, mountains of misery, and billions of dollars.


    The best example of what you described about morality is Stalin's Russia. He certainly got the get rid of religion part right.

    I keep quoting sources from you own side showing you what Godless morality actually is but it has no effect, heres another:

    If god does not exist everything is permitted – Dostoevsky
    If god does not exist everything is permitted – Dostoevsky

    What are you talking about? I didn't say anything about negating science. Christians have composed huge proportions of scientific fields, especially medical fields. All I said to do was to prioritize our eternal well being over our temporal well being. When I need an operation I want people praying for me, good doctors working on me, and good engineers to build the instruments used on me. However no matter what the scientists do (at best extend the most unpleasant years of life a little longer) they will eventually fail every single time, but the prayer group may potentially succeed for eternity.
     
  19. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    What's depressing is that people are still looking to an ancient text for their moral guidance. To me, that is moral bankruptcy, and we saw evidence of it in Nazi Germany, where a whole nation of German Christians accepted a mandate for genocide because they believed that their god approved of a final solution to the Christ killers, and just recently in the American presidential election,

    From Donald Trump and the Transformation of White Evangelicals "White evangelical Christians set a new high water mark in their support of Republican candidates by giving Donald Trump 81% of their votes, according to the 2016 exit polls"

    "Back in 2011, consistent with the “values voter” brand’s insistence on the importance of personal character, only 30% of white evangelical Protestants agreed with this statement. But this year, 72% of white evangelicals now say they believe a candidate can build a kind of moral wall between his private and public life. In a shocking reversal, white evangelicals have gone from being the least likely to the most likely group to agree that a candidate’s personal immorality has no bearing on his performance in public office. Today, in fact, they are more likely than Americans who claim no religious affiliation at all to say such a moral bifurcation is possible."

    Secular humanists rejected those values. We found Trump morally unfit. I'd say that we outperformed the Christians there.

    And secular humanists would have rejected the divine command ethics of Nazi Germany had they been the majority there. There is great danger in a system of ethics that claims that anything is good that its god would say, do, or command. All you need to do to make such people sign on to moral atrocities is to convince them that their god approves. As nobelist Steven Weinberg said,

    "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. For good people to do evil things, it takes religion."

    Secular humanists regularly outperform Christians in the moral arena.

    Did you watch Sam Harris and William Lane Craig debating at Notre Dame University? I posted on it earlier here beginning about 2/3 of the way down.

    Look at the same sex marriage issue in the States. The theistic morality there is based on an ancient, irrational, bigoted and harmful notion the world would have been better off without. On that basis, the church would oppose giving loving, committed, same sex couple the same rights and dignity as heterosexual couples, another position that humanists reject. Who's obeying the Golden Rule here, and who is being mean-spirited?

    It's also immoral to withhold effective sex education from young people and offer them only abstinence counseling, a tactic sure to fail.

    This can go on for a long time. Claiming that your old ideas come from a god does not make them so, nor does it rescue them from being judged morally bankrupt much less superior.

    We can do better than that, and have.
     
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  20. 1robin

    1robin Christian/Baptist

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    No matter what you call it, you apparently can't produce it thereby negating your argument.

    I didn't say you could. I gave you 3 descriptions of Saturn that have been used at three different points in time, all of which are wrong.

    No we haven't. It wasn't but just a few years ago that we discovered that Saturn has another outer ring that is larger all the traditional rings combined. All we know about Saturn are superficial generalities many of which will prove wrong over time.

    I am not sure, but I will pretend there is just for the keck of it.

    If you could actually significantly expand human flourishing for a given time it may backfire on you. I used to be a hunter and knew that hunting was good for the species being hunted. Just one case among many, a bunch of liberal hippies protested deer hunting in Pennsylvania, they eventually got enough traction to make hunting deer illegal, I do not think it even took a decade for the deer to eat up everything they could find and diseases spread throughout the heard and virtually the whole population dies off. I could quote a thousand examples where hardship and suffering strengthened species and cultures.

    1. First human well being as a moral goal is simply a preference. However if we pretended it was objective.
    2. Maximizing it would also contain a thousand preferences and theoretical opinions.
    3. Even the best of them may backfire in ways no one could foresee.
    4. Lets say that at a given time the earth and our technology could only sustain 10 billion people. What are you going to do then, kill off every new born, until technology advances?
    5. What you would create would in the end be a might makes right Orwellian nightmare.

    I feel like we are tumbling around in a pitch black rabbit hole with no bottom. It appears you made some typing mistakes above.

    Selecting it as the goal for morality is.

    So you would choose to obey your subjective morality and defy their objective morality. You would make for a poor Winston Churchill or Roosevelt, who appealed to objective moral values and duties to stop Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito from subjugating the free world. With God we have a third objective moral criteria to appeal to when a good nation must stop an evil one, you don't.


    You mean you replied, you didn't actually counter or reckon with what I descried.



    Depends on which what we do you refer to? If for example we are talking about medical testing, we do so because they have similar biology, and like you we prefer our own flourishing at the expense of every thing else. The exact same kind of speciesm you have already owned up to.



    If a since moral value or duty that any of the over 90% of the population believes is objective turns out to be true then yes God is required. IOW for you to be right, not one of the trillions of objective moral values and duties we apprehend can be true, they must be 100% false. Also 100% of the billions of claims to the miraculous must all be false for you to be right. I do not have enough faith to be an atheist.
     
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