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39 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Well I hate to derail but I'm limited so I can only respond to what people say.  Heres an argument that suggests science not human subjectivity is the means to moral objectivity:  

Now don't start that again.  

From a different angle - in a different thread you said I can dismiss the entire second half of the first premise and the argument would still stand.  Help me understand how.

Quote

 

Premise 1: Morality and values depend on the existence of conscious minds

Premise 2:

Conscious minds and their states are a natural phenomena, of course, fully constrained by the laws of nature whatever these end up being in the end.

How then does it logically follow that:

 


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39 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Well I hate to derail but I'm limited so I can only respond to what people say.  Heres an argument that suggests science not human subjectivity is the means to moral objectivity:  

Now don't start that again.  

From a different angle - in a different thread you said I can dismiss the entire second half of the first premise and the argument would still stand.  Help me understand how.

Quote

 

Premise 1: Morality and values depend on the existence of conscious minds

Premise 2:

Conscious minds and their states are a natural phenomena, of course, fully constrained by the laws of nature whatever these end up being in the end.

How then does it logically follow that:

 


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39 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Well I hate to derail but I'm limited so I can only respond to what people say.  Heres an argument that suggests science not human subjectivity is the means to moral objectivity:  

Now don't start that again.  

From a different angle - in a different thread you said I can dismiss the entire second half of the first premise and the argument would still stand.  Help me understand how.

Quote

 

Premise 1: Morality and values depend on the existence of conscious minds

Premise 2:

Conscious minds and their states are a natural phenomena, of course, fully constrained by the laws of nature whatever these end up being in the end.

How then does it logically follow that:

 


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39 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Well I hate to derail but I'm limited so I can only respond to what people say.  Heres an argument that suggests science not human subjectivity is the means to moral objectivity:  

Now don't start that again.  

From a different angle - in a different thread you said I can dismiss the entire second half of the first premise and the argument would still stand.  Help me understand how.

Quote

 

Premise 1: Morality and values depend on the existence of conscious minds

Premise 2:

Conscious minds and their states are a natural phenomena, of course, fully constrained by the laws of nature whatever these end up being in the end.

How then does it logically follow that:

 


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47 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

I am not arguing for the existence of God here. There would first have to be a consensus that there indeed is a god in order to try to find the real one.

What I am debating is in opposition to your last statement. I have yet to see a cogent argument for objective morality without God. Every argument revolves around the premise that someone or a group of someones has found that eternal truth but they inevitably run into a conflict when it is pointed out that there are other people and cultures that would disagree with the someone or group of someones. The basic argument seems to be that if several groups, be they cultures or nations can agree on certain values that lead to harmonious relationships then that is good (fro them at least). But there would be and are cultures and nations and individuals that do not agree. With no higher moral authority the morals of each person, society, culture or whatever is relative and subject to change as people change. Some change faster than others.

You do see that is a problem for theists, correct? Theism does not resolve it.

Btw I gave my argument, but I did not notice any counter to it. The Golden Rule and its variations are all reasonable ways many peoples over many eras develop morality. 

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52 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Well I hate to derail but I'm limited so I can only respond to what people say.  Heres an argument that suggests science not human subjectivity is the means to moral objectivity:  

Now don't start that again.  

From a different angle (because this is wrong from several different angles and for different reasons) - in a different thread you said I can dismiss the entire second half of the first premise and the argument would still stand.  Help me understand how.

Quote

 

Premise 1:

Morality and values depend on the existence of conscious minds.

Premise 2:

Conscious minds and their states are a natural phenomena, of course, fully constrained by the laws of nature whatever these end up being in the end.   

 

How do we conclude from those two premises that-

Quote

 

Conclusion:

Therefore there must be right and wrong answers to the questions of morality and values that potentially fall within the purview of science.

 

Let me get this straight.  Morality depends on conscious minds.  The natural laws of nature constrain those minds.  Therefore, there are right and wrong answer to the questions of morality?  Given naturalism and determinism, isn't morality whatever the natural laws of nature constrain our conscious minds to believe it is - i.e. it subjective to the individual and different for everybody?  How could that be right or wrong?  According to whom? And who made them the arbiter of morality?

Edited by pogi
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3 minutes ago, pogi said:

Now don't start that again.  

From a different angle (because this is wrong from several different angles and for different reasons) - in a different thread you said I can dismiss the entire second half of the first premise and the argument would still stand.  Help me understand how.

How do we conclude from those two premises that-

Let me get this straight.  Morality depends on conscious minds.  The natural laws of nature constrain those minds.  Therefore, there are right and wrong answer to the questions of morality?  Isn't morality whatever the natural laws of nature constrain our conscious minds to believe it is - i.e. it subjective to the individual?

Basically human beings are social and survive communally. Therefore kindness to others helps promote more kindness including to ourselves. It is reasonable to be kind.

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18 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Basically human beings are social and survive communally. Therefore kindness to others helps promote more kindness including to ourselves. It is reasonable to be kind.

This doesn't answer my question.

So, kindness to humans = morality?  

How is it an objective scientific fact that kindness is good or bad, right or wrong? How do we come to that conclusion based on this syllogism?

Edited by pogi
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19 minutes ago, pogi said:

This doesn't answer my question.

So, kindness to humans = morality?  

How is it an objective scientific fact that kindness is good or bad, right or wrong? How do we come to that conclusion based on this syllogism?

Go back to my elaboration and we can work from there.

To see it scientifically, it might help to look at it from the prospective of systems theory.

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8 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Go back to my elaboration and we can work from there.

To see it scientifically, it might help to look at it from the prospective of systems theory.

Which elaboration?  Just to clarify, do you know and agree with Sam Harris' ideas of morality?  Or is your elaboration unrelated to what I am responding to?

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On 9/10/2020 at 12:08 AM, Meadowchik said:

No. From the post he was responding to:

Neither need prevail and the conflict need not turn on theism. Use a common ground like the Golden Rule and create a solution that you could abide, foreseeing the possibility that said solution can be used not just for you but enforced upon you including if you were in any other social position. The Golden Rule can be used and is used to value all human life, including the aged and unborn.

 

One can reject (in modern societies) God while insisting on the validity of morality, he is merely rejecting the cause while clinging to the effect. Without God, morality is reduced to whatever mode of behavior human beings happen to favor either because of their genetic makeup or conventional accords. There is no action that is objectively right or wrong. Rape, hate, murder and other such acts are only wrong because they have been deemed to be so in the course of human evolution, in that particular social group. In others, note, these behaviors are tolerated and/or the "perpetrator" excused under certain condition. So, what makes your morality and laws better or superior than, say, Mongolian tribal law? Dawkins, atheist in chief said:

"Speaking to The Times, Dawkins said he fears the removal of religion would be a bad idea for society because it would give people "license to do really bad things."

 

Edited by Islander
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11 minutes ago, pogi said:

Which elaboration?  Just to clarify, do you know and agree with Sam Harris' ideas of morality?  Or is your elaboration unrelated to what I am responding to?

I'm referring to what I said,

"Basically human beings are social and survive communally. Therefore kindness to others helps promote more kindness including to ourselves. It is reasonable to be kind."

...as a contribution to the idea of nature and our minds combining to generate a moral system.

Nature: the characteristic of human beings surviving communally.

Minds: the ability to recognize that benefitting (or not hurting) another as being akin to benefitting the group and therefore oneself, including the ability to think of increasingly sophisticated ways to do so.

Both synthesize, generating similar moral systems throughout human history.

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44 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

I'm referring to what I said,

"Basically human beings are social and survive communally. Therefore kindness to others helps promote more kindness including to ourselves. It is reasonable to be kind."

...as a contribution to the idea of nature and our minds combining to generate a moral system.

Nature: the characteristic of human beings surviving communally.

Minds: the ability to recognize that benefitting (or not hurting) another as being akin to benefitting the group and therefore oneself, including the ability to think of increasingly sophisticated ways to do so.

Both synthesize, generating similar moral systems throughout human history.

I don't think we are talking about the same things, but I'll engage you.

It is also a natural characteristic of human beings to be tribal and unkind to different tribes, and also to maintain order within tribes.  It is our nature.  Are you suggesting that our nature is immoral? 

I agree that it is reasonable to be kind if we want outcome 'A' (the maximal social and physical survival of all humans).  "Reasonable" and "moral" are not the same thing, however.  But what can science objectively say about the goodness or badness of objective 'A'?  Nothing.  It might be able to help us achieve objective 'A', but it can't tell us if it is morally good or bad.  Why must morality be so anthropocentric instead of being ecocentric?  Is it scientifically and objectively false to have an ecocentic morality that doesn't emphasize the survival and social well-being of humans over other species and ecosystems?  It seems like our tribalism and wars are good for ecosystems in the end.  Overpopulation and human consumption is not the ideal for an ecocentric morality. Given objective 'B' (ecocentric morality), maybe human unkindness is a moral good.  We are animals after all, it seems all animals are unkind to each other.  Maybe there is a "good" natural reason for that.   It all depends on what your goal is, and science can't tell us if a goal is morally right or wrong, true or false.  

 

Do you believe like Sam Harris that we don't have free-will?

   

Edited by pogi
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3 hours ago, Glenn101 said:

Negative. My whole point and the examples I have put forth have been just to point out that without God all moral codes (those you may agree with and those that may strike you as repugnant) are moral relativism.

Well it has become evident that you can only view morality from your religious perspective. Why does God have to be involved in any moral code.  (countless examples have been given of moral codes that God had nothing to do with)  And what happens if the moral code does not come from God?  Either way the moral code can be identical.  The only difference a God makes is a claim that some omniscient being approves of what man has come up with.  And why is that approval necessary?  The answer to that can only come from a religious perspective.  

 

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4 hours ago, Ahab said:

Which to a person who knows about God and Satan means those moral codes came from Satan to those he inspired with those thoughts and ideas.

All good thoughts are the thoughts God has and all evil/bad thoughts are the thoughts Satan has, and each of them are pretty much always actively sharing or trying to share their thoughts with us.

And guess what.  If you try to make it seem as if there is no God or Satan, take a guess at who is sharing that thought with you.  

And so we see how religion twists and turns things to make humanity think they need to be dependent on them.  

I am not saying there is or isn't a God.  So who put that thought in my head?  OR maybe I am capable of making decisions and choices without God or Satan telling me what to do.  Every thought does NOT come from either God or Satan.  If that were so, we end up just being puppets.  

Edited by california boy
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3 hours ago, Glenn101 said:

Isn't there a difference between sacrificing oneself versus being sacrificed?

Of course I suppose for the individual who is sacrificed!  One is voluntary, and the other is not.

It is our religious belief- not historically verifiable- not that any of the stories about Jesus are historically verifiable- that he sacrificed himself.

From the world's point of view, one might say that he was a political rabble-rouser who was arrested- and whose entourage fought back at least with one sword, permanently maiming an officer of the People's Protective Force, the wonderful Roman Empire.   And so the revolutionary leader of the cult was arrested and received the perfectly legal punishment he deserved for insurrection.  ;)   From that point of view there was no "sacrifice" at all.

I have heard of anti-Catholics speaking about Catholics being "cannibals" for taking the Eucharist.

I am just saying that anything can be interpreted virtually any way the interpreter sees it.

 

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10 hours ago, Glenn101 said:

Religious authority, i.e. God's authority cannot be relativistic, else God would not be God.

I agree in principle but the problem is how we KNOW what God's word and authority encompasses 

THAT is the real problem- KNOWING!

And the only way we can KNOW is through evidence that is not objective, but totally subjective- "burning in the bosom".  We know from previous experience that others who do not know what that means finds it to be not only relativistic, but imaginary!

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On 9/10/2020 at 11:24 AM, california boy said:

You are so caught up in your religious rhetoric  that it has completely distorted rational thought.  There are a host of reasons why humans don't eat others for dinner that have nothing to do with God telling them it is wrong.  When people eat grandma, they tend to miss her during the holidays.  When other people eat grandma, it tends to upset her children.  They seem to want revenge and start eating your grandma.  Besides it is just creepy eating someone you love.

Just how many civilizations have talked to God before deciding what code they were going to live by?  For thousands of years, yes thousands, there was just one little insignificant nomadic goat herding tribe that seems to have access to this God that you are now trying to say controls the morals of the world.  It is a ridiculous idea not born out by reality.

Obvious you have not been many places. In most places, today,  the Western morality doesn't exist. Your life is not worth much and if you get mugged or otherwise victimized, by criminals or the government (at times one of the same) it is your fault for not being prepared, able to defend yourself or putting yourself in that situation.  They do not believe you have the right to anything but a true darwinism existential ethos. Americans, in particular, are very ethnocentric and myopic. They don't know much about what goes on in the world and for the most part don't care. Even worse, they believe that the way they live is the norm when in reality is the exception. 

It a certainty, by your statements, that you have not probed deep enough into the root nature and foundation of your philosophical position. I suggest you go ahead and do that. Even atheist philosophers like Kai Nielsen acknowledged that without the legacy of Judeo-Christian thought and worldview we would be subject to naturalistic and utilitarian ethics. The theory of a humanistic, secular morality without God is a late child of post modernism. Is like enjoying the fruit while despising and rejecting the notion of the farm work that produced it. A very scary prospect.

For the most, the exchange here is getting repeative and tiresome. I think it has reached the point of  diminishing returns. 

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16 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

And the negative and positive versions are already reasonable. Start with the premise that human beings must deal with other human beings on a consistent basis, then it is reasonable contribute to a pattern that when benefiting others can promote benefit for all.

Perhaps that is why some form of the Golden Rule can be traced back to the ancients, to nearly all religions and ethical systems and is widely well-regarded. It makes sense, being one in a world of many.

It is really an idea with vast implications.  All notions of human equality and rights hinge on it, the worth of all people and all of the concepts of justice rely on the idea of reciprocity - what's right for one should be right for all.  Inalienable rights conceptually are based on that- morally it's the "whole ball of wax" ;)

 

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9 hours ago, pogi said:

Do you believe like Sam Harris that we don't have free-will? 

This question was at the end of your remarks, but I'll answer in first. Regarding free will, in my own contemplations, I have arrived at this: we may or may not "have free will," but as a general rule it is better to act as if we do. 

 

9 hours ago, pogi said:

I don't think we are talking about the same things, but I'll engage you.   

Perhaps not, but there might be some relevant crossover :)

9 hours ago, pogi said:

It is also a natural characteristic of human beings to be tribal and unkind to different tribes, and also to maintain order within tribes.  It is our nature.  Are you suggesting that our nature is immoral?    

I would say that obviously human beings have moral and immoral natures, or in other words, the ability to behave in ways that generate benefit and harm. 

9 hours ago, pogi said:

I agree that it is reasonable to be kind if we want outcome 'A' (the maximal social and physical survival of all humans).  "Reasonable" and "moral" are not the same thing, however.  But what can science objectively say about the goodness or badness of objective 'A'?  Nothing.  It might be able to help us achieve objective 'A', but it can't tell us if it is morally good or bad.  Why must morality be so anthropocentric instead of being ecocentric?  Is it scientifically and objectively false to have an ecocentic morality that doesn't emphasize the survival and social well-being of humans over other species and ecosystems?  It seems like our tribalism and wars are good for ecosystems in the end.  Overpopulation and human consumption is not the ideal for an ecocentric morality. Given objective 'B' (ecocentric morality), maybe human unkindness is a moral good.  We are animals after all, it seems all animals are unkind to each other.  Maybe there is a "good" natural reason for that.   It all depends on what your goal is, and science can't tell us if a goal is morally right or wrong, true or false.    

In the context of the morality in theism versus morality in atheism, we can encounter similar questions in both. Is God the God of everything in the same way? Is God the Father of rocks, or just their Creator? Did God create rocks for the use of humans or lichen? Is there a lichen God somewhere watching over its children? In both theism and atheism, the various dilemmas between anthropocentrism versus ecocentrism still remain.

Similarly, the problem of what "good" is, or how to define "morality" remains, too. But perhaps a common ground can be found by defining "moral" as causing benefit and not causing harm. Actions can then fall on a continuum of more or less moral. They can become more moral by causing more benefit and less harm, etc...

Another common ground we might find is that as a self, a person centers theirself as the principal actor in their moral drama. So the dichotomy of anthropo verses eco-centrism is addressed with the self, not because the moral universe revolves around the self, but because the ability to act starts with the self. 

This is why, for example, humanity in general does not assign accountability to a newborn baby. A newborn baby is perfectly egocentric and cannot act beyond the involuntary functions of his body. There is no moral drama unfolding when a baby sleeps or cries. However, this changes as the infant grows and is able to act. We gradually assign accountability more to them, or in other words, we expect moral behavior from them because they can act.

Similarly, this ability to act has implications on a person's moral universe in the collective sense. A healthy ten-year-old child can act, but her sphere of influence might only remain within the context of her own family or village. As she grows and increases in the ability to act and move about the world, her moral universe enlarges. She starts to see that her actions have power that impact other selves. She has discovered moral responsibility. 

Going back to anthropocentrism versus ecocentrism, the common ground of moral action beginning with the self naturally provides not only addressment of the dilemma but also a path to resolution between them. We start with where we have the ability to act, ourselves. If we then adopt a morality of kindness to other human beings, we address ecomorality by continuing the expansion of our moral universe to the ecosystem. We act in more moral ways as we become more able to act more morally. 

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13 hours ago, Islander said:

Obvious you have not been many places.

Lol.  You picked on the wrong person to attack.  YOU make assumptions about me and everyone else that you know NOTHING about.  For the past 14 years, I have lived internationally for 6 months out of the year.  I have been to these countries, some of which you probably couldn't even locate on a map.

Albania

Andorra

Austria

Bahamas

Barbados

Canada

Chile

China

Croatia

Denmark

Fiji

France

Gibraltar

Germany

Greece

Hungry

Indonesia

Italy

Japan

Malta

Mexico

Monoco

Montenegro

Morocco

Netherlands

New Zealand

Norway

Portugal

Saint Lucia

Singapore

South Korea

Spain

Switzerland

Taiwan

Thailand

Turkey

United Kingdom

United States

Vatican City

 

13 hours ago, Islander said:

In most places, today,  the Western morality doesn't exist.

In all of these places, there is a form of government that keeps people from robbing, killing, murdering, and enslaving each other.  People treat each other with respect and kindness.  Neighbors help neighbors.  Parents love and care for their children.  I could tell you literally hundreds of stories where people have shown kindness towards me. Just because they may not hold YOUR view of morality does not mean in the slightest that morality doesn't exist.

 

13 hours ago, Islander said:

Your life is not worth much and if you get mugged or otherwise victimized, by criminals or the government (at times one of the same) it is your fault for not being prepared, able to defend yourself or putting yourself in that situation. 

In all of the places I have been, no one has mugged me or have I ever been a victim of criminals.  No government has put me in jail for being moral.  They put criminals in jail for breaking the law, not people who are moral.  Is the system perfect? Are all governments perfect? No. In fact none of them are. But for the most part, those governments try to encourage and enforce moral behavior.

 

13 hours ago, Islander said:

They do not believe you have the right to anything but a true darwinism existential ethos. Americans, in particular, are very ethnocentric and myopic. They don't know much about what goes on in the world and for the most part don't care. Even worse, they believe that the way they live is the norm when in reality is the exception. 

Perhaps you are projecting your own attitudes and prejudices.  Making ethnocentric and mopic generalizations and assumptions of ANY people based on your own prejudices is ignorant.  

 

13 hours ago, Islander said:

It a certainty, by your statements, that you have not probed deep enough into the root nature and foundation of your philosophical position. I suggest you go ahead and do that. Even atheist philosophers like Kai Nielsen acknowledged that without the legacy of Judeo-Christian thought and worldview we would be subject to naturalistic and utilitarian ethics. The theory of a humanistic, secular morality without God is a late child of post modernism. Is like enjoying the fruit while despising and rejecting the notion of the farm work that produced it. A very scary prospect.

For the most, the exchange here is getting repeative and tiresome. I think it has reached the point of  diminishing returns. 

You obviously have no idea what you are talking about.  You make assumptions about me that couldn't be further from the truth.  Attacking me and making assumptions does NOT give credence to your point of view.  It mostly exposes your own ignorance. For the vast majority of the worlds history Judeo-Christianity had NO influence on the morality of civilizations.  When were the Israelites an influence on any of the great civilizations of the world?  Was there no morality in the world before Christianity started to blossom?  Those are questions that have been pointed out numerous times in this thread that you haven't been able to answer.  

The world does NOT need your narrow point of view about God or morality to govern.  Are there bad people in the world?  Duh.  There are bad people in the world whether there is a God or not.  There are bad people in the world whether morality exists or not.  Perhaps it is you that needs to get out a bit more and to see that the picture of humanity you have painted is not how the vast majority of how the world lives.

 

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16 hours ago, california boy said:

Well it has become evident that you can only view morality from your religious perspective. Why does God have to be involved in any moral code.  (countless examples have been given of moral codes that God had nothing to do with)  And what happens if the moral code does not come from God?  Either way the moral code can be identical.  The only difference a God makes is a claim that some omniscient being approves of what man has come up with.  And why is that approval necessary?  The answer to that can only come from a religious perspective. 

All of my posts have been assuming that there is no God. It is others who keep throwing God into the mix.

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15 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I am just saying that anything can be interpreted virtually any way the interpreter sees it.

And that has been my point.

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15 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I agree in principle but the problem is how we KNOW what God's word and authority encompasses 

THAT is the real problem- KNOWING!

And the only way we can KNOW is through evidence that is not objective, but totally subjective- "burning in the bosom".  We know from previous experience that others who do not know what that means finds it to be not only relativistic, but imaginary!

I agree with that. But I have not been debating anything about the existence of God. My posts have all been assuming that there is no God with the point being that all moral codes would be subjective. Moral relativism.

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1 hour ago, Glenn101 said:

I agree with that. But I have not been debating anything about the existence of God. My posts have all been assuming that there is no God with the point being that all moral codes would be subjective. Moral relativism.

The position you've been arguing all along presumes that your definition of morality is valid in the first place. It seems to me that you are relying on an unverifiable idea to dismiss more verifiable ideas.

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