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Atheists Overreach ... Why do they do that?

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by 2PhiloVoid, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. keith99

    keith99 sola dosis facit venenum

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    Not in so many words, but it was given as a prime example.
     
  2. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    I don't think so. Zippy brought it up as an example, but was specifically talking about giving one's life for a friend, not about tossing it away for the sake of tossing it away. That would be closer to suicide than self-sacrifice.

    I introduced the idea of something being valuable in and of itself afterwards, but then dropped the example of self-sacrifice a post later and went straight back to human dignity and the Categorical Imperative.

    I'm not sure if anyone else has mentioned self-sacrifice at all.
     
  3. gaara4158

    gaara4158 Keep on keeping on

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    Well, I understand that "intrinsic value" is meant to indicate that something's value is incontrovertible, but as a hopeless subjectivist I couldn't ultimately make sense of that. Perhaps Foot et al. could win me over as well, but for now I only know how to think of value as something that is subjective. If it's the case that atheists can indeed have moral realism, all the better. The answer to the OP would be "because lofty morals are real." The rest of the points you bring up would be moot.
     
  4. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

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    The Golden Rule for one, there are some books that list His moral teachings go check them out. Or just read the gospels.

    There are books on this subject as I stated above.

    Well if your ancestors in Germany in the 1930s and 40's had followed them, we never would have had the Holocaust.
     
  5. Ana the Ist

    Ana the Ist Aggressively serene!

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    Ugh.

    Consider that perhaps Shermer's moral quandary derives from a rather false and illusory idea of a moral framework or "universal morality" existing in the first place. There's multiple reasons for this....1 being the common notion that strongly held opinions which illicit strong feelings are related to factual truths, even if they aren't. Another is the very basic concept of morality as this "external truth"....when it clearly is not.

    There are several reasons for this....but let's go over just one. The imperfection of language.

    You and I, cannot possibly know exactly what each other mean in regards to the concepts expressed through language. There is always an unseen and generally unacknowledged barrier between your understanding and my understanding.

    Therefore, even if we seem to agree that a particular behavior....let's say workplace sexual harassment (wsh) is morally bad (a rather simple and basic moral judgement) there is no way to know that what you mean by wsh is what I mean by wsh. We will still differ on our morals despite the superficial agreement. What's worse is that we cannot perfectly agree on what is meant by morally bad. You may see a particular instance of wsh as extremely bad and worthy of punishment....I may only see it as slightly bad and worthy of chastisement.

    The imperfection of language is but one reason that no external moral framework exists....there are others....but I'd like to keep this post to less than half a million words.

    The lesson here is that any attempt to create, interpret, or enforce a universal or external moral framework is ultimately a fruitless endeavor at best....and a deliberate power grab at worst. Few people should be more despised than those who claim to interpret "moral truths" for others.

    If you're thinking "how can I understand morality if it's not connected to some external truth?" It's not as fun, it's not as easy, but try to think of it as a personal set of values that is neither factually correct nor incorrect and nobody agrees with each other. Morality is inherently an individual endeavor.
     
  6. Moral Orel

    Moral Orel Proud Citizen of Moralton Supporter

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    I don't often find a reason to agree with you, so I wanted to put some emphasis on this. I've been arguing this lately in a number of different contexts, not just the theism v atheism debate, but it's a major contender there too.
     
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  7. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    Nice post.

    What if wsh just means wash? What if everyone wants much of the same thing? To wash themselves, to clean themselves, to purify themselves, to sanctify themselves? Millions of words of human behavior can all point to this same primordial truth. That is perhaps what Adam and Eve were trying to do in the garden: wash themselves of a problematic memory, experience, or whatnot.

    Nope. Everyone wants to be clean. Some focus on their bodies, some on their minds, some on their hearts, and some on their souls. Sh'ma Yisrael.
     
  8. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    Sorry - I've been preoccupied of late.

    Opinions and their interaction with other opinions elicit feelings. No doubt.

    Opinions are related to truth. Even the dumbest person is trying to say something true. (No doubt)

    Therefore feelings are related to truth via opinions. (~QeD)
     
  9. Ana the Ist

    Ana the Ist Aggressively serene!

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    Hey....thanks.


    Well it means workplace sexual harassment...sorry if that wasn't clear. I didn't want to type all that out every time.

    No idea what you mean....I don't think this is as universal as you'd hope. I'm sure plenty of people feel no such urge.


    As far as primordial urges go....I'd say survival and sexual desire are the only ones that come close to being "universal".

    Define clean in relation to those concepts? I don't feel dirty at all.
     
  10. Moral Orel

    Moral Orel Proud Citizen of Moralton Supporter

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    You're conflating two different kinds of opinions, and frankly, I don't like using the word "opinion" in one of those regards. I think there are opinions, and then there are "guesses" (is probably a better word for them).

    I love chocolate ice cream. I find it to be delicious. That does not make it "true" that chocolate ice cream is delicious. It's neither true nor false. It's delicious to me, that's true. But without that qualifier, it's nonsense to say that "chocolate ice cream is delicious" is a true statement.

    Now the other type of opinion that you're referencing by mentioning people trying to say something true is of the kind, "It's my opinion that the Earth is flat". I don't think that's an "opinion". I think it's more accurate to say, "In my estimation the Earth is flat" or "After weighing the evidence, I believe it is most likely the case that the Earth is flat". I don't think "guesses" are "opinions" and it creates the problem of conflation that you've done here.

    Also, because these guesses are often wrong, we could also reword your post to say this instead:

    Opinions and their interaction with other opinions elicit feelings. No doubt.

    Opinions are related to falsehoods. All people say things that are false. (No doubt)

    Therefore feelings are related to falsehoods via opinions.(~QeD)
     
  11. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    I can't answer in full right now since I'm on the run, but your second premise omits intentionality. No one tries to say false things (unless they believe in a particular kind of humor, which is a topic we're covering elsewhere). Yet everyone tries to say true things.

    The problem with my view is that it omits the ambiguity of life, a fact which must be confronted. Yet an opinion is an educated guess. I think the key to the puzzle is Aporia.
     
  12. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    Sure!

    No, I understand that.

    I'd call it universal but not exclusive. There are other universal desires, such as the desire to be loved, to be free, to make a difference, etc.

    To press my point survival is a desire to be cleansed of mortality, and on the naturalistic explanation sexual desire serves that end via progeny. On the religious view sexual desire will be more complicated. Of course pleasure is also part of that.

    I gave my friend's dog a bath the other day. He hated it but he was happier afterwards. He didn't realize he was dirty until after the bath.

    I don't mean to compare atheists to dogs, because in the (Catholic) religious view sanctification/washing is an ongoing process after baptism.
     
  13. Ana the Ist

    Ana the Ist Aggressively serene!

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    Huh?

    Universal, adj. - including or covering all or a whole collectively or distributively without limit or exception

    If something is universal...it cannot be exclusive by definition.

    I think you're drastically underestimating the variety of human experience. There are, and have been, prisoners and slaves who did not desire freedom....for example. The desire "to be free" is not universal.


    I'm simply talking about the impulse to avoid one's death....aka survival. I don't see what that has to do with morality.

    No offense, but unless you plan to explain how my desire to wash my feet at the end of the day is in some way a path to external morality that's somehow different from just basing morality on anything (including an old religious text)....

    ....then you're really just making my point for me.
     
  14. Moral Orel

    Moral Orel Proud Citizen of Moralton Supporter

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    People lie, so ya, folks say false things intentionally all the time. Besides that though, people fail to say true things even when they try. Are feelings a good way to determine what is true? This keeps coming up and that's why I dinged Ana's post. Even just you and I have touched on this in three different threads now.
    I was saying that you're conflating two differing usages of the word "opinion", but you're saying all opinions are educated guesses? In my opinion chocolate ice cream is delicious, in my wife's opinion it's gross. Which one of us is correct? I'd say neither, it isn't a matter of being "correct", but it seems you're saying one of us must be correct and the other must be incorrect.
     
  15. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    Well, I should point out that there are different types of moral realism. I honestly think the sort of subjectivism that is being tossed around in this thread right now is very difficult to justify, since we are rational, social animals. We do not create ourselves entirely from scratch; our psychology is not a blank slate, so there are behaviors that can be good and bad for us. Atheists can therefore pretty easily affirm a form of virtue ethics.

    Something like universal human dignity, on the other hand, is trickier. Cultures that have very strong virtue systems, like classical Greece and Rome, are a bit notorious for some of the rampant abuse, so it's not clear to me how you can get from virtue ethics to a Declaration of Universal Human Rights. When people stop seeing the need to even try, I get somewhat concerned, because there are consequences to dropping this type of lofty morality. For example: the refugee crisis and criminalization of humanitarian aid.
     
  16. Ana the Ist

    Ana the Ist Aggressively serene!

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    Who is criminalizing humanitarian aid?
     
  17. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    The issue I'm most familiar with is attempts to crack down on the NGO rescue ships that patrol the Mediterranean for migrants. Mostly by the former Italian administration, but it goes a bit deeper than that. Here's an interesting article on it from last year: Europe Has Criminalized Humanitarianism

    I don't hear about it as much in this country, but there have been cases like this one: Crimes of compassion: US follows Europe's lead in prosecuting those who help migrants
     
  18. Ana the Ist

    Ana the Ist Aggressively serene!

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    Ahhh...the boats. Yeah, Italy isn't happy about people helping them make land.

    There's a debate there about what qualifies as "humanitarian aid". Italy isn't stopping anyone from going to the nations these people are fleeing and passing out food.

    I mean...if you were to take a starving mother and child off the street, and drop them upon the doorstep of a wealthier family with the expectation that family will feed them...

    I can definitely say that you helped someone with a problem (the starving family) but you've also created a problem for someone else (the family you dumped them on). It's not exactly the same as giving them food or shelter yourself...and I think that's a good analogy here.

    One has to remember that states like Italy are independent actors in an anarchy. If Italy fails....it can ask its neighbors for help but there's no guarantee they'll receive any. Ultimately, Italy has to do whatever is necessary for Italy to survive and that may include turning away millions of beggars who show up at it's door.
     
  19. Moral Orel

    Moral Orel Proud Citizen of Moralton Supporter

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    I hope you aren't referencing me. I know we had our subjectivist spat in the past, and I know I'm still using the hated "chocolate ice cream" as an illustration, but I'm not arguing for subjectivism. I'm simply stating it takes something other than, "X makes me feel bad" to conclude "X is bad". Some things are purely subjective, and that's a facet of my argument, but I'm not arguing everything is subjective.
     
  20. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    I would say saving people from drowning does count as humanitarian aid. There is a significant difference between Italy not wanting to accept more people than it can provide for into the country and actually adopting policies intended to make people drown in the Mediterranean. Italy is engaging in the second in these cases.

    No, I wasn't.
     
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