13
   

Problems with Atheism

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 02:30 pm
@engineer,
No, he started this thread because he got reamed in the other thread for all his bullshit straw man claims about atheists. He may have started the other thread because of Eorl's thread, but he didn't say so, and his characterization of atheists in that thread bore no resemblance to the content of Eorl's thread, so who was to know?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 02:36 pm
Eorl wrote:
So I've sent my daughter off to learn to about Easter from some evangelical Christians doing a presentation at school. I had the choice to prevent her from going, but I didn't. I've happily allowed, nay encouraged her exposure to Hindu, Buddhist and Aboriginal religious/spiritual practices, but the Christians are the ones I'm really scared of. Have I done the right thing? I think I have. (Nail-biting smiley)


This is Eorl's opening post in that thread. It is not even remotely an attack on religion, nor even an attack on Christianity. Do you just like to argue for argument's sake? Do you think you are somehow noble for defending this gobshite's hateful attacks on atheists? I really don't understand why you keep posting these kind of idiotic remarks--you're certainly not an idiot, so i'm mystified.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 08:38 pm
@Setanta,
I think if Eorl has posted that he sent his children off to learn about Muslims but he was really scared of them, the response would not have been friendly. Nor would everyone have supported fears about exposing said children to atheists or Buddhists or Aboriginals. But since he was posting about Christians, well yes, let your children go but be extra careful. Maybe I'm wrong and if he'd posted that he was apprehensive about letting his children be exposed to Muslims or atheists everyone would have nodded and smiled, but I don't think so.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:13 pm
@engineer,
Whatever . . . it is simply not reasonable to attempt to justify Brown's hysteria with a reference to Eorl's thread. Brown went off the deep end--so much so, that i never associated his hysteria with Eorl's thread until you suggested it. It is beyond me why you think it is possible to justify Brown's outrageous straw men by reference to Eorl's thread. Keep in mind, too, that Brown has claimed that he is himself an atheist, a thoroughly unbelievable proposition. Most recently, he has claimed that he is a "religious atheist," whatever the hell that is supposed to mean. If you wish to suggest that he is being reasonable, and that you understand him, help yourself.
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 01:32 am
@engineer,
Interesting that such a protest should be made here and not there.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2010 09:46 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
But we can cut this discussion short if you would answer one question: do you believe that there is such a thing as "morality?"

Hmmm, I wouldn't have thought that was such a difficult question. Go figure.
spendius
 
  0  
Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2010 11:13 am
@joefromchicago,
The answer is obvious. There is no such thing as morality to those who have dead eyes which see all phenomena in a constant, neutral fashion and make no distinction between any of them. Like Yul Brynner's in Westworld.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2010 11:15 am
@spendius,
Usually, when one is commanded to "go figure" one anticipates that a difficult question is being posed.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2010 11:28 am
@joefromchicago,
it is indeed a very difficult question.
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  2  
Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2010 07:22 pm
It is.

One common difference between the religiously minded as opposed to the scientifically minded, is that the latter spend a lot of time asking questions about the unknown, while the former spend a lot of time distributing answers.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2010 08:39 pm
@joefromchicago,
Quote:
joefromchicago wrote:
But we can cut this discussion short if you would answer one question: do you believe that there is such a thing as "morality?"

Hmmm, I wouldn't have thought that was such a difficult question. Go figure.


It's not that difficult a question. There is obviously no such thing as absolute morality. A quick look at the striking differences in moral rules between different groups of people makes this quite clear.

Science doesn't back up, or favor or even suggest any moral principles... and, assuming there is no objective judge, there is no objective way to weigh one system of morality against another. (Of course, it would be very difficult to make any distinction between an objective judge and a deity).

Morality is a social phenomenon-- each human culture has a distinct view of what is moral and what is immoral. This of course is paralleled in other social animals.

Amigo
 
  0  
Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2010 08:49 pm
The "chosen people" are the ultimate arrogance and selfishness. We are the "gentile" we are the lesser then, we are the people that deserve the wrath of god, by there hand is god wills it.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2010 08:51 pm
@Eorl,
Quote:
One common difference between the religiously minded as opposed to the scientifically minded, is that the latter spend a lot of time asking questions about the unknown, while the former spend a lot of time distributing answers.


This seems like more of an answer then a question.
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2010 08:57 pm
@Amigo,
Unless they are right, of course. In which case there's no point complaining.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  0  
Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2010 09:14 pm
Some of us just yawn.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 06:37 am
@ossobuco,
And it is a sign of ill breeding to leave the mouth uncovered and yawn in everybody's face.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 08:22 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:
It's not that difficult a question. There is obviously no such thing as absolute morality. A quick look at the striking differences in moral rules between different groups of people makes this quite clear.

Then you'd also agree that, because two people may disagree, there's no such thing as "truth" either, right?

ebrown p wrote:
Science doesn't back up, or favor or even suggest any moral principles... and, assuming there is no objective judge, there is no objective way to weigh one system of morality against another. (Of course, it would be very difficult to make any distinction between an objective judge and a deity).

Why is science the ultimate arbiter of morality?

ebrown p wrote:
Morality is a social phenomenon-- each human culture has a distinct view of what is moral and what is immoral. This of course is paralleled in other social animals.

So then you'd agree that morality is nothing more than a custom, correct? For you, the statements "you shouldn't lie" and "you shouldn't talk with your mouth full of food" are morally equivalent statements.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 09:19 am
Quote:
Science doesn't back up, or favor or even suggest any moral principles...


It might be said to on the pleasure/pain principle.

Extract from the autobiography of Charles Darwin--

Quote:
But passing over the endless beautiful adaptations which we everywhere meet with, it may be asked how can the generally beneficent arrangement of the world be accounted for? Some writers indeed are so much impressed with the amount of suffering in the world, that they doubt if we look to all sentient beings, whether there is more of misery or of happiness;"whether the world as a whole is a good or a bad one. According to my judgment happiness decidedly prevails, though this would be very difficult to prove. If the truth of this conclusion be granted, it harmonises well with the effects which we might expect from natural selection. If all the individuals of any species were habitually to suffer to an extreme degree they would neglect to propagate their kind; but we have no reason to believe that this has ever or at least often occurred. Some other considerations, moreover, lead to the belief that all sentient beings have been formed so as to enjoy, as a general rule, happiness.

Every one who believes, as I do, that all the corporeal and mental organs (excepting those which are neither advantageous or disadvantageous to the possessor) of all beings have been developed through natural selection, or the survival of the fittest, together with use or habit, will admit that these organs have been formed so that their possessors may compete successfully with other beings, and thus increase in number. Now an animal may be led to pursue that course of action which is the most beneficial to the species by suffering, such as pain, hunger, thirst, and fear,"or by pleasure, as in eating and drinking and in the propagation of the species, &c. or by both means combined, as in the search for food. But pain or suffering of any kind, if long continued, causes depression and lessens the power of action; yet is well adapted to make a creature guard itself against any great or sudden evil. Pleasurable sensations, on the other hand, may be long continued without any depressing effect; on the contrary they stimulate the whole system to increased action. Hence it has come to pass that most or all sentient beings have been developed in such a manner through natural selection, that pleasurable sensations serve as their habitual guides. We see this in the pleasure from exertion, even occasionally from great exertion of the body or mind,"in the pleasure of our daily meals, and especially in the pleasure derived from sociability and from loving our families. The sum of such pleasures as these, which are habitual or frequently recurrent, give, as I can hardly doubt, to most sentient beings an excess of happiness over misery, although many occasionally suffer much. Such suffering, is quite compatible with the belief in Natural Selection, which is not perfect in its action, but tends only to render each species as successful as possible in the battle for life with other species, in wonderfully complex and changing circumstances.

That there is much suffering in the world no one disputes. Some have attempted to explain this in reference to man by imagining that it serves for his moral improvement. But the number of men in the world is as nothing compared with that of all other sentient beings, and these often suffer greatly without any moral improvement. A being so powerful and so full of knowledge as a God who could create the universe, is to our finite minds omnipotent and omniscient, and it revolts our understanding to suppose that his benevolence is not unbounded, for what advantage can there be in the sufferings of millions of the lower animals throughout almost endless time? This very old argument from the existence of suffering against the existence of an intelligent first cause seems to me a strong one; whereas, as just remarked, the presence of much suffering agrees well with the view that all organic beings have been developed through variation and natural selection.

At the present day the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons. But it cannot be doubted that Hindoos,
Mahomadans and others might argue in the same manner and with equal force in favour of the existence of one God, or of many Gods, or as with the Buddists of no God. There are also many barbarian tribes who cannot be said with any truth to believe in what we call God: they believe indeed in spirits or ghosts, and it can be explained, as Tyler and Herbert Spencer have shown, how such a belief would be likely to arise.


Thus morality can be explained by natural selection in respect of classes and geographical locations as the codified form of that which increases pleasure for the class in a particular location just as, say, a bird's plumage may be said to be a codified form of what contributes to its pleasure.

But psychological considerations also apply. A specific settled morality being the outward appearance of selected adaptations which are beneficial to a society, or a sub group of it, under the conditions it is existing in.

If a finch from the Galapagos Islands was to argue with a finch from Shropsire about which had the best plumage the argument would have nothing to say about why the different plumages had been selected in for each environment or the validity of either. Just as two football hooligans arguing about their teams would have nothing to say about the institution of football.



0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 09:30 am
One might just as easily argue about the relative merits of female costumes whilst forgetting about the underlying uses of such costumes in their particular geographical and social locations.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 09:51 am
@joefromchicago,
Quote:

Then you'd also agree that, because two people may disagree, there's no such thing as "truth" either, right?


Of course not. There can be truth in any arena where there is an objective way to decide between two competing ideas. There can be truth in mathematics because mathematics has a clear way to test ideas.

There is no objective way to test between two competing ideas of morality. Each person judges based on their culture... but there is no way that is not based on your subjective point of view to prove anything about morality.

Quote:
Why is science the ultimate arbiter of morality?


I am saying there is no ultimate arbiter of morality. Morality is a function of culture.

Do you have something else to propose that would objectively define what is right or wrong outside of a specific cultural context?
 

Related Topics

 
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 01/22/2022 at 08:12:13