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And while I think that Median's vague proposal regarding morality fails and will continue to fail miserably no matter how much he attempts to bolster it, I think that most atheists and theists condemn the Nazi's due to similar considerations (e.g. the inherently warranted value of human dignity).  The only difference between an atheist and a theist is that the theist claims that while basing morality on human dignity is a coherent means of construing moral epistemology, it seems ultimately meaningless if not grounded in the existence of a supreme being.  So I think that atheists and theists for the most part will come to similar conclusions regarding what is right and wrong, but they will differ on what they feel is necessary to ground those conclusions.   

     It isn't meaningless to me. Ultimately or otherwise. My willingness, or in fact, my desire, to be humane and kind and compassionate and to not put myself above others out of ego or a false sense of superiority, has a lot of meaning. To me. And since I'm not one that, therefore, picks up a gun or a knife to weed out those I could have chosen to belittle or dehumanize or hate because I have no principles, I think there is a lot of meaning to my godless reasons. Human reasons. Which, as far as I know, are the only ones available.
     Being that religious morality gets handily set aside nearly every time there is a war and an enemy to destroy, I think it is high time that we humans own our moral standards, rather than blame them on something else. I happen to like moral standards that leave the most people alive and free. Others like ones that cause death and destruction. That is our human problem, and we deal with it daily. Pretending there is an outside force involved, that both judges and justifies, kind of messes up the whole thing and excuses many a horror. Such as the aforementioned Nazi atrocities.

      I am quite certain that you as a person find your moral values to be meaningful; however, I am just wondering how you know that this meaning is not just illusory?  Isn’t it a fairly common argument on atheistic forums such as this one that human beings are capable of believing all kinds of falsehoods for convenience sake?  How do you know that the meaning that you ascribe to your moral outlook is not just a convenient fiction?
      Since in the previous post I was talking about foundations for moral values, I am wondering on what you are basing yours?  It certainly doesn’t sound to me as if you feel that your moral beliefs are arbitrary, so do you find your moral beliefs to be meaningful because you consider yourself as a person intrinsically valuable and by extension all other human beings as well, or are you doing some kind of a calculation to quantify something like ‘human flourishing’?

I extrapolate. I've noticed that I don't like getting stabbed. I then jump to the conclusion that nobody else does either. Once I have done that, I decide that there is a moral imperative that we not stab each other. Then I go on to other things I wouldn't like having happen to me. Being robbed, raped, shot, drugged, arrested for being black, etc. Pretty soon I have a decent set of rules that I can incorporate into my moral code and feel pretty good about.

Then I move on to other things I don't like, or at least am pretty sure I wouldn't like. Being a slave, being oppressed, starving to death during a civil war, prejudices, etc. That list is pretty long, as is the first. But it doesn't take me much time to put together a set of guidelines that I think constitute moral thinking and moral imperatives. Then I go from there.

Sadly my process doesn't work. Too many selfish folks think all of those things should be on their bucket list, and they go around violating my standards on a regular basis. I gotta work on that part.

Not counting our genes, there are no external sources of morality. There are plenty of fake sources for fake morality, but the real stuff comes from within us. And it is actually pretty easy for anyone with a pencil and paper to come up with something that resembles my own. Except for assholes (sorry Nam, not you) and whatever else you want to call the power hungry/selfish/self-righteous idiots that make life on this planet that much harder. They are the ones insisting the morality must come from somewhere else, because what they want to call normal (be they Nazi's or Glenn Beck or Saddam Hussein) is just them trying to justify their selfishness.

Once you leave out said selfishness, morality starts to be a bit more universal. Sure, we might have to sit down and have the occasional discussion about stoning our raped daughters and stuff, because different cultures are going to occasionally have different standards. But at least we'd have something to work with if the idiots would just get out of the way.

By the way, it might all be illusion. The difference is, my illusions are better. How do I know? Yours suck.
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DumpsterFire Good stuff! August 29, 2013, 01:00:41 AM