16
   

Morality without Religion.

 
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 09:46 am
@DrewDad,
My objection was that the content of the first commandment is doctrinal, not ethical. The deity doesn't hold to a principle that people must be theists, but rather that people must believe in him to the exclusion of any other gods (although describing them as false, the implication is definitely polytheistic, and not monotheistic). The deity describes himself as a jealous god, apparently to explain why he, and he alone, must be worshiped. As i have said, that is a doctrinal requirement. Inasmuch as Brown had offered that as an example of ethical behavior to which an atheist would not adhere, i objected on the basis of it being a doctrinal requirement, and not an ethical requirement.

Of course you are free to disagree, but i remain unconvinced that Brown had offered a plausible objection to Hitchins' claim about ethical behavior on the part of unbelievers.
Diest TKO
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 10:51 am
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

I understand ebrown's point with the first commandment.

For a certain subsets of people, it is immoral, according to their moral standard, not to perform acts prescribed by their religion. They have to do these things to be good people. Muslims have to pray so many times a day facing Mecca.

My point is that the embedded morality in the commandment to not worship any other god is the morality of loyalty, trust, or perhaps obedience.

Those things are not unique to religious people.
K
O
Francis
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 10:59 am
DTKO wrote:
My point is that the embedded morality in the commandment to not worship any other god is the morality of loyalty, trust, or perhaps obedience.


It's a bit far fetched, I'd say.

What morality can people attribute to a god that blackmails and threatens them with terrible punishments, in case they do not worship him?
Diest TKO
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 11:01 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

The question is if you have several unrelated societies, each with a blank-slate morality (as they are in the process of forming a functioning society), will they come up with the same moral system? or with vastly different ideas of right and wrong?

Two societies don't have to come up with the same systems. Their very different systems need only overlap some.

The idea that some "objective morality" (joe's term) or "moral facts" (thomas's term) exist is more supported by what we observe in the ways our most dramatically different culture's morals overlap, and how the respective moral codes came into development.

ebrown p wrote:

I think this question can be answered from history.

My argument is that there is when societies have developed their own ideas of right and wrong-- there is no objective way to judge between them when they conflict. Members of each society will largely feel that their values are correct and the values of societies are immoral (as is being shown in this very thread).

This topic is perhaps deserving of it's own thread. While related, it tests a different concept completely. Morals and ethics measure internally too. I.e. - Not what is right and wrong, but how we are right or wrong.

Without launching too deep into that topic, I'd say simply that my policy has always been that I can't hold you to my moral code, and you cannot hold me to yours. I can however hold you to your code, and you can hold me to mine.

T
K
O
0 Replies
 
Diest TKO
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 11:02 am
@Francis,
Francis wrote:

DTKO wrote:
My point is that the embedded morality in the commandment to not worship any other god is the morality of loyalty, trust, or perhaps obedience.


It's a bit far fetched, I'd say.

What morality can people attribute to a god that blackmails and threatens them with terrible punishments, in case they do not worship him?

I didn't say that a god was worth the loyalty, trust or obedience. I mean only that loyalty, trust and obedience are things in which a discussion on morals makes sense.

T
K
O
Francis
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 11:17 am
@Diest TKO,
I didn't say you said a god is worth anything.

Loyalty and trust definitely are things worth discussing.

I'm not so sure about obedience..
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 11:31 am
@Setanta,
Being doctrinal and moral are not mutually exclusive, IMO. To a member of the ancient Hebrew sects, I suspect that the requirement to worship Jehova was both.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 12:00 pm
@Setanta,
I suppose Set's reasons for using phrases such as "The deity describes himself as " , in spite of my explanatory post in response to TK, is that such a naive idea underpins his whole position on the issues. He's incoherent.

He has to give credit to the integrity of God having spoken to Moses in order to discredit the idea of His existence or influence.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 12:13 pm
@Diest TKO,
Quote:
My point is that the embedded morality in the commandment to not worship any other god is the morality of loyalty, trust, or perhaps obedience.

Those things are not unique to religious people.


Once again, and I'm getting a bit suspicious why this point is simply ignored, it is because loyalty, trust and obedience are not readily given to other men.

One only needs look at what is said about our elected leaders who we are supposed to give loyalty, trust and obedience to. Or what is thought about them privately in states where force is used to exact a seeming loyalty, trust and obedience.

You can't use an intellectual argument to attack a naive position. You are supposed to attack an intellectual position with an intellectual argument. But you obviously can't so you slide into the fallback position to maintain your momentum. Pure fatuity. And it's time you worked it out.



0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 01:13 pm
@DrewDad,
That doesn't answer the objection to the first commandment as an example of an ethical statement made or ethical action performed by a believer which cannot be performed by a non-believer. That some people may have considered it ethical to worship Jehovah is not evidence that it were. You, just as was the case with Brown, have failed to make that case.
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 03:06 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
That some people may have considered it ethical to worship Jehovah is not evidence that it were.

It's an ethical statement that a believer would make, and an unbeliever would not make. There wasn't a requirement that the unbeliever agree.
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 03:07 pm
@ebrown p,
Having no god isn't having another god before 'him', Ebrownp.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  0  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 03:30 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
That doesn't answer the objection to the first commandment as an example of an ethical statement made or ethical action performed by a believer which cannot be performed by a non-believer.


What sort of ethical action would be performed by a non- believer which hadn't derived from the morality of a believer? Leaving aside the performance as a trick.

The purpose of the morality is to see that the act is performed and if it is it hardly matters what the actors believe.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 03:30 pm
@Diest TKO,
Quote:
How about you substitute "universal truth" with something else. I don't think many Atheists believe in some universal truth. I'd wager that if such language is used, it is merely an facsimile for the idea that healthy human interaction and socially agreeable morals/ethics are intuitive.

What I mean is, it doesn't take a universal truth to see the logic of an idea such as treating others as you wish to be treated. It's quite intuitive.


You know, TKO, and this could have been addressed to any number of others, I'm finding it a bit difficult to accept that it's intuitive. Probably few will appreciate this, but it's perplexing how both atheists and religious folk can sit back and not really care [care in the sense of doing something] about the innocents who die because of these illegal invasions, "wars" based on lies.

And this clearly isn't just Americans. Maybe these notions of right and wrong are intuitive. But that leaves us with a scary proposition; people really aren't very moral.
spendius
 
  0  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 03:35 pm
@JTT,
Quote:
people really aren't very moral.


And that's with a morality in place. Imagine it without one.
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 03:42 pm
@Setanta,
Was that disgruntled former employee religious or an Atheist or an atheist?
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 03:49 pm
@spendius,
Quote:
And that's with a morality in place. Imagine it without one.


That would seem to make it a subjective morality, which according to some is no morality at all and to others, an accurate description of the only morality mankind possesses.
0 Replies
 
Diest TKO
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 03:59 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

You know, TKO, and this could have been addressed to any number of others, I'm finding it a bit difficult to accept that it's intuitive. Probably few will appreciate this, but it's perplexing how both atheists and religious folk can sit back and not really care [care in the sense of doing something] about the innocents who die because of these illegal invasions, "wars" based on lies.

I think both religious and non-religious people care sincerely. Let's keep this dialog simple, what you're introducing in my opinion is a discussion on what people do with their power, ability and/or ability.

Just because I believe that some things are intuitive (like a golden rule), does not mean that I'm saying that ALL moral/ethical constructs are intuitive or even correctly assembled.

JTT wrote:

And this clearly isn't just Americans. Maybe these notions of right and wrong are intuitive. But that leaves us with a scary proposition; people really aren't very moral.

You're talking second order now, but I'd agree to an extent. I believe people often know right from wrong (by their own standards) and still choose to violate their own moral/ethical standards. This makes them weak n character certainly, and weakness in character could arguably translate into being immoral.

Just thinking out loud on this one..

T
K
O
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 04:00 pm
@Ceili,
Quote:
It's uncommonly generous of Michael Gerson[" What Atheists Can't Answer," op-ed, July 13] to refer to me as "intellectually courageous and unfailingly kind," since (a) this might be taken as proof that he hardly knows me and (b) it was he who was so kind when I once rang him to check a scurrilous peacenik rumor that he was a secret convert from Judaism to Christian fundamentalism.


I think that it's pretty much assured that it's (a). Or (c), journalistic courtesy.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 04:10 pm
@Diest TKO,
Quote:
I think both religious and non-religious people care sincerely. Let's keep this dialog simple, what you're introducing in my opinion is a discussion on what people do with their power, ability and/or ability.


I don't see how it can be kept 'simple' because tho' theoreticals are nice neat constructs they someday have to meet reality. It's not so much what a small group can do with their power.

We know with a certainty that's absolute that some can be evil incarnate. It's those that pretend to morality but allow themselves to be "dragged" forward into the same degree of immorality. Caring sincerely doesn't absolve anyone from not acting, in whatever capacity they can.

Quote:
Just because I believe that some things are intuitive (like a golden rule), does not mean that I'm saying that ALL moral/ethical constructs are intuitive or even correctly assembled.


Maybe, after the fact, they seem intuitive. After what fact? A lifetime of carefully constructed "pushed" morality. Morality, I believe a strong case can be made, maybe has been made by some, that it is really all just subjective whether it's religion based or non-religion based.

Tho' many turn away from religion, aren't most heavily influenced by its precepts. Aren't these where a lot of morality comes from?
 

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