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Morality without Religion.

 
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 09:04 pm
@sstainba,
sstainba wrote:
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".

People under military authority said to be doing their duty, even though they would be punished if they failed to perform said duties.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 09:22 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
Well, you're using "faith" in an equivocal fashion (as meaning both "belief" and "religious sect").

True enough.

joefromchicago wrote:
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.

I'm not nearly as sure of that as you are. In fact, I doubt there is much of a practical difference in the distinction you're making. Can you give me examples where there is?
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Aug, 2009 08:19 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

joefromchicago wrote:
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.

I'm not nearly as sure of that as you are. In fact, I doubt there is much of a practical difference in the distinction you're making. Can you give me examples where there is?

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.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Aug, 2009 04:32 pm
@joefromchicago,
Okay -- but in this case, the First Commandment does become an ethical obligation, as does the circumcision of your sons. The obligations arise from the convictions, not from the membership in the club. On the flip side of that, I'll concede that the obligations would not exist for an atheist Israeli who for opportunistic reasons goes along with the Jewish culture he lives in.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Aug, 2009 05:32 pm
@Thomas,
A phoney I suppose Thomas means like all atheists I've come across apart from the Marquis de Sade.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 07:47 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Okay -- but in this case, the First Commandment does become an ethical obligation, as does the circumcision of your sons. The obligations arise from the convictions, not from the membership in the club.

That's just a chicken-egg problem: are people religious because they have convictions, or do they have convictions because they're religious? I'm not sure you can conclude that the former is true rather than the latter. In any event, just because a person may be convinced that god, e.g., doesn't want him to eat rabbit, that doesn't necessarily mean that the person is ethically obligated to refrain from eating rabbit. Even if god commanded everyone -- not just members of a particular religious sect -- to abstain from rabbit, that still doesn't make abstaining from rabbit an ethical obligation, since people would be acting out of fear of punishment rather than for the sake of what is right.

Thomas wrote:
On the flip side of that, I'll concede that the obligations would not exist for an atheist Israeli who for opportunistic reasons goes along with the Jewish culture he lives in.

Then you're setting up a relativistic morality, aren't you?
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 10:47 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
Even if god commanded everyone -- not just members of a particular religious sect -- to abstain from rabbit, that still doesn't make abstaining from rabbit an ethical obligation, since people would be acting out of fear of punishment rather than for the sake of what is right.

That's a false dichotomy. Not every religious rule is followed because of a fear of punishment.
0 Replies
 
 

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