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John Haught's Analysis of Atheism...

annhasle
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1/19/2011 6:09:42 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I was reading an article written by John Haught in 2008 and to make sure this is clear, here's an excerpt:

In order to make such value judgments one must assume, as the hard-core atheists are honest enough to acknowledge, that there exists somewhere, in some mode of being, a realm of lightness that does not owe its existence completely to human invention, Darwinian selection or social construction. And if we allow the hard-core atheists into our discussion, we can draw this conclusion: If absolute values exist, then God exists. But if God does not exist, then neither do absolute values, and one should not issue moral judgments as though they do.

Belief in God or the practice of religion is not necessary in order for people to be highly moral beings. We can agree with soft-core atheists on this point. But the real question, which comes not from me but from the hard-core atheists, is: Can you rationally justify your unconditional adherence to timeless values without implicitly invoking the existence of God?

Unlike Nietzsche, the new atheists think that life will go on as usual once religion disappears. New-School Atheists: Compared to the works of the old masters of the projection theory of religion-Marx, Nietzsche and Freud--the writings of Samuel Harris, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens (below) are rather tame. The hard-core atheists knew that a consistent atheism must pass through the wilderness of nihilism.


So, to the moral objectivists out there who are also atheists, how do you justify the existence of objective morality? Or, as he out it, can you rationally justify your unconditional adherence to timeless values without implicitly invoking the existence of God?

And to all, do you agree with Haught's analysis? To be consistent within your atheism, do you have to be a moral nihilist?

Discuss.
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
Ragnar_Rahl
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1/19/2011 6:17:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Why does something have to be timeless to be objective? I haven't lived timelessly, I surely didn't adhere to certain values while not alive.

What do you mean unconditional, would that exclude the condition of being in this universe? In a universe where randomly murdering people promoted the maintenance of one's life as a rational being, I'd randomly murder away?

Now, if he means deontological ethics, that probably is kind of silly for an atheist. But the choices aren't deontology or nihilism. There's also selfishness. There are types of actions that I can objectively say are selfish-- things that objectively fit my goals.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
annhasle
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1/19/2011 6:26:54 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/19/2011 6:17:32 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Why does something have to be timeless to be objective? I haven't lived timelessly, I surely didn't adhere to certain values while not alive.

I do not think it has to be "timeless" for it to be objective. If you saw, this is not my work. I merely re-asked the question put forward within the article.

What do you mean unconditional, would that exclude the condition of being in this universe? In a universe where randomly murdering people promoted the maintenance of one's life as a rational being, I'd randomly murder away?

Unconditional in the sense that it is not subjective or relative to the person -- it's the same standard for each individual.

Now, if he means deontological ethics, that probably is kind of silly for an atheist. But the choices aren't deontology or nihilism. There's also selfishness. There are types of actions that I can objectively say are selfish-- things that objectively fit my goals.

Egoism?
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
M.Torres
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1/19/2011 6:35:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/19/2011 6:26:54 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 1/19/2011 6:17:32 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Why does something have to be timeless to be objective? I haven't lived timelessly, I surely didn't adhere to certain values while not alive.

I do not think it has to be "timeless" for it to be objective. If you saw, this is not my work. I merely re-asked the question put forward within the article.

What do you mean unconditional, would that exclude the condition of being in this universe? In a universe where randomly murdering people promoted the maintenance of one's life as a rational being, I'd randomly murder away?

Unconditional in the sense that it is not subjective or relative to the person -- it's the same standard for each individual.

I think perhaps this is where Objectivism gets twisted. I am Objectivist in the sense that there is a "right" and "wrong" way to live my life based off of varying circumstances. So, it is arguable, that Objectivism is subjective. Under certain conditions, which are varying, there is a "right" and "wrong" action.


Now, if he means deontological ethics, that probably is kind of silly for an atheist. But the choices aren't deontology or nihilism. There's also selfishness. There are types of actions that I can objectively say are selfish-- things that objectively fit my goals.

Egoism?

I prescribe mostly to Egoism. Heck, your interesting discussions on Nihilism has even more strongly encouraged me to know Egoism is an essentially ideal life goal.
: At 11/28/2011 1:28:24 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
: M. Torres said it, so it must be right.

I'm an Apatheistic Ignostic. ... problem? ;D

I believe in the heart of the cards. .:DDO Duelist:.
annhasle
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1/19/2011 6:48:55 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/19/2011 6:35:32 PM, M.Torres wrote:
At 1/19/2011 6:26:54 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 1/19/2011 6:17:32 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:

Unconditional in the sense that it is not subjective or relative to the person -- it's the same standard for each individual.

I think perhaps this is where Objectivism gets twisted. I am Objectivist in the sense that there is a "right" and "wrong" way to live my life based off of varying circumstances. So, it is arguable, that Objectivism is subjective. Under certain conditions, which are varying, there is a "right" and "wrong" action.

I think that is closer to moral relativism than objectivism... Objectivism states that the truth or falsity of moral sentiments exists independent of personal opinion or theory. The same standard is applicable to all.

Now, if he means deontological ethics, that probably is kind of silly for an atheist. But the choices aren't deontology or nihilism. There's also selfishness. There are types of actions that I can objectively say are selfish-- things that objectively fit my goals.

Egoism?

I prescribe mostly to Egoism. Heck, your interesting discussions on Nihilism has even more strongly encouraged me to know Egoism is an essentially ideal life goal.

My nihilist discussions? When have I talked about egoism with you?
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
M.Torres
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1/19/2011 6:56:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/19/2011 6:48:55 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 1/19/2011 6:35:32 PM, M.Torres wrote:
At 1/19/2011 6:26:54 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 1/19/2011 6:17:32 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:

Unconditional in the sense that it is not subjective or relative to the person -- it's the same standard for each individual.

I think perhaps this is where Objectivism gets twisted. I am Objectivist in the sense that there is a "right" and "wrong" way to live my life based off of varying circumstances. So, it is arguable, that Objectivism is subjective. Under certain conditions, which are varying, there is a "right" and "wrong" action.

I think that is closer to moral relativism than objectivism... Objectivism states that the truth or falsity of moral sentiments exists independent of personal opinion or theory. The same standard is applicable to all.

Well, no. The circumstances are absolute. The idea being: when certain circumstances or conditions are met, then there is always a right and wrong course based on those circumstances or conditions. The right and wrong do not change, variables do.

Though, right now, I do not necessarily believe Objectivism to be correct. I just think it is misinterpreted.


Now, if he means deontological ethics, that probably is kind of silly for an atheist. But the choices aren't deontology or nihilism. There's also selfishness. There are types of actions that I can objectively say are selfish-- things that objectively fit my goals.

Egoism?

I prescribe mostly to Egoism. Heck, your interesting discussions on Nihilism has even more strongly encouraged me to know Egoism is an essentially ideal life goal.

My nihilist discussions? When have I talked about egoism with you?

You haven't. I have read the few threads on Moral Nihilism in this forum, and you and Cody present a very interesting and compelling case. I can see Egoism and Nihilism fitting rather well together, but that's just my opinion now isn't it?
: At 11/28/2011 1:28:24 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
: M. Torres said it, so it must be right.

I'm an Apatheistic Ignostic. ... problem? ;D

I believe in the heart of the cards. .:DDO Duelist:.
belle
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1/19/2011 6:57:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/19/2011 6:48:55 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 1/19/2011 6:35:32 PM, M.Torres wrote:
At 1/19/2011 6:26:54 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 1/19/2011 6:17:32 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:

Unconditional in the sense that it is not subjective or relative to the person -- it's the same standard for each individual.

I think perhaps this is where Objectivism gets twisted. I am Objectivist in the sense that there is a "right" and "wrong" way to live my life based off of varying circumstances. So, it is arguable, that Objectivism is subjective. Under certain conditions, which are varying, there is a "right" and "wrong" action.

I think that is closer to moral relativism than objectivism... Objectivism states that the truth or falsity of moral sentiments exists independent of personal opinion or theory. The same standard is applicable to all.

not to speak for anyone else, but i think he meant that everyone's circumstances differ, so the specific actions that are moral for individuals will differ based on that, rather than on their subjective state.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
annhasle
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1/19/2011 7:01:21 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/19/2011 6:56:41 PM, M.Torres wrote:
At 1/19/2011 6:48:55 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 1/19/2011 6:35:32 PM, M.Torres wrote:
At 1/19/2011 6:26:54 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 1/19/2011 6:17:32 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Well, no. The circumstances are absolute. The idea being: when certain circumstances or conditions are met, then there is always a right and wrong course based on those circumstances or conditions. The right and wrong do not change, variables do.

Ah, okay. Then yes that would be a form of Objectivism.

Though, right now, I do not necessarily believe Objectivism to be correct. I just think it is misinterpreted.

I DO think it is incorrect but if I'm misinterpreting it, I apologize. >_<

I prescribe mostly to Egoism. Heck, your interesting discussions on Nihilism has even more strongly encouraged me to know Egoism is an essentially ideal life goal.

My nihilist discussions? When have I talked about egoism with you?

You haven't. I have read the few threads on Moral Nihilism in this forum, and you and Cody present a very interesting and compelling case.

Thank you. I feel like a broken record right now... I keep repeating the same lines over and over, and over. xD

I can see Egoism and Nihilism fitting rather well together, but that's just my opinion now isn't it?

That depends since Egoism is an ethical stance -- that which benefits you the most is "Good". But if your position is "I follow what is most beneficial to me" than that could definitely coincide with nihilism.
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
M.Torres
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1/19/2011 7:01:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/19/2011 6:57:32 PM, belle wrote:
At 1/19/2011 6:48:55 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 1/19/2011 6:35:32 PM, M.Torres wrote:
At 1/19/2011 6:26:54 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 1/19/2011 6:17:32 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:

Unconditional in the sense that it is not subjective or relative to the person -- it's the same standard for each individual.

I think perhaps this is where Objectivism gets twisted. I am Objectivist in the sense that there is a "right" and "wrong" way to live my life based off of varying circumstances. So, it is arguable, that Objectivism is subjective. Under certain conditions, which are varying, there is a "right" and "wrong" action.

I think that is closer to moral relativism than objectivism... Objectivism states that the truth or falsity of moral sentiments exists independent of personal opinion or theory. The same standard is applicable to all.

not to speak for anyone else, but i think he meant that everyone's circumstances differ, so the specific actions that are moral for individuals will differ based on that, rather than on their subjective state.

This is what I meant exactly. Their decisions vary because conditions vary.
: At 11/28/2011 1:28:24 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
: M. Torres said it, so it must be right.

I'm an Apatheistic Ignostic. ... problem? ;D

I believe in the heart of the cards. .:DDO Duelist:.
PARADIGM_L0ST
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1/19/2011 7:02:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
So, to the moral objectivists out there who are also atheists, how do you justify the existence of objective morality? Or, as he out it, can you rationally justify your unconditional adherence to timeless values without implicitly invoking the existence of God? :

Not an atheist, but I'll answer the question. How does any one justify an opinion? Where does it come from? Must God be invoked in order to have an opinion on the matter? Because opinions are not subjective, does that mean that they aren't real? If the answer is "no" to the above questions, then there is no use in justifying the existence of objective morality, for they exist in the same sense that we choose strawberry ice cream over mustard in a cone.

Secondly, there seems to be an evolutionary reason for why morals exists, which is completely independent of any theological reason. Indeed, morality was around long before religion. Religion simply tried to put a face to morals and provide meaning for that which they could not understand.

But morals may simply serve a utilitarian function. Whatever the case may be, they serve an indispensable function. We all benefit from them, and that's likely why they still exist.

And to all, do you agree with Haught's analysis? To be consistent within your atheism, do you have to be a moral nihilist?:

Certainly there are nihilistic tendencies with atheism, but I don't think one necessarily has to be both. Obviously a prerequisite to being an anti-theist is to be an atheist, but an atheist doesn't have to be an anti-theist in order to remain consistent within that view.

Also, even supposing there is no known subjective meaning does not negate it's possibility. Indeed, believing in nothing is still believing in something. It's kind of like absolutes. You can't deny an absolute without confirming it at the same time.

Example: There are no absolutes in the universe; nothing is absolute.

Answer: You gave an absolute in order to deny an absolute, therefore you refute your own premise.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
M.Torres
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1/19/2011 7:06:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/19/2011 7:02:56 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
So, to the moral objectivists out there who are also atheists, how do you justify the existence of objective morality? Or, as he out it, can you rationally justify your unconditional adherence to timeless values without implicitly invoking the existence of God? :

Not an atheist, but I'll answer the question. How does any one justify an opinion? Where does it come from? Must God be invoked in order to have an opinion on the matter? Because opinions are not subjective, does that mean that they aren't real? If the answer is "no" to the above questions, then there is no use in justifying the existence of objective morality, for they exist in the same sense that we choose strawberry ice cream over mustard in a cone.

Secondly, there seems to be an evolutionary reason for why morals exists, which is completely independent of any theological reason. Indeed, morality was around long before religion. Religion simply tried to put a face to morals and provide meaning for that which they could not understand.

But morals may simply serve a utilitarian function. Whatever the case may be, they serve an indispensable function. We all benefit from them, and that's likely why they still exist.

And to all, do you agree with Haught's analysis? To be consistent within your atheism, do you have to be a moral nihilist?:

Certainly there are nihilistic tendencies with atheism, but I don't think one necessarily has to be both. Obviously a prerequisite to being an anti-theist is to be an atheist, but an atheist doesn't have to be an anti-theist in order to remain consistent within that view.

Also, even supposing there is no known subjective meaning does not negate it's possibility. Indeed, believing in nothing is still believing in something. It's kind of like absolutes. You can't deny an absolute without confirming it at the same time.

Example: There are no absolutes in the universe; nothing is absolute.

Answer: You gave an absolute in order to deny an absolute, therefore you refute your own premise.

"The only thing we know for sure is that we know nothing for sure."
: At 11/28/2011 1:28:24 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
: M. Torres said it, so it must be right.

I'm an Apatheistic Ignostic. ... problem? ;D

I believe in the heart of the cards. .:DDO Duelist:.
annhasle
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1/19/2011 7:16:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/19/2011 7:02:56 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
So, to the moral objectivists out there who are also atheists, how do you justify the existence of objective morality? Or, as he out it, can you rationally justify your unconditional adherence to timeless values without implicitly invoking the existence of God? :

Not an atheist, but I'll answer the question. How does any one justify an opinion?

Objective morals exist independent of personal opinion.

Where does it come from? Must God be invoked in order to have an opinion on the matter?

Moral =/= opinion

Because opinions are not subjective, does that mean that they aren't real?

Opinions are indeed subjective.

If the answer is "no" to the above questions, then there is no use in justifying the existence of objective morality, for they exist in the same sense that we choose strawberry ice cream over mustard in a cone.

If someone asserts that there is a standard that exists independent of personal opinion or theory which judges "right" and "wrong", then there is a definite use in asking for its justification.

Secondly, there seems to be an evolutionary reason for why morals exists, which is completely independent of any theological reason.

How so?

Indeed, morality was around long before religion. Religion simply tried to put a face to morals and provide meaning for that which they could not understand.

Can you prove which preceded the other? Not really.

But morals may simply serve a utilitarian function. Whatever the case may be, they serve an indispensable function. We all benefit from them, and that's likely why they still exist.

Not true. Morals are not essential. And they have no significant benefit which cannot be found elsewhere. I see them as dispensable.

And to all, do you agree with Haught's analysis? To be consistent within your atheism, do you have to be a moral nihilist?:

Certainly there are nihilistic tendencies with atheism, but I don't think one necessarily has to be both. Obviously a prerequisite to being an anti-theist is to be an atheist, but an atheist doesn't have to be an anti-theist in order to remain consistent within that view.

Neither do I, but I was wondering how others would react to this since there are not many atheists who are moral nihilists as well.

Also, even supposing there is no known subjective meaning does not negate it's possibility. Indeed, believing in nothing is still believing in something. It's kind of like absolutes. You can't deny an absolute without confirming it at the same time.

The absence of belief cannot be a belief itself. This is like when people try describing atheism as a religious position. I follow nihilism, I do not "believe" in non-belief even though I do find myself sometimes saying I "believe" in it which is absurd. If I do, please correct me since my intention is to say I follow nihilism.

Example: There are no absolutes in the universe; nothing is absolute.

Answer: You gave an absolute in order to deny an absolute, therefore you refute your own premise.

I do not deny the existence of some absolutes or universals but the ones I do profess can be substantiated, like my nihilism.
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
annhasle
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1/19/2011 7:30:28 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/19/2011 7:28:43 PM, Curious22 wrote:
Morality is instinctual.

lolwut? I'm going to regret this but... How so?
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
M.Torres
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1/19/2011 7:31:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/19/2011 7:28:43 PM, Curious22 wrote:
Morality is instinctual.

How?
: At 11/28/2011 1:28:24 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
: M. Torres said it, so it must be right.

I'm an Apatheistic Ignostic. ... problem? ;D

I believe in the heart of the cards. .:DDO Duelist:.
CosmicAlfonzo
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1/19/2011 9:43:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
What this guy says.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Cerebral_Narcissist
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1/20/2011 1:50:36 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/19/2011 6:09:42 PM, annhasle wrote:
I was reading an article written by John Haught in 2008 and to make sure this is clear, here's an excerpt:

In order to make such value judgments one must assume, as the hard-core atheists are honest enough to acknowledge, that there exists somewhere, in some mode of being, a realm of lightness that does not owe its existence completely to human invention, Darwinian selection or social construction. And if we allow the hard-core atheists into our discussion, we can draw this conclusion: If absolute values exist, then God exists. But if God does not exist, then neither do absolute values, and one should not issue moral judgments as though they do.

Belief in God or the practice of religion is not necessary in order for people to be highly moral beings. We can agree with soft-core atheists on this point. But the real question, which comes not from me but from the hard-core atheists, is: Can you rationally justify your unconditional adherence to timeless values without implicitly invoking the existence of God?

Unlike Nietzsche, the new atheists think that life will go on as usual once religion disappears. New-School Atheists: Compared to the works of the old masters of the projection theory of religion-Marx, Nietzsche and Freud--the writings of Samuel Harris, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens (below) are rather tame. The hard-core atheists knew that a consistent atheism must pass through the wilderness of nihilism.


So, to the moral objectivists out there who are also atheists, how do you justify the existence of objective morality? Or, as he out it, can you rationally justify your unconditional adherence to timeless values without implicitly invoking the existence of God?

And to all, do you agree with Haught's analysis? To be consistent within your atheism, do you have to be a moral nihilist?

Discuss.

I do not entirely agree, a belief in God does not actually permit a belief in objective morality. Certainly not within the realms of Judaeo-Christianity, which posits a fairly immature concept of God, who simply imposes a set of rules, backed up by force, which he is not himself subject to. That is not objective morality, that is subjective morality.

To posit objective morality you must really take the opinion that morality functions as either some sort of force of nature (which could be God, or part of God) or that there exists a true logical basis for morality.

In of itself neither atheism, nor theism should actually incline someone for or against either objectivism or nihilism. However to be consistent within MY atheism I should indeed be a moral nihilist.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
Meatros
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1/20/2011 6:57:28 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I don't mind that theists make claims about God being somehow a necessity when it comes to objective morals. What I do mind is that this is often just an assertion.

On the face of it, it seems false; God is a personal being and what God values would necessarily be subjective. That's my first impressions of it, so I would ask for the link, as opposed to the assertion of God = objective moral values.
Ragnar_Rahl
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1/20/2011 9:39:40 AM
Posted: 5 years ago

What do you mean unconditional, would that exclude the condition of being in this universe? In a universe where randomly murdering people promoted the maintenance of one's life as a rational being, I'd randomly murder away?

Unconditional in the sense that it is not subjective or relative to the person -- it's the same standard for each individual.
Well, it is relative to the person (though not "subjective" of course, contrary to Torres's seemingly abandoned statement)-- specifically, to whether that person cares to survive.
But if they don't, they don't have need of different moral rules. They don't need any moral rules at all.


Now, if he means deontological ethics, that probably is kind of silly for an atheist. But the choices aren't deontology or nihilism. There's also selfishness. There are types of actions that I can objectively say are selfish-- things that objectively fit my goals.

Egoism?
http://blog.solar-states.com...

^_^
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Cerebral_Narcissist
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1/22/2011 1:21:23 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/20/2011 1:50:36 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
I do not entirely agree, a belief in God does not actually permit a belief in objective morality. Certainly not within the realms of Judaeo-Christianity, which posits a fairly immature concept of God, who simply imposes a set of rules, backed up by force, which he is not himself subject to. That is not objective morality, that is subjective morality.

To posit objective morality you must really take the opinion that morality functions as either some sort of force of nature (which could be God, or part of God) or that there exists a true logical basis for morality.

In of itself neither atheism, nor theism should actually incline someone for or against either objectivism or nihilism. However to be consistent within MY atheism I should indeed be a moral nihilist.

Well I thought I made sense!
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.