Author Topic: Issues of/with morality  (Read 66 times)

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Online kaziglu bey

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Issues of/with morality
« on: July 14, 2017, 02:35:26 PM »
I have mentioned in a different post a friend of mine who happens to be a Christian apologist. I am convinced that he is a genuinely good person. But we have some very interesting disagreements. I would like to summarize one of my disagreements with him surrounding morality, and get some feedback and opinions from both sides here.

Now this friend of mine focuses a lot, as many Christians do, on the idea that, in order for there to be any kind of morality, it must be an objective morality, and that such an objective morality could only come from God.

I have SOOOOOO many issues with this type of thinking. I think one objection that ought to be obvious is that if you are asserting that morality comes from the point of view of any conscious entity, it would by definition be subjective.  In my opinion, that itself is sufficient to reject the idea that there is an objective morality that comes from god. But I love overkill, so I will provide additional reasons I think that this is not the case.

The OT clearly and meticulously spells out what you can and cannot do. This is the morality, coming from God, to those who were his direct and immediate followers and according to the story interacted with God to an extent in a real way on a regular basis. In the OT, God says that you can’t work on the Sabbath, and that if you so much as pick up a stick you should be put to death. This is not a casual recommendation, or a general admonition of refusing to rest, it is sentencing someone to death for a minor infraction that harms no one. The same is true in regards to homosexuality, eating shrimp, cutting your hair, trimming your beard, wearing mixed fabric clothes, etc. These are not metaphors. There is no “interpretation” to be done.

Now, most Christians I encounter will easily say that they are no longer obligated to follow those OT rules. I naturally ask them to show me there it says that in the Bible. They can’t, and don’t, because it doesn’t. They say things like “Well Jesus came to forgive our sins” (non-sequitur) or “There is a new covenant through Jesus that says we don’t have to do that” (false claim). I of course point out that Jesus explicitly says that he did not come to abolish the law, that he came to see that it was being fulfilled (indeed his beef with the Pharisees and money changers was that they were being hypocrites about following Judaic law).  And I also point out that the Bible does not say “slavery is always bad, never ever do it” or the same thing for rape, or child abuse, or genocide, etc etc. However, examples abound where the Bible, specifically God, positively recommends these activities, and a lot of religious people will say that such things MUST have been good because God commanded it. In other words, things can be right sometimes and wrong other times, and that it all depends on what side of the bed G dawg woke up in. What could be LESS objective than this?

My FAVORITE response from the religious in this context, when asked why we don’t think slavery is good anymore, is that we know better now. This also obviously argues against a god based objective morality.  If we are able to figure morality out on our own better than the all-knowing all powerful ruler of the universe, then he REALLY sucks at his job, or is a figment of people’s imagination. There is nothing objective about this. For some reason, religious people just fail to understand this. We improve our sense of morality as a civilized society as we learn more about the world, learn more about tolerance and acceptance, learn more about our common bonds and origins, both as our own species and our relationship to the rest of the living world, and the further we distance ourselves from religious belief, the better off we are. And this is easily demonstrable.
I would ask religious folks, where would you rather live? Would you rather live in a predominantly atheist society like Iceland, or a predominantly religious society like Afghanistan? Denmark or Iran? Norway or the American Bible Belt? Where are women treated more fairly? Where is there less poverty and more social welfare? Where do fewer women die in childbirth? Where is there lower infant mortality? Any measure one takes of the quality of a society, in every desirable way, societies that base their policies on secular, rational, compassionate humanism, devoid of god or faith, are better than their religious counterparts. What could make it more obvious that religion is a useless idea? It does nothing to inform us on morality or truth. The average kindergarten child knows more true information and has a better developed moral compass than anyone depicted in the bible.

And in closing, I am GLAD that there does not seem to exist an objective morality based on god(s). Given the ways that gods behave and the things they recommend doing, it is a good thing that this is not true. TO be stuck with killing women on their wedding night if they are not virgins was the absolute written in stone unchangeable moral certainty on the matter of virginity and weddings, the world would be a sorry place. I honestly am not convinced that there is anything like an objective morality, god or not. I think that religious people hinge on this idea that God must determine morality because they feel that this somehow gives vindication to their belief. The two things are so intertwined for them that for one to fall, they both fall, and with it their entire worldview. I’m sure that must be an uncomfortable feeling, but I remember when I finally realized that my doubts and criticisms of the Catholic Faith I was brought up in were true, and while it was a bit uncomfortable, it was in the way of being unplugged from the Matrix. You are suddenly faced with a world that is real, and therefore full of real possibilities for bliss and joy and happiness, instead of having to wait until you are dead to explore those things. It means that we have to face some real moral challenges and continue to grow and improve our sense of morality, as all generations of humans have.  We are doing a lot better than we were 500 years ago. How much better off might we be in another 500 years if we continue to use science and reason and reality based, compassionate approaches to humanity? And how much worse will we be if we let the religious take charge?
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Online jetson

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Re: Issues of/with morality
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2017, 07:27:16 PM »
Nothing in the human condition is objective. Nothing. Every last shred of anything related to humans and their existence has enough "gray area" to declare without hesitation that all of it is subjective. I can't believe people still like to claim that "morals" come from a god, and that those morals are objective - meaning, black and white, cut and dried, beyond obvious, and plain jane. Yadda, yadda, yadda, on and on they ramble with nothing to show for this claim except their own SPAG.

Honestly, it's hard to believe humans are not already extinct. Geez...

Online kaziglu bey

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Re: Issues of/with morality
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2017, 07:54:01 PM »
Nothing in the human condition is objective. Nothing. Every last shred of anything related to humans and their existence has enough "gray area" to declare without hesitation that all of it is subjective. I can't believe people still like to claim that "morals" come from a god, and that those morals are objective - meaning, black and white, cut and dried, beyond obvious, and plain jane. Yadda, yadda, yadda, on and on they ramble with nothing to show for this claim except their own SPAG.

Honestly, it's hard to believe humans are not already extinct. Geez...

It is indeed hard to believe. Some members of our species do seem hell bent to achieve this. And it is really annoying being expected to treat these people as if they are grownups and their infantile ideas actually deserve a place in public discourse. And, when they do engage in a discussion with someone like me, and they lose the argument, they shouldn't just shift the goalposts and ignore the fact that they were just shown to be wrong. This happened to me a couple months ago when some pathetic women (Mormons or JW's, not sure which) in which I made a statement about something that the bible said, they denied it, I showed them they were wrong. And when challenged to find the Biblical evidence for what she was saying, she couldn't do it.  She got kind of defensive and pissy, especially when I asked for her address so that I could visit her sometime to continue the discussion that she had imposed on me to begin with. She said that if she wanted visitors she would give her address but she wasn't interested. I told her that it was a shame she doesn't show other people the same respect. She went off in a huff. She was probably 20 years older than me at least, and had the intellectual and emotional development of a baby.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline screwtape

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Re: Issues of/with morality
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2017, 08:20:46 PM »
In order for there to be any kind of table manners, they have to be objective table manners, and such objective table manners must come from god.

Your friend is an infant.  He does not understand that morals are not Right and Wrong, Good and Evil.  They are just the rules that allow us to function in social groups.
What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.

Online kaziglu bey

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Re: Issues of/with morality
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2017, 08:46:12 PM »
In order for there to be any kind of table manners, they have to be objective table manners, and such objective table manners must come from god.

Your friend is an infant.  He does not understand that morals are not Right and Wrong, Good and Evil.  They are just the rules that allow us to function in social groups.

And it is a good thing that they are not absolute and our sense of right and wrong is subject to change.

I genuinely fail to understand why theists want there to be an objective morality. I mean, I know that it is basically wrapped up together so as to be inseparable, but I swear that there is some sort of brain failure present in theists that just doesn't allow them to see how foolish and pointless their position is.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Online jetson

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Re: Issues of/with morality
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2017, 08:07:21 AM »

And it is a good thing that they are not absolute and our sense of right and wrong is subject to change.

I genuinely fail to understand why theists want there to be an objective morality. I mean, I know that it is basically wrapped up together so as to be inseparable, but I swear that there is some sort of brain failure present in theists that just doesn't allow them to see how foolish and pointless their position is.

Fear is a strong motivator, perhaps strong enough to push otherwise rational adult thinking into childlike submission. Human children are conditioned to be submissive and to obey "authority", starting with their own parents. The line between helping a child become independent contributors to society and brainwashing them into followers is thin. How does a child distinguish between dogma or myth, and real-world ideas and thoughts?

Why would my own granddaughter tell me that a boy that wants to change into a girl is "gross"? Her parents, and her inner circle of "adults" who provide her with these ideas, unchallenged. She is far too young to understand what is really going on, and the perfect age to be told or hinted that this is "gross". And if she continues to grow up among these people, she will have adopted an ideology that is harmful to other people. My hope is that she will begin hearing from people outside of her circle and begin to be skeptical. The seeds I plant are small, but so are the seeds of the biggest trees alive. We will see.



Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Issues of/with morality
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2017, 10:07:43 AM »
It's probably because if there's an "objective morality", then you never have to act differently or deal with change.
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