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Atheists who believe in objective morality

phantom
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3/18/2012 10:16:05 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Question, how can naturalism account for objective morality? Where do we get our moral facts from?
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popculturepooka
Posts: 7,926
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3/18/2012 11:23:53 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Atheism =/= naturalism. It just so happens that most atheists in the west are naturalists.

And that's a very good question with respect to naturalism and moral realism.
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FourTrouble
Posts: 12,771
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3/18/2012 11:28:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/18/2012 10:16:05 PM, phantom wrote:
Question, how can naturalism account for objective morality? Where do we get our moral facts from?

That is basically what Plato does in the Republic, equating justice to what is natural.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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3/19/2012 12:48:33 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
As appose tooo??
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
phantom
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3/19/2012 2:03:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/18/2012 11:23:53 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Atheism =/= naturalism. It just so happens that most atheists in the west are naturalists.

I know that. I just tend too make too many assumptions I guess.

And that's a very good question with respect to naturalism and moral realism.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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3/19/2012 7:41:19 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/18/2012 11:28:20 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
At 3/18/2012 10:16:05 PM, phantom wrote:
Question, how can naturalism account for objective morality? Where do we get our moral facts from?

That is basically what Plato does in the Republic, equating justice to what is natural.

The Fool: not it does'nt. Its more of a utilitarianism/totalitarism. That is what is just is what is best for the thriving of the state. (city in the book)
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
Stephen_Hawkins
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3/20/2012 2:49:20 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/19/2012 7:41:19 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 3/18/2012 11:28:20 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
At 3/18/2012 10:16:05 PM, phantom wrote:
Question, how can naturalism account for objective morality? Where do we get our moral facts from?

That is basically what Plato does in the Republic, equating justice to what is natural.

The Fool: not it does'nt. Its more of a utilitarianism/totalitarism. That is what is just is what is best for the thriving of the state. (city in the book)

The book is just a meritocracy promoting Plato's view of the utopian society. There is no moral code applied to it in any depth, and holds a fairly large amount of problems, but he does come to a conclusion (of sorts) that justice is natural.
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Kleptin
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3/21/2012 8:11:45 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/18/2012 10:16:05 PM, phantom wrote:
Question, how can naturalism account for objective morality? Where do we get our moral facts from?

I've never met an atheist who believes in an objective morality, but I would posit biology.

Humans are social animals. Murder, theft, rape, all of these things harm our natural evolutionary progression by disrupting the social structure.

An atheist's "objective morality" would be vague enough to be relative to the current social structure, whereas theists who believe in an objective morality tend to hold on to a lot of moral "facts" that are antiquated, unrealistic, and absurd, simply because their source of morals comes from something that doesn't reflect or account for societal change.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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3/21/2012 8:14:08 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/21/2012 8:11:45 AM, Kleptin wrote:
At 3/18/2012 10:16:05 PM, phantom wrote:
Question, how can naturalism account for objective morality? Where do we get our moral facts from?

I've never met an atheist who believes in an objective morality, but I would posit biology.

Humans are social animals. Murder, theft, rape, all of these things harm our natural evolutionary progression by disrupting the social structure.

An atheist's "objective morality" would be vague enough to be relative to the current social structure, whereas theists who believe in an objective morality tend to hold on to a lot of moral "facts" that are antiquated, unrealistic, and absurd, simply because their source of morals comes from something that doesn't reflect or account for societal change.

Kleptin, you consider objective morality potentially valid?

It's so strange that, when I consider the things you say, your perspectives seem to align with mine so closely, but when we interact, it no longer appears that way.
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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3/21/2012 8:21:15 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/21/2012 8:14:08 AM, Ren wrote:
Kleptin, you consider objective morality potentially valid?

It's so strange that, when I consider the things you say, your perspectives seem to align with mine so closely, but when we interact, it no longer appears that way.

We've covered this, Ren. I think our inherent philosophies are different, but our practical applications are identical. This stems from the fact that you are not actually a theist, and I'm not actually an atheist, and we both rely on the same modes of thinking to make sense of and explain what we see.

My view of morality is a bit too wordy to be described by just "objective" or "subjective". I feel that morality is akin to genetics, in that they fluctuate in a manner that we cannot exert much control over, so there are elements of subjectivity and objectivity.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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3/21/2012 8:26:39 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/21/2012 8:11:45 AM, Kleptin wrote:
At 3/18/2012 10:16:05 PM, phantom wrote:
Question, how can naturalism account for objective morality? Where do we get our moral facts from?

I've never met an atheist who believes in an objective morality, but I would posit biology.

Humans are social animals. Murder, theft, rape, all of these things harm our natural evolutionary progression by disrupting the social structure.

An atheist's "objective morality" would be vague enough to be relative to the current social structure, whereas theists who believe in an objective morality tend to hold on to a lot of moral "facts" that are antiquated, unrealistic, and absurd, simply because their source of morals comes from something that doesn't reflect or account for societal change.

I suppose the question is: Are there any things which contribute to, or detract from, our survival (natural evolutionary progress) regardless of any specific social structure? If so, then wouldn't such acts be objectively moral/immoral even from an evolutionary point of view?
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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3/21/2012 8:36:29 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/21/2012 8:26:39 AM, drafterman wrote:
I suppose the question is: Are there any things which contribute to, or detract from, our survival (natural evolutionary progress) regardless of any specific social structure? If so, then wouldn't such acts be objectively moral/immoral even from an evolutionary point of view?

Absolutely not. The social structure is the sole determinant of how well we survive as a species. A somewhat controversial point, but I find it to be well justified.

I have toyed around with the notions that rape, theft, and murder may be "objectively" evil in general, but I eventually derive a social situation (no matter how absurd or improbable) that justifies it.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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3/21/2012 8:42:24 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/21/2012 8:36:29 AM, Kleptin wrote:
At 3/21/2012 8:26:39 AM, drafterman wrote:
I suppose the question is: Are there any things which contribute to, or detract from, our survival (natural evolutionary progress) regardless of any specific social structure? If so, then wouldn't such acts be objectively moral/immoral even from an evolutionary point of view?

Absolutely not. The social structure is the sole determinant of how well we survive as a species. A somewhat controversial point, but I find it to be well justified.

I have toyed around with the notions that rape, theft, and murder may be "objectively" evil in general, but I eventually derive a social situation (no matter how absurd or improbable) that justifies it.

Eradication of the entire human species.
Kleptin
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3/21/2012 8:43:06 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/21/2012 8:42:24 AM, drafterman wrote:
Eradication of the entire human species.

Who's left to judge the morality of the act?
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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3/21/2012 8:53:14 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/21/2012 8:43:06 AM, Kleptin wrote:
At 3/21/2012 8:42:24 AM, drafterman wrote:
Eradication of the entire human species.

Who's left to judge the morality of the act?

In that situation, no one. But you are here to judge the hypothetical morality of this hypothetical act.
Kleptin
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3/21/2012 8:57:33 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/21/2012 8:53:14 AM, drafterman wrote:
In that situation, no one. But you are here to judge the hypothetical morality of this hypothetical act.

It's always the society present immediately after the act is performed that judges the morality of the act, that's the entire basis of the moral philosophy I set forth. I don't think yours was the best example.

However, your example did inspire me for one that I *DIDN'T* think of before. What if all humanity was wiped out except for a handful? Now that's a doozy.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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3/21/2012 9:07:51 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/21/2012 8:57:33 AM, Kleptin wrote:
At 3/21/2012 8:53:14 AM, drafterman wrote:
In that situation, no one. But you are here to judge the hypothetical morality of this hypothetical act.

It's always the society present immediately after the act is performed that judges the morality of the act, that's the entire basis of the moral philosophy I set forth. I don't think yours was the best example.

Well there is a collusion of practical vs. theoretical issues here. Can an act be immoral or moral without someone to judge it so? If the answer is "No" then I think we're presupposing subjective morality.


However, your example did inspire me for one that I *DIDN'T* think of before. What if all humanity was wiped out except for a handful? Now that's a doozy.

Or a single survivor. Also, I think there is the relevant issue of "pre"-judging actions. After all, judging an action as moral or immoral before it is performed provides the impetus to refrain or encourage it. So even if an act would leave no survivors which which to judge or affirm an act's morality or immorality I don't think that prevents us from saying, ahead of time, whether or not an act would be moral or immoral.