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  #61  
Unread 4th September 2013, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Ana the Ist View Post
Now why would you ask that? Is it because he doesn't answer any questions or even acknowledge answers that don't confirm his worldview? Is it because he, himself, has admitted he isn't looking for any discussion of the topic of morality...he simply wants atheists to confirm his preconceptions? Is it because he makes broad, sweeping insults aimed at the atheists that he's so certain he's morally superior to?

Or did you find out he lives under and bridge and eats goats?
I found evidence of the latter.

Originally Posted by Organic View Post
Yawn
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Last edited by Paradoxum; 4th September 2013 at 07:16 AM.
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  #62  
Unread 4th September 2013, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Organic View Post
My threads have basically been an experiment.
Your threads are purely just veiled slander and propaganda against atheists, if you want a real world experiment just observe the disproportionately high crime rates of the United States, a nation with a majority of citizens who follow Christianity.
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  #63  
Unread 4th September 2013, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Organic View Post
You still don't get it.
Originally Posted by Organic View Post
another atheist who missed the point.
Maybe you could try explaining clearly exactly what you mean by "moral basis"? It isn't just atheists who have missed the point/don't think you really have a point. If you can't explain your point so that other people can understand it, maybe it's because your point is incoherent.
  #64  
Unread 4th September 2013, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Organic View Post
Let me explain again. I'm not saying an atheist can't do the right thing. I'm saying that atheists are under no obligation to do so.
I am under obligation to do so. I recognize the existence of "shoulds".

I'm not ethical simply because I want to, but because I think that I should.

You said that "In a lawless society, I would still treat other people with respect." Well good for you. But there are millions of other people who wouldn't, because they are selfish.
Yes, and they are no less obligated to do the right thing. It's in their own best interests.

But if everyone obeyed the teachings of Jesus, we wouldn't need any law, because everyone would love one another and do no harm.
If everyone was ethical, we might not need any law, but that ethics doesn't have to come from Jesus. Even the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take says to "do no harm" to patients. That oath predates Christianity by a few centuries.

If everyone was a good secular humanist (or whatever other secular ethics) we'd have a peaceful world because people would understand that they ought not to rape, murder, steal, etc.; and so society would not fall apart.

Atheism has no law that says, "You must love others and care for them," but Biblical Christianity does.
Atheism isn't a moral code, as you've said yourself. However, there are atheistic moral codes that require people to treat others with respect, and not to rape or murder them.


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Last edited by Eudaimonist; 4th September 2013 at 07:21 AM.
  #65  
Unread 4th September 2013, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Organic View Post
Okay, so all the bad atheists who mistreat people and do bad things, what is their basis for doing good?
I canīt speak for all atheists (because, as we have agreed, atheism in itself doesnīt provide a basis for morality), and even less can I speak for persons who mistreat people and do bad things.
The difference between your meta-morality and mine is that mine is not command-based.

Either there is an intelligible, rational basis why certain things are good to do and why others arenīt, or there isnīt such a rational explanation.
If there is such a basis we donīt need a god to command it - we can find it out ourselves.
If there is no such basis, godīs morality is arbitrary. There is no basis for the assumption that itīs good to follow it.

To tell from your questions and statements, you have problems finding a reason why certain things are good to do and others arenīt (apart from being commanded, punished and rewarded). Thatīs a bad patch you are in (and I canīt even begin fathom what itīs like to be like that), and Iīm glad you believe in an authoritative god that provides you with the commands, threats and promises you need in order to do what others find self-evidently obvious.

So, since you feel there canīt be a rationally intelligible basis for acting morally (and instead your "morality" is just a euphemism for blind obedience in the face of punishment), there isnīt a point in even trying to start to lay such a basis out for you.

On another note, I am pretty convinced that a punishment/reward based understanding of morality is actually creating the very problems you are decrying. Instead of helping others to further develop their empathy, their reason, their insight (IOW to find out that and why they want to do the good) you are telling them they have no such basis in them, and therefore must be coerced into an arbitrary "moral" system). I just wish you arenīt around children.

As for atheists who are like you (in that they have problems finding a rational basis for morality, finding their empathy, finding their actual needs - and instead require commands, threats and rewards): Gods arenīt the only alleged authorities around. You know, there are legal systems which put you under obligations just the same (which, of course, you are fully aware of. Or else you wouldnīt have brought up policemen, prisons, courts etc., in the first place).




And what basis does an atheist have to protect the life of unborn babies?
This question puts the cart before the horse.
Donīt conflate meta-morality and morality. They better not be discussed simultaneously.
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Last edited by quatona; 4th September 2013 at 07:32 AM.
  #66  
Unread 4th September 2013, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Eudaimonist View Post
Try using honey instead of vinegar. Atheists aren't likely to get into a long philosophical discussion with you about ethics if you ignore and distort what they say, throw around broad accusations, and generally act like a troll.
When all someone has is a hammer...
  #67  
Unread 4th September 2013, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Eudaimonist View Post
Organic, who would you rather share a cell with? Unrepentant murderers and rapists? Or the atheists posting in this thread?
Or how about choosing between Christian murderers and rapists or the atheists posting in this thread. If he doesn't answer the former, he's shot his whole argument in the head since he's admitting that he believes atheists have a basis for their morality. Yet if he chooses Christian murders and rapists, he's showing that he thinks it is more important to label a morality as coming from his god rather than looking at the benefits and harm from following a given moral code. Quite an interesting problem to have.
  #68  
Unread 4th September 2013, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Organic View Post
The reason I keep repeating, "atheists have no basis for morality" is because atheists refuse to acknowledge my point. If there was no law and no police officers, crime rates would explode. The strong would subjugate the weak. If they knew they could do what they wanted and get away with it, what would prevent them from mistreating the poor? Throughout history, the strong have subjugated the weak and oppressed them. If you believe that you are under no commandment to love other people, then you can treat people however you like. When I read the news and read comments on YouTube, there is so much evil and hatred and injustice. And guess what--the majority of people do not follow the teachings of Jesus. Secular morality just doesn't work.
You have no "basis" to claim people are less moral if they are under no commandment to love other people, none. Numerous studies have showed that christians have no advantage morally and in fact, act less morally in many circumstances (maybe it's that get out of jail free card christians feel they have in their back pocket).

And, if you are ever in a position to choose your cell mate as you proposed, chances are you will have plenty of christians to choose from, because they commit crimes and are incarcerated at a higher rate (as compared to their % of the population) than atheists.

Gee, what happened to that basis of morality?

Atheists don't commit as much crime as the Religious do
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  #69  
Unread 4th September 2013, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Organic View Post
The reason I keep repeating, "atheists have no basis for morality" is because atheists refuse to acknowledge my point. If there was no law and no police officers, crime rates would explode. The strong would subjugate the weak. If they knew they could do what they wanted and get away with it, what would prevent them from mistreating the poor? Throughout history, the strong have subjugated the weak and oppressed them. If you believe that you are under no commandment to love other people, then you can treat people however you like. When I read the news and read comments on YouTube, there is so much evil and hatred and injustice. And guess what--the majority of people do not follow the teachings of Jesus. Secular morality just doesn't work.
Secular morality does work. It's secular immorality that doesn't.

I've seen no evidence that non-Christians are less moral than Christians. You assert it, but show us no reason why we should believe it.

First, how people behave is based more on how they were raised and what their experiences are than their theology. I'd feel a lot safer with atheists who were raised to be moral than a lot of Christians that I know.

As to rational basis, there are actually some reasonable non-Christian bases for morality. One of C S Lewis' most surprising books is "the Abolition of Man." In it, among other things, he talks about the basis for morality. He sees morality has being developed by a community that crosses religious lines. The approach he describes for defining ethics is called "reflective equilibrium."

You can argue that even if Christians and atheists can agree on a lot of what moral behavior is, Christians should have better motivation to be moral, while atheists don't. But I think treating each other well simply results in a community that's a lot more pleasant to live in than one where we don't. I believe a lot of non-Christians understand that.
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Unread 4th September 2013, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Eudaimonist View Post
I am under obligation to do so. I recognize the existence of "shoulds".

I'm not ethical simply because I want to, but because I think that I should.



Yes, and they are no less obligated to do the right thing. It's in their own best interests.



If everyone was ethical, we might not need any law, but that ethics doesn't have to come from Jesus. Even the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take says to "do no harm" to patients. That oath predates Christianity by a few centuries.

If everyone was a good secular humanist (or whatever other secular ethics) we'd have a peaceful world because people would understand that they ought not to rape, murder, steal, etc.; and so society would not fall apart.



Atheism isn't a moral code, as you've said yourself. However, there are atheistic moral codes that require people to treat others with respect, and not to rape or murder them.


eudaimonia,

Mark
You're still missing the point. I'll try again. In the secular world, morality comes down to each individual's opinion. If you want to do good to others, fine. But you can also choose not to. The fact that we have so many police is evidence that many people choose to do bad things. People who deliberately lie, steal, commit adultery, rape, mistreat the poor, deal drugs etc, are just doing whatever suits them. But if you believe that God--the Creator of the universe--has commanded us to love and care for others--then that changes everything. If everybody honored this commandment then there would be no more crime. You said "if everyone was a good secular humanist." And who decides what is moral and what is not?
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