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Good and Evil


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3 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.

Of course, even the Golden rule is subject to interpretation. 
My father had a sign posted in his office.

“He who has the gold, makes the rules”

My own interpretation is “Do unto others before they do unto you.”😀

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On 9/10/2020 at 2:06 AM, Meadowchik said:

Nope, and although you took it out of the quote of my words, I explained how that is not so.

Everything you have explained is moral relativism. You are choosing the golden rule as your starting point. Yous spoke of the devastating effects of genocide, but how is that morally wrong? It only violates rules you and others may have established. Mass genocides have helped some people, according to their own set of morals and values. You can get together with a group of people with similar values and condemn those with different values which will result in what? The only way to stop it is with might.

In a world without God, might makes right.

 But in a cold, uncaring, indifferent universe life has no value. It exists accidentally and when it is snuffed out, that is the end. All of the so called good deeds and all of the so called bad deeds are ultimately of the same worth. Zero.

Glenn

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4 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

Everything you have explained is moral relativism. You are choosing the golden rule as your starting point. Yous spoke of the devastating effects of genocide, but how is that morally wrong? It only violates rules you and others may have established. Mass genocides have helped some people, according to their own set of morals and values. You can get together with a group of people with similar values and condemn those with different values which will result in what? The only way to stop it is with might.

In a world without God, might makes right.

 But in a cold, uncaring, indifferent universe life has no value. It exists accidentally and when it is snuffed out, that is the end. All of the so called good deeds and all of the so called bad deeds are ultimately of the same worth. Zero.

Glenn

If that is really how you see the Universe, then please remain a theist. 

However, I think that, as I have explained in detail to you already, there can be better common ground through reason which is less vulnerable to subject pitfalls than religious authority. Religious authority can be morally relativist. If you ever think God or a prophet is telling you to kill an innocent, please seek better reasoning, and I promise to do the same if my epistemology indicates similarly detestable behavior. :)

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19 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Minoan Civilization? ;)

That literally fits.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minoan_civilization

Another advanced civilization that practiced human sacrifice. But that was all and well and good with them.

https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/dismembered-remains-tell-horrifying-tale-ritual-human-sacrifice-ancient-021774

 

Edited by Glenn101
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8 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

If that is really how you see the Universe, then please remain a theist. 

That is how the universe would logically be without God.

9 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

However, I think that, as I have explained in detail to you already, there can be better common ground through reason which is less vulnerable to subject pitfalls than religious authority. Religious authority can be morally relativist. If you ever think God or a prophet is telling you to kill an innocent, please seek better reasoning, and I promise to do the same if my epistemology indicates similarly detestable behavior.

What you have shown is something that I already was in agreement with, i.e. that people can and do get together to find common moral ground on which they can agree and live with. They have found that rapprochement is in their best interests. And then, there are others who go a different route. People, groups, and nations.

Religious authority, i.e. God's authority cannot be relativistic, else God would not be God. How some people interpret God's word can be morally relativistic. As recorded in the scriptures, there are a lot of items that I have problems with. God being recorded as ordering the Israelites to kill man woman and child of those in the nations that they were to drive out of Canaan is one of them. It is an item I have put on my shelf to learn if and why later because I have had some experiences which have entrenched the belief that there is a living God firmly in my psyche.

And I am not a betting man. I believe in God and I do not play the lottery.

Glenn

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On 9/9/2020 at 10:33 PM, rodheadlee said:

The president of China said he had a mandate from Heaven to rule the world. Is this immoral or moral? Is it objective or subjective?

Are you saying his desire to rule the world?  I'd say it's objective immoral. 

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On 9/9/2020 at 9:19 PM, Islander said:

The fact that the West has decided to jettison its Judeo-Christian  foundation does not negate that fact that the value system, the system of laws and the very rights that we all enjoy are rooted there. Its influence has permeated the world and America, for example, has gone to great lengths to share and spread those values the world over. 

In most of the world, people do not have the rights we ,cherish and enjoy in this country, . Think of the fact that millions live in countries that have no Judeo-Chrisgian roots and those are the most repressive,  most brutal and backwards societies on earth. The West has rejected the Lawgiver but enjoys the benefits of His laws. Regrettable.  

God has defined what is good and what is evil. Besides that there is only human opinion which changes constantly. Thus without an absolute and immutable definition of good and evil we are left with situational, utilitarian and ever shifting opinion, not morality. 

You mean like the idea that in some instances some things like murdering innocent is ok and sometimes it's not?  Or rape is okay sometimes and sometimes not?  Slavery?  Priesthood restrictions?  Polygamy?  Concubines?   I mean I don't mean to get graffic or offend, but your ideas seems completely at odds with the history of Jedeo-Christian world views.  It's always been that God can command the murder of someone else and yet claim at other times, murder is not good.  Its both good and bad, on Christian-Judeo ethics.  You are being silly if you think that means absolute and immutable.  I thought Joseph said:

 

 

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3 hours ago, Glenn101 said:

That is how the universe would logically be without God.

That is how you believe it would logically be. 

3 hours ago, Glenn101 said:

What you have shown is something that I already was in agreement with, i.e. that people can and do get together to find common moral ground on which they can agree and live with. They have found that rapprochement is in their best interests. And then, there are others who go a different route. People, groups, and nations.

Religious authority, i.e. God's authority cannot be relativistic, else God would not be God. How some people interpret God's word can be morally relativistic. As recorded in the scriptures, there are a lot of items that I have problems with. God being recorded as ordering the Israelites to kill man woman and child of those in the nations that they were to drive out of Canaan is one of them. It is an item I have put on my shelf to learn if and why later because I have had some experiences which have entrenched the belief that there is a living God firmly in my psyche.

And I am not a betting man. I believe in God and I do not play the lottery.

Glenn

I mean, that might work in theory. The problem we as humans beings face is the gap between the theory of God and what we can verify to each other.

What we have is: 

1) what we are can verify to each other

and beyond that,

2) what we are willing to believe from each other without verification.

Religions and other ideologies can be extremely prone to favor the latter #2 technique of belief. In that way, authoritarian-based ideologies are a version of rolling the dice.

On the other hand, I think that human experience shows that human beings can create worlds and ways that are good, and are more prone to do so when they rely on technique #1. In that way, the Universe that we experience as social beings largely depends upon what we make of it.

 

 

Edited by Meadowchik
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4 hours ago, Glenn101 said:

That is how the universe would logically be without God.

What you have shown is something that I already was in agreement with, i.e. that people can and do get together to find common moral ground on which they can agree and live with. They have found that rapprochement is in their best interests. And then, there are others who go a different route. People, groups, and nations.

Religious authority, i.e. God's authority cannot be relativistic, else God would not be God. How some people interpret God's word can be morally relativistic. As recorded in the scriptures, there are a lot of items that I have problems with. God being recorded as ordering the Israelites to kill man woman and child of those in the nations that they were to drive out of Canaan is one of them. It is an item I have put on my shelf to learn if and why later because I have had some experiences which have entrenched the belief that there is a living God firmly in my psyche.

And I am not a betting man. I believe in God and I do not play the lottery.

Glenn

You are talking religion, not morality.  Morality can be rooted in religion, but it doesn't have to be.  Countless examples have been posted on this thread of moral codes that never came from God.

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20 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

You haven't read Civilization by Niall Ferguson yet, have you?  He posits explanations for all of this.B:)

Yeah, it probably takes a book to explain it, so I won't here.

Again, Niall Ferguson is an atheist and your entire argument is designed to prove that atheists are amoral sociopaths who are laws unto themselves. Why would you trust the writings of such a person? Because he happens to say stuff you like? Sounds like you might be infected by this plague of making up your own morality whenever it suits you as you support the barbarians who would kill us all if they happen to support your cause.

So far there are two major problems with your thesis:

1. You use the support of those who must, by your own argument, be untrustworthy. When this is pointed out you ignore it.

2. You ignore the doctrine of the light of Christ because you want to believe that everyone is amoral. To counter the scriptures you quote a philosopher like John Locke. You are worse then Satan. At least he mingled those philosophies with a little scripture.

Your entire worldview is self-contradictory. Fix it.

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4 hours ago, Glenn101 said:

That is how the universe would logically be without God.

Even if it were logically true humans do not act out of pure logic. We have also seen societies not dominated by Judeo-Christian values and who have no gods or horrible or amoral gods and they did not immediately descend into a rape and murderfest.

Logic is all well and good but if your logic leads to a conclusion that is not supported by the facts something is wrong. Someone can argue all day that quantum physics is irrational and illogical but GPS devices work so there is something to it. Someone can argue that economics is completely predictable because everyone will act rationally but look how those models inevitably turn out.

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30 minutes ago, california boy said:

You are talking religion, not morality.  Morality can be rooted in religion, but it doesn't have to be.  Countless examples have been posted on this thread of moral codes that never came from God.

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.  

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2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

That is how you believe it would logically be. 

I mean, that might work in theory. The problem we as humans beings face is the gap between the theory of God and what we can verify to each other.

What we have is: 

1) what we are can verify to each other

and beyond that,

2) what we are willing to believe from each other without verification.

Religions and other ideologies can be extremely prone to favor the latter #2 technique of belief. In that way, authoritarian-based ideologies are a version of rolling the dice.

On the other hand, I think that human experience shows that human beings can create worlds and ways that are good, and are more prone to do so when they rely on technique #1. In that way, the Universe that we experience as social beings largely depends upon what we make of it.

The problem is that there is so much more that cannot be verified empirically. The existence of God cannot be proven empirically nor has anyone shown the ability to disprove His existence.

Humans have indeed shown the ability to create nations, creeds, cultures they thought/think are good, but then point at other nations, creeds, cultures that do no adhere to their own standards as not good. Of course you define good from the set of values you have erected for yourself, and I would probably agree with most of them. But without God, we do not have the moral authority to label something else as morally bad. Of course, we can do the label, but it has no more authority than we have the means to enforce.

Glenn

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1 hour ago, california boy said:

You are talking religion, not morality.  Morality can be rooted in religion, but it doesn't have to be.  Countless examples have been posted on this thread of moral codes that never came from God.

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.

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7 minutes 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.

All codes based on religious conviction are vulnerable to moral relativism, even moreso when they are authoritarian. 

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

Even if it were logically true humans do not act out of pure logic. We have also seen societies not dominated by Judeo-Christian values and who have no gods or horrible or amoral gods and they did not immediately descend into a rape and murderfest.

Logic is all well and good but if your logic leads to a conclusion that is not supported by the facts something is wrong. Someone can argue all day that quantum physics is irrational and illogical but GPS devices work so there is something to it. Someone can argue that economics is completely predictable because everyone will act rationally but look how those models inevitably turn out.

Ah, my friend, The Nehor, your post has some logical inconsistencies. Now, to save myself, I have to point out that I did not say people act out of logic. My point was that without God, or some type of higher moral authority that knows it all, then all moral codes are morally relative. That is the logic I was referring to.

Now, when you talk of societies with horrible or amoral gods, by what moral authority do you pronounce that a god of another nation i horrible or amoral? You are either speaking as a person who  has been taught a moral code from an ultimate authority, or as one who views those gods as horrible or amoral because they conflict with your own codes and you believe your codes are superior to those gods. Of course we have seen some nations or movements whose gods we do not accept, that we believe to be immoral, descend into rape and murderfest. Like Boko Haram.

If logic is all well and good, then it will not lead to a conclusion not supported by the facts.

By the way, I did not realize that GPS was derived through quantum physics. I do understand that the GPS has to engage with the theory of relativity in order to keep time synchronized accurately.

 

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7 hours ago, Glenn101 said:

Another advanced civilization that practiced human sacrifice. But that was all and well and good with them.

https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/dismembered-remains-tell-horrifying-tale-ritual-human-sacrifice-ancient-021774

 

I hesitate to even say this.

Christ was a human, right?

It's amazing how apostasy twists things. And every crumb of the Eucharist....

Uh, concepts get turned around pretty quickly.  Like the game of "telephone".

A few generations of illiteracy accelerates every thing 

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20 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

All codes based on religious conviction are vulnerable to moral relativism, even moreso when they are authoritarian. 

If there is no God, that would be mostly true. I do not know about the authoritarian part. It would seem to me to be the other way around.

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8 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

Kant is certainly entitled to his opinions. 
But that is not what experience teaches. 

I beg to differ. So if you are nice to someone they always stab you in the back, right?

Watch your back then around your sweetie  ;)

How odd that business people are nice to their customers!!

Especially those dang atheist business people.!!  No pragmatic morals whatsoever!!

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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5 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I hesitate to even say this.

Christ was a human, right?

It's amazing how apostasy twists things. And every crumb of the Eucharist....

Uh, concepts get turned around pretty quickly.  Like the game of "telephone".

A few generations of illiteracy accelerates every thing 

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

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12 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

If there is no God, that would be mostly true. I do not know about the authoritarian part. It would seem to me to be the other way around.

Itd be true if God.  Since there are many versions of god we simply cant know which one is really god.  Thus any conclusion that one particular god is true is simply one person's subjective determination.  And on top of that any message that any particular god gives in terms of moral code is just that one person's subjective determination as well.  

With that said and as argued elsewhere on this board moral objectivism is possible on a secular view.  

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11 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

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

Sacrifice loses its meaning if the one sacrificed has gods power of immortality.  What after all is the sacrifice if hes inherited the bestest stuff and place ever, retiring to the heavenly spot and ranked above all else?  

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6 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Itd be true if God.  Since there are many versions of god we simply cant know which one is really god.  Thus any conclusion that one particular god is true is simply one person's subjective determination.  And on top of that any message that any particular god gives in terms of moral code is just that one person's subjective determination as well.  

With that said and as argued elsewhere on this board moral objectivism is possible on a secular view.  

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.

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4 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.

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:  

Premise 1:

Morality and values depend on the existence of conscious minds, and specifically, additionally  various minds can experience various forms of well being and suffering in the universe.

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.  

Conclusion:

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

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