16
   

Morality without Religion.

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 01:13 pm
@Francis,
It is my contention that he hasn't, at least none that i can see. Joe goes even further and denies any of the that the commandments are ethical or moral, because they are based on compulsion (i was only concerned with the first commandment in my exchange with Brown). It is easy to see why he says as much--in the first commandment the boy Jehovah doesn't say you should believe in him because it is the right thing to do, he says you should believe in him because he is a jealous god, and will punish you for being iniquitous if you don't, and punish your descendants for three or four generations.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 01:14 pm
@Setanta,
While you have been wallowing in a dense cloud of self pity, others have addressed it and it's clear, at the very least, that the position you've taken isn't some absolute truth.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 01:19 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
It is my contention that he hasn't, at least none that i can see. Joe goes even further and denies any of the that the commandments are ethical or moral, because they are based on compulsion (i was only concerned with the first commandment in my exchange with Brown). It is easy to see why he says as much-


When you're discussing it with Francis, it's a 'contention'. When you "discuss" it with DrewDad or EbrownP it's a "god-handed to Set truth'.

It's actually not easy to see why Joe has taken such a position, unless you are simply determined to hold firm to your position. The ethical canons of the legal profession are based on complusion, ie. they are penalty based, just as the commandments are [and possibly, enforced just as often as the 1st is].
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 01:30 pm
@Francis,
Francis--Setanta doesn't want to understand anything. He's been trotting that rubbish out for a very long time. He needs God more than the fundies do. And he needs to have God in his sights.

He has me on Ignore to enable him to not be tempted to read posts of mine like the one on circumcision which explained the rock he's stuck on. So have others. It's a state of bliss is being certain.

And the characteristics he ascribes to this straw man of his are exactly the characteristics we know applied, without remission, in the evolutionary chain up to the point Jesus rode to the rescue with a new way of going about things.

0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 01:35 pm
@Setanta,
You've retreated behind the debate in order to avoid admitting how atrociously you've behaved.

You also seem hell-bent on rehashing a discussion that, frankly, I wasn't that invested in.

I see Ebrown's point. I see Thomas's point. You disagree. What more is there to say?

You also doggedly refuse to expand the discussion to other religious-based ethical issues, and seem obsessed with only discussing the first example that anyone brought to the table.

Why would I be interested in carrying on a conversation that you're so desperate to control?
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 01:40 pm
@sstainba,
So far, we haven't been discussing whether any of these standards have any merit, just whether a deist would make ethical statements that an atheist would not.
sstainba
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 01:49 pm
@DrewDad,
ah. i'm sure if you asked the diest, he would say so. although as i'm sure it's been pointed out, there is no action that a moral religous person can take that an athiest cannot or has not.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 01:51 pm
@JTT,
Quote:
The ethical canons of the legal profession are based on complusion, ie. they are penalty based, just as the commandments are [and possibly, enforced just as often as the 1st is].


I wouldn't say compulsion. They are often flouted at no cost. One is free to disobey. In fact, if afterlives are ruled out, it is hard to see why atheists behave so normally in their daily lives.

Encouragement shading away into a type of taxation.

And there's no sense in making laws or commandments concerning any other matters than those people are nuturally prone to get up to as an animal sharing a high proportion of DNA with monkeys and a lesser proportion with fierce Brazilian wasps.

Knock out the Ist Commandment and everything else is dust. Then it's the USSC.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 01:57 pm
@sstainba,
Quote:
there is no action that a moral religous person can take that an athiest cannot or has not.


But the motives would be poles apart. There's a difference between not stealing because it is wrong and not stealing because one might be caught or that it would lower one's self esteem.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 02:01 pm
@spendius,
Quote:
I wouldn't say compulsion. They are often flouted at no cost. One is free to disobey. In fact, if afterlives are ruled out, it is hard to see why atheists behave so normally in their daily lives.


I think you're jumping over the point, Spendi. The 1st commandment is flouted all the time. The rule of law is and has been flouted by the those who wield great power, the USA, the UK, France, ... lawyers, doctors, ... .

Lawyers, governments are not free to disobey, they simply aren't held to the same standards that the average person is.


Quote:
Knock out the Ist Commandment and everything else is dust. Then it's the USSC.


It's been gone forever. Noticed any recent Sodom & Gomorrahs?
sstainba
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 02:54 pm
@spendius,
I completely agree. So it could be argued that an athiest is actually more ethical and a relgious person.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 03:34 pm
@sstainba,
Well there is a duty being performed by both. Ethics apply to moral principles and also to obligations to others. I wouldn't say "more than" in two ideal cases.

Quote:
Lawyers, governments are not free to disobey


Of course they are.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 03:35 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
If that's all there is to it, no. But I disagree with your implied statement that adherence to a faith is equivalent to membership in a club. Membership in a club is a relationship between you and other people. Faith is a conviction that certain assertions are true. The two are completely independent.

Well, you're using "faith" in an equivocal fashion (as meaning both "belief" and "religious sect"). Adherence to a "faith" (i.e. belief) is not the same thing as adherence to a "faith" (i.e. religious sect). Surely one can be "faithful" in the first sense without belonging to a "faith" in the second sense.

But belonging to a "faith" in the second sense is very much like being a member of a club. And the rules of that club are the sect's rituals and commandments. It's that adherence to those that I'm primarily talking about.

Thomas wrote:
It is possible to be a member of no "club" and still believe that the world was created by a supernatural intelligence, that this creator is an infinitely higher being than any humans, that consequently the creator's interests weigh infinitely higher than the interests of our fellow humans, etc

All very true.

Thomas wrote:
.... If you take all these things to be facts, these facts bleed into your judgment of what's right and wrong.

That may very well be true too, but then saying "it's wrong to tell a lie" is rather different from saying "it's wrong for an observant Jew to eat pork." The first statement is undoubtedly ethical, whereas the second is more akin to stating the rules of a club to be followed by club members. And since the club's rules are only for club members, to say that those rules are ethical in nature means that subjective morality is correct (because it recognizes that some people are bound by moral rules that do not bind others). The other alternative is to say that those rules are not ethical in nature, principally because they are not universal in scope.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 03:36 pm
@JTT,
Quote:
It's been gone forever. Noticed any recent Sodom & Gomorrahs?


I meant that the theological edifice crumbles to dust.
0 Replies
 
sstainba
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 03:42 pm
@spendius,
You're right, I should have said "moral".

Well, really, is it a "duty" if you are compelled by punishment ? I wouldn't think so. Duty seem to be something done simply because it's the moral thing to do. But if you are commanded to do something by pain of punishment, that's not really "duty".
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 03:46 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
Well, you're using "faith" in an equivocal fashion (as meaning both "belief" and "religious sect"). Adherence to a "faith" (i.e. belief) is not the same thing as adherence to a "faith" (i.e. religious sect). Surely one can be "faithful" in the first sense without belonging to a "faith" in the second sense.

But belonging to a "faith" in the second sense is very much like being a member of a club. And the rules of that club are the sect's rituals and commandments. It's that adherence to those that I'm primarily talking about.

You're guilty of the same conflation when you say people of a faith only follow the rules because of fear of punishment. A non-believer who follows sectarian rules would not be doing so because of fear of punishment from God.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 03:53 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:
It's actually not easy to see why Joe has taken such a position, unless you are simply determined to hold firm to your position. The ethical canons of the legal profession are based on complusion, ie. they are penalty based, just as the commandments are [and possibly, enforced just as often as the 1st is].

Part of the problem is that the term "ethics" is rather ambiguous. For philosophers, it is more or less equivalent to "morals" or "morality." I haven't really found any satisfactory distinction between the terms. "Ethics" is often considered "applied morality," in the sense that "morality" is the standard of rightness and wrongness, while "ethics" is the application of that standard to specific situations. But "ethics" is also used in a broader sense that is indistinguishable from "morality."

In everyday parlance, "ethics" is any code of conduct. The legal profession is governed by a code of ethics, but that's a rather loose usage of the term "ethics." It could just as easily be called a "code of behavior" or a "code of practice." In substance, the "code of ethics" for lawyers is more similar to a club's rules than to a genuine system of morality.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 03:57 pm
@joefromchicago,
Then basically this whole thread has been a complete schmozzle, Joe. We've all been trying to get to some sort of a resolution with a host of synonyms.
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 04:05 pm
@JTT,
Perhaps. But let's examine the main thread of this discussion:

The contention was made that a religious person cannot make any ethical statement that cannot also be made by an atheist. It was then suggested that the religious person could state a belief in the first commandment, which could not be made by an atheist. The question, then, became whether or not the first commandment (or any of the commandments found in the bible) are ethical in nature.

If we can agree that "ethics," in this context, means "a standard for determining right and wrong conduct," we can get somewhere. On the other hand, if we spend all of our time talking past each other because we can't agree on a working definition of "ethics," then you're right: we're just tossing synonyms at each other.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 06:01 pm
@sstainba,
Quote:
Well, really, is it a "duty" if you are compelled by punishment ? I wouldn't think so. Duty seem to be something done simply because it's the moral thing to do. But if you are commanded to do something by pain of punishment, that's not really "duty".


Agreed. But you have forgotten habit and customary practice. The "duty" under the threat of punishment becomes a cultural habit over time just like the setting of a table for a Thanksgiving dinner does. It becomes automatic. A structure one might say. The done thing.

When forks first appeared in European dining rooms as the latest thing in chic manners the young ladies picked a morsel out of the dish with their fingers and impaled it on the prongs prior to placing it in the jaws of their masticating tackle.

0 Replies
 
 

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