secular based morals are superior to religious faith based morals
Debate Rounds (4)
first round is for acceptance
Please be respectful
Please stay on topic and be civil
I accept this debate and looking forward for a mutual learning experience.
So that you can live life successfully and happily, you must learn which values to hold and how to achieve them -- this is your life as your moral standard. All moral questions (questions of right action) are questions of how to live happily and successfully, and all moral principles must be measured against how they promote and benefit your life and happiness. Your life as your moral standard holds all things promoting your life as the good. Choosing life as your standard of value is a pre-moral choice. It cannot be judged as right or wrong; but once chosen, it is the role of morality to help man to live the best life possible. A healthy philosophy embraces logic and reason which is needed as a bases for morality and ethics. Ethics is a requirement for human life.
The Bible and other holy books offer very little moral guidance and alot of immoral instructions. If you follow every word of the Bible you"ll become a murderous villain. Original sin is the doctrine that man is born evil. Original sin refers not just to this particular belief, but to all beliefs that man is born evil.
This belief is based on the fallacious view that value is intrinsic. It doesn't claim that man is capable of performing evil, or even that man can be evil. It insists that man is evil independent of his thoughts, actions, or person. The claim is made without reason. It insists that evil can exist as a characteristic of an entity, without reference to a standard of value. Why is it evil? There is no reason. What is evil? There is no definition. It just is.
Original sin is not just misguided. It is fundamentally evil. It is an inversion of morality. A proper, objective morality requires man's life to be his moral guide. Original sin claims that his life is an affront to good. That his own life is not the standard of good, but the standard of evil. To the degree that a man tries to live, he must think of himself as evil. To the degree to which he destroys his life, he is praised as good. If accepted, this doctrine will cause unearned guilt.
If God is going to treat sinners with such remorseless, self-righteous hatred then how likely would it be for a fallible, human Christian to rationalize hating, mistreating and killing sinners? History shows that hurtful and murderous Christians aren"t a rare anomaly. They"re an inevitability produced by a wicked moral guide. If there is no evidence or contrary evidence for accepting a person's beliefs, it is not an act of reason. It is an act of faith.
The result of using faith consistently is the complete inability to think. Without any criteria for accepting a statement as true, every random idea, whether true or false, would be just as likely to be accepted. Contradictions would exist. No higher level abstractions could be made. Faith nullifies the mind. To the degree ideas are taken on faith, the process of thinking is subverted. Even if there is some sort of god, this god is in no position to determine the best ways to conduct human relationships or, more importantly, what human beings should value or not value. People might take a god"s advice into account, but ultimately we humans are responsible for making our own choices.
Pro made good points, Con will add empirical perspective to those points.
For the debate, Con will embrace the “religious” side of this argument. Con takes the position of a deists. That is, a deists believes that God set off the Big Bang but has since remained indifferent to the universe, as God's Laws of Nature is the instructions, or program, defining the evolutionary process of the universe both inanimate and animate. Con uses the scientific method to read God's handwriting--the physical Laws of Nature.
Pro made reference to the Bible--man's written scriptures. For atheists and those of us of faith, including preachers, prophets etc, should be careful when studying man's written scripture about God. We must remember man is fallible, and those who study or write such scriptures may misinterpret of what God wants; therefore, God gets--and, in some cases, God help us all (“72 virgins” upon a suicide-killing of infidels, etc.).
Getting back to God's handwriting, Morality (the fingerprint of God) is an outgrowth of Unalienable Rights, which is an outgrowth of the Constructal Law, which is an outgrowth of the Laws of Thermodynamics. Therefore, Morality is part of the physical Laws of Nature, not man-made.
Please bear with me as we take a journey following the traceability path from Thermodynamics (moments after the Big Bang) to Morality. The Laws of Thermodynamics deals with the direction of energy flow. Constructal Law deals with patterns and systems generated by this energy flow as a function of optimization relative to resistance, in the evolution of biology, physics, technology and social organization. At the biological level once alive, “Life,” must have the freedom (“Liberty” in the optimization relative to resistance), in “the pursuit (energy flow) of ” survival; otherwise, there is no life. Since we have life, survival is a form of positive-feedback and a prerequisite for human “Happiness.” Hence, Thomas Jefferson's discovery, which he declared “self-evident” and used the labeled Unalienable Rights representing a polished version of this biological energy flow in his following celebrated statement, “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The following is a video overview of the Constructal Law:
Continuing with our journey, morality is an outgrowth of life's Unalienable Rights in group formation. The binary values of morality is Right (moral) or Wrong (immoral). The objective of morality is doing Right keeping a group alive. That is, when two or more humans form a group, the group becomes alive. The life of the group is sustained through goodwill and kindness leads to a mutual moral respect for embracing the Unalienable Rights of the members within the group. Goodwill promotes order, stability, and harmony through the pursuit of group-wide positive feedback. Over time, group-wide positive feedback is the genesis of traditions, social values, beliefs (“religious”), language, etc, the norms of society. These norms are tried and tested, and conservatively pass down from one generation to the next establishing its culture. A moral order guides an individual in the prudent exercise of judgment relative to those norms, going with the social flow minimizing civil resistance (Constructal Law). A moral individual in a civil society strives, albeit imperfectly, to be virtuous; that is, restrained, ethical, and honorable, respecting and embracing the Unalienable Rights of others relative to those tested norms.
The empirical evidence of the diversity of language, “religious,” and social norms throughout history and today demonstrates morality is the thread that runs through the tapestry in group formation. By the way, throughout the ages, the historical record found not one isolated human culture to be atheistic. This non-atheistic phenomena suggests “religious faith based” norms are associated with life having higher cerebral faculties during the evolution of life.
Again, morality simply refers to the binary state of Right or Wrong. These states generate mutual positive- or negative-feedback, relative to the Unalienable Rights of another. Mutual positive-feedback, in group creation, is found throughout the symphony of life, to name a few, in the beneficial formation in schools of fish, flocks of birds, packs of wolves, tribes of humans, and in addition, inter-specie relationships, such as those between humans and their pets.
Jefferson's discovery of Unalienable Rights found its way in the design of the US Constitution. This event set off a social experiment, where in a short period of 200-years, changed the world like no other society in recorded history, through the fruits of technology, food production, and medicine, the stables of human existence throughout the world today. A compelling example, of what happens when our Unalienable Rights are morally free to flow, having minimal resistance (Constructal Law), within the awesome machinery of God's nature, the “invisible hand.”
The following youtube presentation gives an overview of the US form of governance relative to other forms, and highlights the Constitutional dependency on the populous' “faith based” foundation.
One may see the incarnation of such a Constitution, having the sole purpose of protecting and embracing Unalienable Rights, was the first form of governance to “claw its way out of darkness” (http://www.youtube.com...).
The importance of “faith based,” by the wisdom of John Adams, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, stated:
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other” (http://www.john-adams-heritage.com...).
Over the last century, the US progressive movement subtly supported “secular based” in favor of “faith based,” relative to public institutions and throughout the government controlled educational system. As pointed out in the youtube presentation our ruling-class no longer follows the US Constitution; fulfilling Adams prediction.
Using the US as an example of social evolution mixing science (Unalienable Rights) with a “faith based” foundation, presents a working example of how governance could “claw its way out of darkness.” However, the progression towards “secular based” in the US, appears to have more darkness than the “faith based” light it once had.
This next example is a short youtube presentation taking all those “faith based” cultures throughout the world, starting with the familiar tree pattern (Constructal Law), concluding with the “invisible hand” representing the Laws of Nature---the handwriting of God; stressing the absence of human “masterminds,” in the creation of something so simple we all use.
One day “secular based” may be more superior, however, secularism on a cultural level has not yet been achieved or evolved. There were a number of state atheism examples imposed by government to abruptly change the cultural fabric from “faith based” to “secular based,” leaving a trail of blood in its wake, for example, the former USSR (https://www.hawaii.edu...).
When the “secular based” stops criticizing the “faith based” and morally learn from it, may advance humanity to the next level. That is, the gradual migration from the power of myth, to the power of science (God's handwriting, “invisible hand”).
Until then, “faith based” is “superior” to “secular based.”
Following you down the traceability path, I get lost when you use the science of biology to explain Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. You use social conventions which are not real and mix them with fixed immutable laws of the universe which are real to form a flawed premise. You claim that morality is a group concept, but it is an individual concept. Individuals have a right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.
You claim that an atheistic view is a cultural view, it is an individual's view. Implicit here is the self-defeating idea that for human life to have worth it must have something more powerful and nonhuman to bestow that worth upon it, be it Nature or God.
Human beings are individuals, each with his own body, his own mind, his own life, this standard applies to human beings as individuals. Man"s life is the standard of moral value and each individual"s own life is his own ultimate value. Each individual is morally an end in himself, not a means to the ends of others. The moral principle here is egoism
Because we possess free will, we choose our values; thus, we can choose either objectively legitimate, life-serving values (e.g., to pursue a wonderful career, to remain with a worthy spouse, to establish and maintain a civilized society)"or objectively illegitimate, life-thwarting values (e.g., to shoot heroin, to stay with an abusive spouse, or to advocate communism or sharia). But whatever our choices, these facts remain: The only reason we can pursue values is because we are alive, and the only reason we need to pursue values is in order to live. This observation-based, two-pronged principle is essential to understanding how morality, and, in turn, the principle of rights, is grounded in the immutable facts of reality. Only life makes values possible, and only life makes values necessary. Or: We have to be alive in order to pursue values, and we have to pursue values in order to stay alive.
It is an observable fact that life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action. This is a metaphysically given fact; it"s the way the world is, regardless of what anyone hopes, feels, prays, or does. Life depends on such action, and human life depends on rational action, action in accordance with one"s own judgment. Because each individual"s life requires self-generated, goal-directed action in accordance with his own judgment, each individual morally must be left free to act on his own judgment, and each individual morally must leave others free to act on theirs.
The idea that rights come from God or from a law of nature created by God fails to meet the requirement of demonstrability. Neither the notion that rights come from God"nor the notion that they come from government"nor the notion that they come from a law of nature created by God is viable. None of these theories identifies a demonstrable, observation-based source for rights. None explains rationally why people should be free to live (the right to life); to act on their own judgment, free of coercion (liberty); to keep, use, and dispose of the product of their effort (property); and to pursue the goals and values of their own choosing (the pursuit of happiness). None supplies an objective foundation for these rights. In the absence of demonstrable proof of the existence of rights, proponents of rights have nothing to support their claims.
To gain the knowledge needed,first and foremost we must use reason, the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man"s senses. Reason is our means of understanding the world, ourselves, and our needs, if we want to gain such understanding, we must use it, we must observe reality and think. And reason is not only our means of gaining knowledge of our physical needs, it is also our means of gaining knowledge of our spiritual needs. It is by means of reason that we learn what self-confidence is, why we need it, and how to gain it. The importance of long-range goals, which ones will serve our life and happiness, and which ones will not. The nature of love, and how to build and maintain a wonderful romantic relationship, and so on. We are not born with any such knowledge, if and to the extent that we gain it, we do so by means of reason.
Rights are not inherent or inborn which is why there is no evidence to suggest that they are. Rights are conceptual identifications of the factual requirements of human life in a social context. Real rights, defensible rights are demonstrably true.
Con will try to address some of Pro's comments.
Pro: “You claim that you are religious and yet believe in a god that is indifferent to the universe. This contradicts the very basis of religious faith.”
With all due respect, please do not try to redefine my faith and religion. Again my “faith” is, God created the universe via the Big Bang. My “religion” is, the ritual of the scientific method to read the handwriting of God---the Laws of Nature.
Pro: “I get lost when you use the science of biology to explain Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Empirically (the science), once inanimate matter becomes alive, “Life,” must have the freedom (“Liberty” in the optimization relative to resistance), in “the pursuit (energy flow) of ” survival; otherwise, there is no life. Survival is a form of positive-feedback and a prerequisite for human “Happiness.” This generalized mechanism of survival is simply a bio-program, an interface between life and nature during evolution, and empirically observed in all life, from a single cell to humans. Hence, Thomas Jefferson's discovery, which he declared “self-evident” and used the labeled “Unalienable Rights” representing a polished version of this bio-program, relative to humanity, in his following celebrated statement, “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
As for evolution, many understand the logic and give global recognition to Herbert Spencer for his paradigm of “survival of the fittest,” where the esteem Charles Darwin incorporated this paradigm in his research. Life's Unalienable Rights presents a higher resolution of Spencer's paradigm and is the foundation to “survival of the fittest.” Unbeknownst to Charles and Herbert, their observations were the embodiment of life's Unalienable Rights, which Jefferson discovered eighty some years earlier.
Here are some empirical evolutionary examples of life's bio-program interaction with nature (the science).
1) Relative to evolution, life operating within the matrix of the Laws of Nature and navigating throughout nature in general, species (Life) depends on Liberty to avoid resistance, and expend energy in the pursuit of positive-feedback. The result is adaptation and evolution. Species who lack the Liberty to avoid resistance and/or the energy to pursue positive-feedback, follow a path towards extinction.
2) Adolph Hitler exercised his Rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of his Happiness---his perception of a totalitarian utopia, by obstructing the Unalienable Rights of others. This obstruction went against the Laws of Nature, causing distress, death, and a global nightmare. Nature fought back, for humans are part of nature. Hitler, who had an ideology that opposed nature, became history upon his demise, well before his natural time.
3) Before the invention of the airplane, man historically exercised his Right of freedom in the pursuit of attempting to fly like a bird by attaching wings to his limbs, resulting in endless negative-feedback in death or failure. Over the ages man was only able to achieve his flight objectives when he morally complied with nature's Laws of Aerodynamics through positive-feedback, then humanity safely took to the sky.
4) Cancer cells attempt to exercise their Right to Life and Liberty by surviving and multiplying, which destroys humans' Right to Life. Man (Life) exercises his Right of Liberty by pursuing medical research and treatments that kill cancer cells and prolong the lives of cancer patients (Happiness).
5) The Laws of Nature bestow the Right to Life---which includes Liberty in the pursuit of survival, positive-feedback and growth from conception, to birth, to cradle, to grave. However, man-made laws allow people to pursue death of others through totalitarianism, abortion, euthanasia, war, etc., going against life's Unalienable Rights, the Laws of Nature, hence, death, tyranny or the pursuit of failure.
Pro: “You claim that an atheistic view is a cultural view, it is an individual's view.”
Con did not make such a “claim.” Again, empirically not one culture in recorded history was found to be atheistic. In other words, all cultures are religious based. Therefore, atheism is simply an individual's view.
Pro: “Because we possess free will, we choose our values; ... (e.g., to pursue a wonderful career, to remain with a worthy spouse, to establish and maintain a civilized society)"or ... (e.g., to shoot heroin, to stay with an abusive spouse, or to advocate communism or sharia).”
Very true! Whatever values one morally follows defines the social group. Whether that group is “heroin addicts” or a “civilized society.” Values are relative, for all cultures are not the same. Morality is simply both the genesis and compliance of social values.
Pro: “It is an observable fact that life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action. This is a metaphysically given fact;...”
“Metaphysics” in summary (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy http://plato.stanford.edu...), about the seventeenth century “metaphysics” began to be a catch-all category, a repository of philosophical problems that could not be otherwise classified: “not epistemology, not logic, not ethics, etc.” It would seem “metaphysics” is some state of philosophy until the scientific method presents the incarnation of clarity.
I prefer science over metaphysical statements.
Pro: “The idea that rights come from God or from a law of nature created by God fails to meet the requirement of demonstrability.”
Unalienable Rights is the term Jefferson used. To honor his discovery, it is proper to address life's bio-program as Unalienable Rights of which “survival of the fittest” is dependent on, and has a traceable path to the Constructal Law, a part of the Laws of Nature.
As for the “requirement of demonstrability,” in addition to the above 5 examples, let's start with an axiom. An axiom is a premise so “self-evident” (the term Jefferson used) as to be accepted as true without controversy. From a logical point of view, the event of survival or death, or success or failure in the pursuit of positive- or negative-feedback, when interfacing with nature, presents a self-contained system of binary outcomes. In the field of mathematics and logic, such a closed system of propositions brings into existence a proof.
From a binary standpoint, notably, it would be impossible to take away any one of the Rights while leaving the other two intact, as all of the Rights are dependent on one another---Unalienable. Without Life, one cannot enjoy Liberty or pursue Happiness. Without Liberty, one lacks the freedom to take the path in the pursuit of survival, and therefore, unable to continue Life. Without the pursuit (energy flow) of events leading to survival (positive-feedback, Happiness) one cannot continue Life or enjoy Liberty. Because of their interdependency and tendency to wane simultaneously with various degrees of obstruction, the three Rights define a spectrum of positions. The binary positive end of the spectrum is a position of Life, Liberty, and Happiness (positive feedback), while the negative end is a position of death, tyranny, and distress (negative feedback).
From the above scientific traceable path to the Constructal Law, the 5 examples and the discussion of said bio-program being the foundation to “survival of the fittest,” complemented with a closed system of binary propositions bringing into existence a proof; hence, the Scientific Proof of life's Unalienable Rights.
Pro: “Reason is our means of understanding the world, ourselves, and our needs,...”
The scientific method is the means of understanding the world. As for “reason,” there are those who reason, with all due respect, where metaphysics is “given fact.”
Con is waiting for the Burden of Proof (BoF) from Pro. BoF is the implied responsibility of “The Instigator” in a debate.
Religious faith has no bases in science, science uses reason and scrutiny all of which have proven detrimental to religion. The religious often use empirical evidence to support their argument of faith. Faith is an unclassified cognitive illness disguised as a moral virtue. Faith is not a virtue. From the objective perspective, rationality is a virtue because it permits me to ground my thinking on reality, which is more conductive to the pursuit of my goals than fantasy. For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring they my be.
Faith can be used to justify and defend any belief including the belief that religious supernatural entities are imaginary, or not. If one had sufficient evidence to warrant belief in a particular claim, then one wouldn"t believe the claim on the basis of faith. "Faith" is the word one uses when one does not have enough evidence to justify holding a belief.
This debate ultimately is about what we believe or want to believe.
"I believe that people are basically good. That when they are freed from fear, want, and desperation people will usually do the right thing.
"I believe that the natural word provides enough mystery and wonder to make the notion of supernatural miracles just seem silly and wrong.
"I believe that the best guides to the truth are science and philosophy working in cooperation with one another. Science provides the facts, and philosophy makes the facts meaningful.
"I believe that the best guide to morality is reason guided by empathy.
"I believe that all gods in all religions were invented by human minds, and that the supernatural claims of all religions are false.
Everyone has beliefs. In fact it would be impossible to function as human beings without beliefs, because we are always acting in the face of incomplete knowledge.
The key is to keep learning and keep searching and keep questioning. Any opportunity to adjust my belief to be more in tune with reality is an opportunity that should not be missed.
Thank you for the interesting and engaging exchange I hope I did not offend as this was not my intention I appreciate the respect you afforded me, and thanks for your time.
My goodness. A sharp tone of criticism from a “secular based” over those who are “faith based.” Perhaps, more humility embracing an open mind would serve you well, and by the way, it is a moral thing to do out of kindness.
Pro stated, “The religious often use empirical evidence to support their argument of faith. Faith is an unclassified cognitive illness disguised as a moral virtue.”
Let's build on that “cognitive illness” point. Imagine a straight line segment having two end points. Label one point Science the other point Myth. The distance between those points is Statistics.
To rephrase Pro's statement about faith in light of secularism using the above straight line statistical ruler:
One employs statistics often use empirical evidence to support their argument of myth. Their statistical myth is an unclassified cognitive illness disguised as a moral virtue.
There is a lot of junk science out there in the “secular based” world, simply “an unclassified cognitive illness disguised as a moral virtue” with the sole purpose to trick the uninformed to support their dogma.
With that said, I thank Pro for the mutual learning experience and in light of this season, I wish Pro and his Family a safe and enjoyable holidays; a set of holidays that are “faith based.”
In closing, I wish Pro a long and healthy “Life,” with ample “Liberty, and the” moral “pursuit of Happiness.”
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TheNamesFizzy 1 year ago
|Who won the debate:||-|
Reasons for voting decision: First of all, Con has copied and pasted that same argument for three debates now without quoting it. Con is completely off topic as he referring to the Laws of Thermodynamics and laws of science that are completely secular based, not religious faith based. I feel like Con tries to twist the resolution to support a deist point of view, but it's not very convincing. Pro presents a good argument for secular based morals being practical and more effective.
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