Author Topic: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?  (Read 1973 times)

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Offline Jonathan MS Pearce

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2013, 04:09:55 AM »
I think there are fundamental issues with discussions on morality.

For example, definitions. What is morality, as most people understand it?

But more importantly, what does 'objective' mean?

This words gets bandied around, but what does it mean, and what does it look like? What does an abstract idea (morality) look like? CAN it exist independently of minds?

If I was to espouse a morality which states that, given sound neurotypical minds, good knowledge, and access to sound logic, we would all arrive at the same moral conclusions (ie that there is, in some sense, a universality to morality), does this count as objective?

People talk morality without really discussing the more fundamental philosophy of whether abstracts and universals actually exist (some kind of [Platonic] realism) or whether these are merely concepts in our minds. If they are the latter, then it is difficulty to argue that morality can be objective without redefining or carefully defining objective.

Offline William

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2013, 04:45:17 AM »
But more importantly, what does 'objective' mean?

Well skeptic54768 would almost certainly claim that 'objective' means from God - like above and beyond us mere mortals.  So by that standard we need to shun people with damaged testicles, just because the Lord said so, no matter what we as individuals may think about that idea subjectively  :)
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2013, 05:36:36 AM »
Goodness is simply God's nature. He doesn't make it up, nor is it given to God by an outside source. Goodness is simply part of God's nature and it flows out of Him.

"If so then God's whims are still behind what he considers right and wrong, and the dilemma still applies. If, on the other hand, God did not create his own nature, then either someone else created it (in which case the dilemma applies to the creator of God's nature) or the morality contained in God's nature is inherent in some way (in which case God is not truly the author of right and wrong)."

Source:  http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Euthyphro_dilemma#God.27s_nature

In other words, saying that goodness is God's nature does not solve the Euthyphro Dilemma.  In fact, if anything, it highlights it.
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2013, 09:18:23 AM »
It just "feels right?" May I remind you that it "felt right" to Mao/Pol/Stalin to do what they did.
May I remind you that it "felt wrong" to the millions of people who suffered under the regimes of Mao/Pol Pot/ Stalin?  So those a**holes felt like they were doing the right thing?  They were wrong about that.
Quote
And about empathy and fairness:

What if someone only has empathy for their own family?
Or if Hitler only has empathy for Nazi's?

Heck, even notorious serial killers had empathy for their moms.
I keep noticing that you seem to forget to include other people in all of these examples.  If someone only has empathy for their own family and causes harm to others, then they are acting immorally.  If Hitler only had empathy for members of the Nazi party and caused harm to others, then he acted immorally.  If the serial killers have empathy for and from their mothers and they cause harm to others, then they are acting immorally.

Maybe if you started thinking of others you'd get a better grip on what morality might actually mean.

Of course, seeing as how you're the type who does not see the moral problem with murdering a child because a really powerful entity asked you to, I have no reason to accept any discourse on morality from you.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Offline median

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2013, 11:01:00 AM »
It seems he is also a typical post & run coward. He comes here now, shoots his mouth off with a bunch of regurgitated apologetic stuff he pulled from some Christian sites and then ignores the responses - just another of the many examples showing he doesn't care about truth (only protecting his emotional investment).
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Offline skeptic54768

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2013, 11:40:41 AM »
May I remind you that it "felt wrong" to the millions of people who suffered under the regimes of Mao/Pol Pot/ Stalin?  So those a**holes felt like they were doing the right thing?  They were wrong about that.

But remember, a lot of kids HATE going to school. They kick, scream, cry, and shake in terror saying things like "Don't make me go!" and parents still make them go.

To kids, schooling just "feels wrong."
Why can't they just play with their toys all day?

Here is where the goalposts will be moved once again.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - Jesus (said 2,000 years ago and still true today.)

Offline median

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #35 on: November 08, 2013, 11:55:18 AM »
May I remind you that it "felt wrong" to the millions of people who suffered under the regimes of Mao/Pol Pot/ Stalin?  So those a**holes felt like they were doing the right thing?  They were wrong about that.

But remember, a lot of kids HATE going to school. They kick, scream, cry, and shake in terror saying things like "Don't make me go!" and parents still make them go.

To kids, schooling just "feels wrong."
Why can't they just play with their toys all day?

Here is where the goalposts will be moved once again.

Are you actually trying to compare physical torture and murder with raising a child?? WTF? WOW. The webs you try to weave in order to hold onto your theology are monstrous and vile. Maybe FOR YOU, an education is 'torture' (and we can easily see why), but education is NOT torture or murder. It does not cause unnecessary harm. It is not physically harmful to a child (in fact the opposite is true) and your attempt at a False Analogy fails once again.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 11:58:31 AM by median »
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #36 on: November 08, 2013, 11:59:27 AM »
But remember, a lot of kids HATE going to school. They kick, scream, cry, and shake in terror saying things like "Don't make me go!" and parents still make them go.
This is one of the worst arguments you've tried to use yet.  For the most part, kids 'hate' going to school because they don't understand why it's important - though I will grant that some kids do have legitimate reasons to hate school, such as ones that are bullied.  However, for the most part, that's an exception, and one that can be dealt with.

Not only that, but trying to compare the horrific actions of real-life tyrants to parents making their children go to school is utterly ridiculous.  It isn't comparing apples to oranges, or even comparing a nuclear bomb to a firecracker.  It's like trying to compare a meteor shower to a gentle summer rain.

Quote from: skeptic54768
To kids, schooling just "feels wrong."
Why can't they just play with their toys all day?
Because the people who provide for them (give them food, water, shelter, and usually love) are not interested in having those same children living in their houses when they're 40 and the parents are 60-70, playing with "grown-up" toys all day, and effectively leaching off of those same parents due to the lack of an education.

Compare that to the actions of tyrants like Stalin, Pol Pot, or Mao, who were perfectly content to leech off of the work being done by millions of families in order to enrich themselves and the elite who supported them.  Who were perfectly okay with using intimidation, torture, imprisonment, and outright murder on anyone who even thought to resist.

Now, if you had parents who used such monstrous actions on their children, then I'd be opposed to them.  Most people would be.  But you will find that the vast majority of parents don't leech off of the work of their children, and don't intimidate, torture, imprison, and murder them if they disagree.

Quote from: skeptic54768
Here is where the goalposts will be moved once again.
No goalpost-moving here.  Sorry to disappoint you.

Offline stuffin

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #37 on: November 08, 2013, 12:57:33 PM »
May I remind you that it "felt wrong" to the millions of people who suffered under the regimes of Mao/Pol Pot/ Stalin?  So those a**holes felt like they were doing the right thing?  They were wrong about that.

But remember, a lot of kids HATE going to school. They kick, scream, cry, and shake in terror saying things like "Don't make me go!" and parents still make them go.

To kids, schooling just "feels wrong."
Why can't they just play with their toys all day?

Here is where the goalposts will be moved once again.

Yes, the children may feel "the wrong" about school, but is it harming them? Maybe a little emotional trauma and some anger, but in society we have to learn to do some things that do not necessarily feel good. Your interpretation of "Feels Wrong" has been intentionally misconstrued by you.

I would wager the children, if asked, would not use the word wrong, but words like pain, silly, a bother and other such adjectives to describe school. I have trouble believing any child (even ones who dislikes schooling) would off the top of their pretty little heads choose the word wrong to describe going to school.

Your statement is you moving the goalposts.
When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

Offline Jag

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #38 on: November 08, 2013, 01:07:00 PM »
But remember, a lot of kids HATE going to school. They kick, scream, cry, and shake in terror saying things like "Don't make me go!" and parents still make them go.

This is one of the worst arguments you've tried to use yet. 
It's also recycled straight from DrTesla, the troll in a different thread where it was firmly debunked for the crap argument it is (by nogods IIRC).
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #39 on: November 08, 2013, 01:22:54 PM »
It's also recycled straight from DrTesla, the troll in a different thread where it was firmly debunked for the crap argument it is (by nogods IIRC).
My level of confidence that DrTelsa and skeptic54768 are two different people is...not super high.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Offline Jag

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #40 on: November 08, 2013, 02:13:01 PM »
^^^Agreed. And Poe has never been taken off the table either.

"It's hard to, but I'm starting to believe some of you actually believe these things.  That is completely beyond my ability to understand if that is really the case, but things never cease to amaze me."

Online Nam

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #41 on: November 08, 2013, 02:15:33 PM »
I guess no one forced oh skeptic to go to school. He just stayed home and played with his toys.

-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 Truth OT

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #42 on: November 08, 2013, 03:00:16 PM »
How do you know promoting the well-being and happiness of others is moral? What if someone disagrees with that?

If you understand what morality is and how it basically is a term used to defined what is and is not acceptible behavior when dealing and coexisting with peers, this question is not very difficult to answer.

If you are struggling to get it, allow me to help. We can "know" that promoting the well-being of others to be a moral thing because our peer group (human society), has collectively determined that such behaviors in most circumstanses are. I think at this point it is important for me to remind you that morality is a CONCEPT. Being that that is the case it is then relative and has tenents that can be fluid based on societial views.

Examples:
There was a time when certain societies viewed women that wore pants as being immoral. That changed.
There was a time when a certain society viewed segregation as moral. That changed.
There was a time when a certain biblical society encouraged and accepted polygamy as moral. That too changed.

It just "feels right?" May I remind you that it "felt right" to Mao/Pol/Stalin to do what they did.

And about empathy and fairness:

What if someone only has empathy for their own family?
Or if Hitler only has empathy for Nazi's?

Heck, even notorious serial killers had empathy for their moms.

May I remind you that it "felt right" for the Israelites to privide wives for the tribe of Benjamin (whose women and children they had previously killed) by killing everyone that lived in Jabish Gilead that was not a virgin in order to give the Benjamite men some women to subjagate (Judges 21).

The thing about what feels right you miss is this tiny detail, and that is that morality has to do with the tenents that general population accepts or agrees upon moreso than what an individual feels. If an individual's feelings conflicts with what has been put forth by society, then that individual would likely be considered immoral.

Example: The people of My God Is Real Village are planning their Jubilee, an event that occurs once ever 50 years. During the Jubilee it is their custom to sacrifice 10 virgins to their god so he will bless the next generation. Some parents of 2 of the virgins refuse to allow their girls to be used in the ritual going against the mandates of the High Priest. The parents are prosecuted and exiled from the people because the people feel they have disrespected their god with their disobedient immoral, selfish behavior.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 03:04:55 PM by Truth OT »

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #43 on: November 08, 2013, 04:52:08 PM »
It's also recycled straight from DrTesla, the troll in a different thread where it was firmly debunked for the crap argument it is (by nogods IIRC).
My level of confidence that DrTelsa and skeptic54768 are two different people is...not super high.

I would suspect the same thing except I have no idea how any one person could whip out that many posts in such a short time. Plus, I don't think the Jekyll-Hyde thing (DrT gets angry, Skeptic666 doesn't seem to, at least not as much) would be hard to keep straight if there were two of them.

Of course, one of them might be one of the tulpa things that Angus and Alexis told us about. Hope not. That would give the things a bad name.
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Offline Jag

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #44 on: November 08, 2013, 05:00:38 PM »
Robert Fulghum seems to get it:

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything.

Play fair.

Don't hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don't take things that aren't yours.

Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat.

Flush.

Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.

Wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.

And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are - when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

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I've always liked this essay. Sappy, sure, but I like it nonetheless.
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Offline William

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #45 on: November 08, 2013, 05:33:50 PM »
I would suspect the same thing except I have no idea how any one person could whip out that many posts in such a short time.

A tag team of nongs  :police:
That would also explain some of the self-contradictions, inconsistencies about qualifications, kids etc, and some of the style changes.
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #46 on: November 08, 2013, 06:53:40 PM »
I don't know how much you guys know about North American native culture,it made Christianity look barbaric in comparison. There were rules for retaliation (war if you wish to call it that) that would puzzle the death loving Christian armies.

 Columbus landed on the shores in 1492,saw paradise and quickly fucked it up with Christian "morality".

Whenever I hear people keep repeating this, I wonder if they ever really LISTEN to what we are saying.

For the millionth time, those people were not true Christians. NOWHERE in the Bible does Jesus say, "Convert people via threatening their lives." All you will find in the Bible is Jesus saying to love each other and love God.

Why can't you guys grasp the point that if they are killing, they are not following Jesus?

This constant strawman about this topic has got to stop. It is really frustrating.

You guys pride yourselves on logic and reason.
For God's sake, please use it.
Wether or not you consider them "true Christians" is irrelevant. They considered,and still do consider themselves to be "true Christians",doing God's work and following his "commands" as they have interpreted them. FYI,they don't consider you a "true Christian",because your interpretation of the passages and how to use them is wrong. If you think God of the Bible has not commanded followers to kill you are wrong.
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Online Azdgari

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #47 on: November 08, 2013, 11:42:46 PM »
I would suspect the same thing except I have no idea how any one person could whip out that many posts in such a short time.

A tag team of nongs  :police:
That would also explain some of the self-contradictions, inconsistencies about qualifications, kids etc, and some of the style changes.

It would also explain the odd references to "We" in DrTroll's posts.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline Jonathan MS Pearce

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #48 on: November 09, 2013, 06:16:08 AM »
Quote
In other words, saying that goodness is God's nature does not solve the Euthyphro Dilemma.  In fact, if anything, it highlights it.

This is really well summer up by Keith Augustine (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/theism/divine.html):

Quote
While some retort that goodness flows from God's nature, this merely changes the form of the dilemma: Is compassion good because it is a part of God's nature, or is compassion a part of God's nature because it is already good? The first option produces problems parallel to those for DCT. If malice were a part of God's nature, for instance, it is doubtful that malice would automatically be good. If there are any objective moral standards at all, then a god can be either good or evil, and the assessment of a god's character would depend upon appealing to standards independent of any god's commands, opinions, statements, nature, or character.


Offline Jonathan MS Pearce

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #49 on: November 09, 2013, 06:28:51 AM »
And to carry on what I was saying earlier (in case anyone actually gives a monkey's!), theists do not do the requisite philosophy to establish God as grounding objective morality. They are happy to scratch around the veneer, claiming that God grounds morality and that raping babies is always bad. I would certainly like to agree with the latter, for sure.

But what does this mean? In order to conclude in claiming morality is objective in the mind independent sense, they need to establish realism with regards to existence properties. This is fundamental philosophy which is also VERY intricate and not a little dry. See the Stanford Encyclopedia entries on

properties: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/properties/
abstract objects: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/abstract-objects/
nominalism: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nominalism-metaphysics/
universals: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nominalism-metaphysics/
tropes: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/tropes/

etc etc

The point is that these are properly complex stuff. Merely claiming God underwrites objective morality is an empty claim devoid of explanatory value. It may be true, but only if realism is remotely coherent, which I don't think it is.

One analogy to explain this is prevalent in evolution (and Darwin knew of this) called the Problem of Species. The idea (fact I would say) is that species don't exist, not as objective clearly defined categories. Dawkins explains this quite well in the Greatest Show on Earth. The transition from one 'species' to another is slow and blurry. It doesn't just happen in one generation. This means that the line between them is arbitrary and subjective. We know this because hominid skulls have been found sitting on those imaginary lines which have caused paleontologists to be split on which species they belong to. 'Species' is a human label which is arbitrarily assigned to a concept (where arbitrary doesn't mean random, but subjective and arguable).

The same applies to human laws - that I can vote at 18 and not 17 yrs 364 days 11hrs 59 mins 59 secs is clearly arbitrary in the sense that there is no difference between me in those 2 seconds which endows me with special powers from one second to the next.

Humans construct things within pragmatic guidelines.

Morality is no different, arguably.

(sorry if I waffled)

Offline Wonder Woman

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Re: Religious VS. Secular Morality: Which Is Superior?
« Reply #50 on: November 12, 2013, 11:11:06 AM »
It depends on the individual does it not.  I'm sure you can find good and evil in both areas.