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Morality without Religion.

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 07:56 am
The only thing i argued with Brown about was the first commandment. I don't give a rat's ass what nonsense you want to discuss. If you come up with anything which is actually a basis to support Brown's claim that the first commandment refutes Hitchens' claim, send me a PM to suggest a discussion.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 08:10 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
I don't give a rat's ass...

Nobody's asking you to give up your personality traits....
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 08:13 am
I see you have nothing useful to contribute, and have descended into personal invective. No surprise there . . .
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 08:14 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

joefromchicago wrote:
I have no idea what you're trying to do here. Are you presenting your own ideas or are you just playing at being a moral relativist?

I'm trying to do both.

Hence the muddle.

Thomas wrote:
Let me try to separate things.

1) To a believer in the Old Testament god and his Old Testament rules, circumcising your sons is an ethical obligation, because humans have ethical obligations to god.

Or then again, maybe not. If a club has rules that its members are obliged to follow, does that make the club's rules ethical obligations? For instance, if a social club has a rule that says that members must use the dining facilities at least once a month, does that make eating lunch an ethical obligation?

That strikes me as unlikely. More to the point, would a club member think that a non-club member should also eat at the club at least once a month? That would be simply preposterous, since non-club members are not expected to adhere to the club's rules (indeed, non-club members might be prohibited from eating at the club, just as a non-Catholic, e.g., is prohibited from participating in many Catholic sacraments).

In the same way, a gentile is not expected to adhere to the rules set down by god in the ten commandments. You say that "humans have an ethical obligation to god," but that's merely a petitio principii. Clearly, not all humans have these ethical obligations to god. If the rules of religion are more like the rules of a closed club than ethical obligations owed to all mankind, then it's clear that only some humans owe god the duty to obey the ten commandments. And if that's so, then it's also clear that the ten commandments aren't ethical obligations at all, since, as you correctly point out, if they were then that would permit inconsistent systems of morality. As you state:

Thomas wrote:
3) To both me and the believer, the conflict between #1 and #2 means that one of us must be wrong -- because neither of us is a moral relativist.

Rather than maneuver yourself into this corner, isn't it more logical to conclude that you're not talking about ethics at all when you talk about religious obligations?

Thomas wrote:
4) To a moral relativist,the conflict between #1 and #2 means the believer is right given his beliefs, and I am right given my beliefs. It is impossible, and may not even be meaningful, to investigate which one is right.

It's always meaningful to determine if one has made an ethical error.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 08:24 am
@Setanta,
Well, you started that "nonsense".
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 09:08 am
@Setanta,
Slow day, so let's examine the personal invective.

My original post in this thread was in reply to TKO. You then started arguing with me. Later, you posted this:

Setanta wrote:
I believe you just want to argue because you're a shithook when it comes to anything i post, and you rarely pass up an opportunity to attempt to argue with me.


Now you're accusing me of starting the personal invective.

As you so like to say, "you can't make this stuff up."
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 09:50 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
Or then again, maybe not. If a club has rules that its members are obliged to follow, does that make the club's rules ethical obligations?

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

joefromchicago wrote:
It's always meaningful to determine if one has made an ethical error.

I agree. But as I understand the position of moral relativists, they don't.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 09:53 am
@DrewDad,
It is not true your first post was in response to TKO. You can't even keep track of what you have posted yourself in this thread. Your first post in this thread, #3727623, was a response to Thomas.

DrewDad wrote:
I think that he's referring to whether there is a universal, objective moral standard against which our cultural morality can be measured.


When you had responded to TKO, i commented, but it was not in the nature of an attack--this is entire text of my comment, in my post #3737953:

Setanta wrote:
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.


You eventually responded to that in your post #3728012:

DrewDad wrote:
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.


To which i responded, in my post #3728069:

Setanta wrote:
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.


Thereafter, you started to throw up your smoke screen of straw man arguments, such as that about universal moral principles, which eventually lead me to point out that you just like to argue with me.

Whereas it is certainly true that i commented on your post, it also remains true that you have attempted to argue anything you could come up, without regard for the content of my objection to Brown, and without regard to nature of the original argument. Therefore, i consider my criticism of your penchant for arguing for argument's sake, and your love of attempting to contradict me (as well as several other members) to be valid.

It is a matter of indifference to me whether or not you agree.
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 10:00 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
It is not true your first post was in response to TKO. You can't even keep track of what you have posted yourself in this thread. Your first post in this thread, #3727623, was a response to Thomas.

Rolling Eyes That certainly changes things.... Well, not really.

It doesn't change the fact that you sought me out, and then accused me of being argumentative with you.

It doesn't change the fact that you called me a shithook, and then accused me of starting personal invective.

IMO, you owe me apologies for both of these smears. I'm not holding my breath, though, as you appear incapable of admitting error.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 10:19 am
@Setanta,
Why did you go to such effort looking up individual postings and then just stop a certain point, Set; didn't like what you saw there?

Quote:
It is not true your first post was in response to TKO. You can't even keep track of what you have posted yourself in this thread.


Such a stickler for detail. How is it that you failed to accurately describe the entire post you've paraphrased, below?

Quote:
Thereafter, you started to throw up your smoke screen of straw man arguments, such as that about universal moral principles, which eventually lead[sic] me to point out that you just like to argue with me.






0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 11:08 am
@DrewDad,
It is hilariously ironic to see you accuse anyone of being unable to admit errors. You have completely failed to address the point i made with Brown, and with you in my response to the remark you made to TKO. You are, apparently, however, unable to acknowledge that. As for apologies, you have a laundry list of apologies to make to me and to a great many other people at this site. You'll get yours at about the same time as you make apologies to me and others here.

Let me add whiny and self-pitying to the list of your character traits.
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 11:38 am
@Setanta,
It's amazing, Set, how you can, in such a bald-faced manner, ascribe to others the very traits you so clearly show in your own posts. And you speak of irony.

Quote:
Let me add whiny and self-pitying to the list of your character traits.


Whoa, WHOA, un-be-lie-va-ble!
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 11:50 am
@Thomas,
I agree with Thomas, in that, a religion is not like a club. Regarding ethical issues, it's more akin to doctors, lawyers, etc, who have ethical standards to meet that others do not.

Are these standards that doctors and lawyers must meet doctrinal because they aren't universal?
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 12:09 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
Let me add whiny and self-pitying to the list of your character traits.

Oh, please.

Setanta wrote:

It is hilariously ironic to see you accuse anyone of being unable to admit errors. You have completely failed to address the point i made with Brown, and with you in my response to the remark you made to TKO. You are, apparently, however, unable to acknowledge that.

The fact that you disagree does not mean that I failed to address it. More smearing from the smear-meister.

Setanta wrote:
As for apologies, you have a laundry list of apologies to make to me and to a great many other people at this site. You'll get yours at about the same time as you make apologies to me and others here.

What a pathetic attempt at deflection; whatever my faults are, they do not excuse your faults, or your behavior. How very predictable.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 12:33 pm
You don't seem to have predicted anything. You did not address the point that the first commandment prescribes belief, and is therefore doctrinal. Your only response to that was, in sum, no it isn't. You completely failed to show how the commandment is an ethical injunction. You maundered on about people's opinions, moral absolutes and exclusion, but you provided no basis upon which to assert that the first commandment is an ethical injunction. I have no illusions that you will ever admit that, though. The argument was not about moral absolutes, it was not about exclusion and it was not about what anyone's opinion might be. It was about Brown's claim that it refuted Hitchins' statement about ethical statements and behavior, and my argument that it does not. Someone else's opinion about a belief in god have nothing whatever to do with what the language of the first commandment means. Claims about exclusion (whatever the Hell sort of nonsense you had in mind when you brought that up) have nothing whatever to do with what the language of the first commandment means. Remarks about moral absolutes have nothing whatever to do with what the language of the first commandment means.

You have failed utterly to address the argument i was having with Brown, and the substance of my response to your remark to TKO.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 12:50 pm
@Setanta,
And retreating in order to avoid facing your own atrocious behavior is entirely predictable as well.

Again, the fact that you disagree does not mean that your points have not been addressed. Have you been consulting with Okie or Foxfyre on how to conduct a debate?
0 Replies
 
sstainba
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 12:50 pm
If we're talking OT here, how could anyone honestly use that as a basis for ethical standards (and keep a straight face) ? The OT is full of stories that fly in the face of what most people consider to be ethical.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 01:06 pm
I haven't retreated, i've maintained from the outset that the first commandment is a doctrinal presciption, and not an ethical prescription. You have never addressed that. Talking about what others believe does not address the meaning of the first commandment. Talking about moral absolutes does not address the meaning of the first commandment. You have utterly failed to address the substance of my argument with Brown, and my comment to you when you responded to TKO. You may well disagree, but there is no way to tell since you haven't addressed the meaning of the first commandment.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 01:07 pm
@sstainba,
I agree completely. The god of the bible is violent, racist, elitist, sexist and by his own admission, jealous of other gods--not a savory character at all.
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 01:10 pm
@Setanta,
Why would he make an ethical statement then?
 

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