Author Topic: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...  (Read 2831 times)

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Offline mhaberling

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Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« on: May 17, 2013, 12:18:44 AM »
hey.... Been away from the forums for a while, got drawn back in about a week ago but this is my first post... So lets get down to it.

In a godless universe, I want to know what makes murder wrong. Everything in the universe is simply collections of atoms. Well, if I have a knife why is it OK to wing it through the air or stab it in dirt but so wrong to stab it into the atoms of another human being. From where does the idea that stabbing or shooting what is essentially a sack of complex chemicals is wrong come from. What evidence can you provide to validate morality
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Offline Astreja

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2013, 12:29:04 AM »
Short answer:  If you run around flinging knives at people, in due course they'll start flinging 'em right back.  Pure pragmatism -- If you want to live a decent and reasonably long life, try not to threaten, annoy or otherwise make life miserable for others.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2013, 12:30:17 AM »
Probably the same thing that makes it wrong in a godly universe, whatever that is.

What does make it wrong in a universe with one or more deities, anyway?
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2013, 12:40:08 AM »
Short answer:  If you run around flinging knives at people, in due course they'll start flinging 'em right back.  Pure pragmatism -- If you want to live a decent and reasonably long life, try not to threaten, annoy or otherwise make life miserable for others.

But do you really think that... If I started running around killing people, you would say I ought be stopped right? You may even say I should be punished. But why? What evidence would someone have to say that what I am doing is wrong.

Probably the same thing that makes it wrong in a godly universe, whatever that is.

What does make it wrong in a universe with one or more deities, anyway?

An objective morality, a right and wrong that exists outside of peoples opinions. Such a concept is purely knowledge and since, being objective, has to be able to exist outside human consciousness requires a god.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2013, 12:48:05 AM »
Probably the same thing that makes it wrong in a godly universe, whatever that is.

What does make it wrong in a universe with one or more deities, anyway?

An objective morality, a right and wrong that exists outside of peoples opinions. Such a concept is purely knowledge and since, being objective, has to be able to exist outside human consciousness requires a god.

There are minds outside of human consciousness in a godless universe as well.  Animals are conscious to varying degrees, too, and they're not human.

Still not getting the relevance of a deity.  What makes its moral opinions so special?
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2013, 12:55:18 AM »
Azdgari... Human or animal or space alien is irrelevant. For a piece of knowledge to be objective, it must exist without being relative to anything else like for example who knows it. This is only possible uf there is a knower of all things that exists objective of the universe.(God)

In a godless universe there is no knower so morality cannot be objective. So where is the logic in adhering to it.
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Online Aaron123

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2013, 01:06:24 AM »
For a piece of knowledge to be objective, it must exist without being relative to anything else like for example who knows it.

How would one verify this?


Quote
This is only possible uf there is a knower of all things that exists objective of the universe.(God)


Again, how would one verify this?  How would you determine that you're dealing with "a knower of all things", and that it exists "objective of the universe"?


Not to mention the question of whenever it's interested in laying down the rules to us or not... (if god really does exists, he's clearly not interested in telling us what his ideas of morality are)


Quote
In a godless universe there is no knower so morality cannot be objective. So where is the logic in adhering to it.

Why be hung up over whenever morality is "objective" or not? 
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2013, 01:30:19 AM »
Azdgari... Human or animal or space alien or god is irrelevant.

Fixed it for you.

For a piece of knowledge to be objective, it must exist without being relative to anything else like for example who knows it.

...like a god.

This is only possible uf there is a knower of all things that exists objective of the universe.(God)

Your sentence isn't coherent at the end.  "Objective" isn't a comparison word, like "relative to" or "dependent on".  But if you mean that the knower has to exist objectively as a part of the universe...well, so do we.  Our existence is objectively true.  A real god's existence would also be objectively true.  We would be alike in that regard.

In a godless universe there is no knower so morality cannot be objective. So where is the logic in adhering to it.

There are lots of objectively-existing knowers in a godless universe.  A universe with one or more gods just has a few more of them - the god(s).

You've yet to distinguish a godless universe from a godly one in any way relevant to whether morality is objective.  You really would have done better to figure that out before trying the angle in the OP.  It's necessary groundwork.
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Offline Astreja

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2013, 01:35:11 AM »
But do you really think that... If I started running around killing people, you would say I ought be stopped right? You may even say I should be punished. But why? What evidence would someone have to say that what I am doing is wrong.

"Evidence" is a red herring, IMO.  I don't think that morality has any intrinsic purpose in and of itself, and the only reason we utilize it is because it's useful in creating a cohesive and balanced society.

Quote
An objective morality, a right and wrong that exists outside of peoples opinions. Such a concept is purely knowledge and since, being objective, has to be able to exist outside human consciousness requires a god.

What makes a god's morality objective?  It looks very much like subjective morality writ large, with "human's opinion" scratched out and "deity's opinion" written in in crayon.
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2013, 01:41:51 AM »
Murder is wrong because we humans are defining it as wrong. Not all of us, mind you, but enough of us agree that it is a shiity thing to do to make rules against it. Religious or not. There is no ultimate reason why we don't kill, other than most of us are against it. There is no overarching force that defines life as so sacred that only it, that powerful force, can kill whenever it wants but we can't.

The religious can't claim the moral high ground here. How many soldiers have prayed together for a really really good battle before they go out and slaughter their foes? You know, the ones who don't adhere to the ten commandments. There exists no higher force. Nothing "out there" is defining any of this. We humans are.

There have been times in the past when murder was not wrong. Of course, they didn't call it murder. They called it "hunting" or "working for the department of Homeland Security" or something. So folks who eat each other for dinner would be unable to understand your question in the first place, because they probably wouldn't have a word for murder. Because a guys gotta eat.

In other words, you're asking people who know what it means. Which is bound to skew the results.

My reasons for killing or not killing have nothing to do with my lack of a religious stance. I am able to define and accept moral standards without having a god standing over my shoulder; without fearing an infinity in hell or otherwise worrying about irritiating the big guy. I can do that on my own. And frankly, you shouldn't complain. This is to your advantage, the same as having friendly religious neighbors is to your advantage. You get to live long enough to ponder questions like this.

So murder is wrong because most of us humans agree that it is. At least under most circumstances. There are a few of us who say under all circumstances, but most of the rest of us are willing to make an exception here and there. Fans of predator drones and the death penalty and KKK members and vigorously anti-gay bigots with issues can excuse it at times. Gun toting vigilantes who would otherwise not harm others can sometimes justify their innate desire to be judge, jury and executioner.

So there isn't an ultimate reason for not killing. Rather it is a choice of civilized civilizations. Which wouldn't be civilizations if they ran around wiping each other off the face of the planet.

I could go out and kill somebody right now. I don't  (and never have) for a variety of reasons. Everything from the golden rule to a strange and unnatural desire not to spend the rest of my life in prison. Plus somewhere along the way I was taught to respect life in other humans. However, I eat cows because for me a ban on killing isn't a universal thing. I could choose not to eat hamburgers and get all uppity and ask why others go around shooting them in the head with a .22 and slicing them up and selling their flesh for a profit, but instead I join in the fray and buy the cheaper cuts of meat happily. It is a choice. One that happens to have fewer instances of bad karma. Yea, I'll have a heart attack or get cancer from eating too many bovine growth hormones or whatever, but just like bodies in car wrecks, we humans accept some forms of death.

But not murder. Usually. Now excuse me while I go stone my neighbor for working last Sunday.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2013, 02:01:27 AM »
... There is no overarching force that defines life as so sacred that only it, that powerful force, can kill whenever it wants but we can't.  ...

Actually, I do have a neighbor like this.
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Offline hickdive

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2013, 02:44:03 AM »
If murder was OK then pretty soon we'd die out as a species.

The evidence is that Piranhas, Hyenas, in fact lots of predators, live together in groups where "murder" is relatively rare because of the evolutionary drive to continue the species.

No god-given "morality" required.

Stupidity, unlike intelligence, has no limits.

Offline Nam

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2013, 04:21:28 AM »
To the OP,

I do not fling knives at dirt; mainly 'cause I'm lazy and don't want to clean the damn knives.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline bertatberts

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2013, 05:25:23 AM »
Quote from: mhaberling
In a godless universe,
Do you mean in the universe, I will assume so!
Quote from: mhaberling
I want to know what makes murder wrong. Everything in the universe is simply collections of atoms. Well, if I have a knife why is it OK to wing it through the air or stab it in dirt but so wrong to stab it into the atoms of another human being.
Well firstly you've taken humanity or anything else out of the equation, you've taken everything down to it's basic components. The knife would not be a knife it would be just some atoms interacting with another set of atoms. So stating that we are a collection of atoms, makes your argument moot.
Quote from: mhaberling
From where does the idea that stabbing or shooting what is essentially a sack of complex chemicals is wrong come from.
Self preservation, it's that simple!
Quote from: mhaberling
What evidence can you provide to validate morality
Humanity still existing. We are social animals if we didn't follow an innate code of self preservation, the species would have died out long ago.

Why would you think, there should be more?
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Offline plethora

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2013, 05:37:09 AM »
An objective morality, a right and wrong that exists outside of peoples opinions. Such a concept is purely knowledge and since, being objective, has to be able to exist outside human consciousness requires a god.

uh ... no.

You see, if right and wrong is dictated by a god, then morality is still subjective. Morality is whatever it is according to the god and is not objectively true. It's just a case of might makes right.

For something to be objectively moral, it would have to be true regardless of whether there exists a god to subscribe to and dictate it.
The truth doesn't give a shit about our feelings.

Offline The Gawd

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2013, 05:51:03 AM »
this is one of those terrible arguments. Why he chose to use "objective" when his bible clearly demonstrates his mythological god's "morality" is anything but objective and has evolved over time seemingly in unison with the evolution of peoples ideas.... isnt it ironin, dont you think.

Slavery, I suppose, is still objectively moral since yahweh said it was.

OP, that is just one very small problem in a sea of problems in your reasoning...

There is no objective morality, it is a fluid concept.

Offline HAL

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2013, 06:21:49 AM »
Murder is wrong because we humans are defining it as wrong. Not all of us, mind you, but enough of us agree that it is a shiity thing to do to make rules against it. Religious or not.

Right, it's based on the rules of the society we live in.

There is no reason that there couldn't be a nation or group of people that thought it was morally OK to murder each other as they pleased. It would be OK because the majority agreed it was OK. That's all there is to it really. Then, in that society, the ones who thought is was wrong would be put in jail if they tried to stop a murder. In that society murder would be morally right because most of them wanted it that way.

You don't see it though, because it makes for a very tenuous existence if you can be murdered for stepping on your neighbor's daisies.

There is simply no absolute moral standard.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 06:33:37 AM by HAL »

Offline wheels5894

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2013, 06:53:50 AM »
Objective Moral Authority?

Maybe we should look to Ludwig FeuerbachWiki. He was able to conclude that god can be used to describe the whole of humanity, from the first to the last person. This long, long line of people have the characteristics of god - know everything etc. Now, the knowledge of what is right and wrong is held in common with all people so, in effect, we have objective morality that is not reliant on any one person.

in contrast our OP wants to have relative morality as it is all relative to a mythical being - exactly what he says a godless universe has. This would all very well if
  • We could clearly identify which god held the knowledge
  • The morality was laid out in a way that we universally useful

in fact we have a load of different holy books that all have different moral codes and talk about different gods. There is no one set of codes that we can call universal since there is not one god that can be identified as the one true god  Thus I suggest the the whole of humanity is the better explanation than a mythical god.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2013, 07:46:06 AM »
In a godless universe, I want to know what makes murder wrong.

Funnily enough, I want to know what makes murder wrong in a godly universe.

In a godless universe, we get one brief chance at existence.  We are born, we live, we die, the end.  Killing someone ends that one single existence, without their consent.  It just seems self evidently wrong.

But murder in a godly universe?  We should be holding up murderers as the greatest heroes there can be!  They speed people to god.  They kill someone, they accelerate that person and send them straight to heaven.  Bonanza!

More than that, any Christian who believes that innocents go straight to heaven because they are not yet capable of answering for their actions, should be delighted if a gunman shoots up their kid's nursery.  Their kid goes straight to heaven, guaranteed!  No chance they will grow up and sin and be an atheist!  Hail the child-killers, for they guarantee your little darling a place at god's right hand for all eternity - what Christian parent could want more?

Without even touching on the "everything happens for a reason " argument (which says that the murderers are just doing god's work), we just have to look at Yahweh's own example.  What does he do to punish the first murderer?  Send him straight to hell?  Rip him apart?  Kick his ass?  Nope.  He says "I'll make sure nobody ever harms you" and sends him off to live out the rest of life quite happily.

Yahweh LOVES murderers.  I just don't understand why Christians don't.

Hence my question - in a GODLY universe, why is murder wrong?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2013, 08:45:07 AM »
Hence my question - in a GODLY universe, why is murder wrong?
In a godly universe there is no reason to ask such a question.  God wrote the answers to the morality test in the back of the book.  You just need to look it up.

In a godless universe you've got to actually take considerations of the consequences of your moral choices.  You would need to think about how your actions effect everything around you.  You run the risk of making an incorrect assessment of a situation and causing harm even if your intentions are good.  You would have to constantly be thinking of others around you; constantly evaluating the situation; constantly risking accountability for your actions.

In a godly universe there is no reason to do that.  God wrote the answers to the morality test in the back of the book.  You just need to look it up.  In a godly universe, consequence, in regards to morality, is a separate matter.
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2013, 08:45:49 AM »
While you are at it, Anfauglir, how about abortions? The 'child' being aborted is one that the mother, at least, doesn't want and will not love. It will end up being passed around while a suitable set of adopters are found for it and may have miserable childhood in a children's home. Abortion, in a Christian universe, gets the unloved foetus straight into heaven to live in bliss without having known sin or evil or, indeed, suffering. So why are religions so keen to fight abortion?
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2013, 08:57:01 AM »

In a godly universe there is no reason to do that.  God wrote the answers to the morality test in the back of the book.  You just need to look it up.  In a godly universe, consequence, in regards to morality, is a separate matter.

All very well - but which moral code is the right one?
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Tonus

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2013, 09:30:21 AM »
In a godless universe there is no knower so morality cannot be objective. So where is the logic in adhering to it.

I would say that in a godless universe, logic is what makes us adhere to it.  The logic in making murder a crime is pretty clear-- if people can murder each other without consequence, civilized society is probably impossible to maintain.  We wouldn't feel secure in that environment, so we make practical decisions regarding certain behaviors (murder, theft, rape, etc) so as to maintain an acceptable level of order.

The issue with the idea of god-given objective morals has already been pointed out in this topic-- the god(s) of many religions (certainly the ones of the major religions) have shown a propensity to command their followers to commit many of the very acts that are supposed to be objectively wrong.  This is waved off by making the god(s) in question unaccountable for their actions or the actions that they sanction or condone.  But if an act can be justified as "good" or "moral" or "right" then it cannot be objectively bad/immoral/wrong.

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2013, 10:36:32 AM »

In a godly universe there is no reason to do that.  God wrote the answers to the morality test in the back of the book.  You just need to look it up.  In a godly universe, consequence, in regards to morality, is a separate matter.

All very well - but which moral code is the right one?

I think it's that question that makes it not all very well - determining which moral codebook to use is either a) an arbitrary decision, which is the very problem that is purportedly solved with the invocation of a sentient, willful moral law maker or b) is determined through some moral evaluation of the laws written in the codebook, which would be impossible if the source of morality, itself, is simply the codebook.
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2013, 10:47:50 AM »
Indeed, jdawg70. I think the second is probably the more used system. After all, pro-slavers used the law codes in the bible to justify their trade and then, later, the same book was used to show that slavery should be abolished. The only useful explanation is that people chose first and then looked for justification - in other words, people choose the morals and not the book.

As to the choice of law code, well obviously people with religion choose the one for their own religion and, since religions are rather geographically arranged around the world, it seems that each group has the choice of only one law code and uses it either , like Sharia, very literally, or with a lot of discretion as with most Christians.

However, as I said, no one really knows if their god is the right one but we can say for certain that most people are following the wrong god (even if there is one) so most people will be following the wrong law code. It is fortunate that people choose first and then find the instructions in the holy book I'd say.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2013, 12:59:37 PM »
I think it's that question that makes it not all very well - determining which moral codebook to use is either a) an arbitrary decision, which is the very problem that is purportedly solved with the invocation of a sentient, willful moral law maker or b) is determined through some moral evaluation of the laws written in the codebook, which would be impossible if the source of morality, itself, is simply the codebook.

The two options are pretty much the same in principle, though - the god merely takes the place of a codebook.  How do we tell if the god is right or wrong?  Why, we compare its morals to our own...
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2013, 01:15:03 PM »
The two options are pretty much the same in principle, though - the god merely takes the place of a codebook.  How do we tell if the god is right or wrong?  Why, we compare its morals to our own...

It's more or less a demonstration of SPAG, when you think about it.  A few hundred years ago, Christians quoted scripture to support their claim that the bible supported slavery, whereas today, Christians attempt to explain away those very same passages as meaning something other than what they "appear to say" in support of slavery.  I've commented before that I have never once seen a believer say something like, "I think God's rules about x are unfair and unjust, but I am obliged to obey those rules regardless of how I feel because he is the Lawgiver," or anything along those lines.  The closest I've ever seen to that kind of statement is typically something like, "I think God's rule is wrong, and that's an indication of my flawed and sinful nature."
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Online Aaron123

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2013, 01:27:10 PM »
It's more or less a demonstration of SPAG, when you think about it.  A few hundred years ago, Christians quoted scripture to support their claim that the bible supported slavery, whereas today, Christians attempt to explain away those very same passages as meaning something other than what they "appear to say" in support of slavery.  I've commented before that I have never once seen a believer say something like, "I think God's rules about x are unfair and unjust, but I am obliged to obey those rules regardless of how I feel because he is the Lawgiver," or anything along those lines.  The closest I've ever seen to that kind of statement is typically something like, "I think God's rule is wrong, and that's an indication of my flawed and sinful nature."

Indeed, I notice that this sort of arguement never addresses the possibility of god's "objective morality" being something that the vast majority of humans will disagree with.  What if god talks to us and confirms that he thinks that murder, rape, and stealing are all morally Just and Proper? (since you are doing things that benefits yourself, without any regards for others)  What are we to do then?  I guess we just go and say "oh, all this time, I thought murder was a bad thing, how silly!  Time to go on a killing spree!"

The closest I've seen that address this is along the line of "but god would never do that!", which just plays into the SPAG idea.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 01:28:43 PM by Aaron123 »
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Why is Murder Wrong? I need evidence...
« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2013, 04:21:41 PM »
Things are wrong to the extent that we decide they are wrong.

That is why, even though the OP thinks we live in a godly universe, human sacrifice, slavery, abuse of women and children, discrimination against different ethnic and sexual groups, massacres of entire towns, are all fine and dandy in the bible.

And for thousands of years, people all over the world were fine and dandy with those practices. But nowadays, most people don't want to live in a world where those things are accepted. So we pass laws against them.

I am sure mhaberling is as glad as I am that we don't have an "unchanging objective moral standard". I don't think he wants to live in a world where OT bible morality was still practiced. :P
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.