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Atheism entails moral nihilism?

popculturepooka
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9/13/2010 8:37:30 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
So says philosopher Joel Marks (an atheist). I thought this article was really interesting so I though I'd share.

http://www.philosophynow.org...

An excerpt:

"The long and the short of it is that I became convinced that atheism implies amorality; and since I am an atheist, I must therefore embrace amorality. I call the premise of this argument ‘hard atheism' because it is analogous to a thesis in philosophy known as ‘hard determinism.' The latter holds that if metaphysical determinism is true, then there is no such thing as free will. Thus, a ‘soft determinist' believes that, even if your reading of this column right now has followed by causal necessity from the Big Bang fourteen billion years ago, you can still meaningfully be said to have freely chosen to read it. Analogously, a ‘soft atheist' would hold that one could be an atheist and still believe in morality. And indeed, the whole crop of ‘New Atheists' (see Issue 78) are softies of this kind. So was I, until I experienced my shocking epiphany that the religious fundamentalists are correct: without God, there is no morality. But they are incorrect, I still believe, about there being a God. Hence, I believe, there is no morality.

Why do I now accept hard atheism? I was struck by salient parallels between religion and morality, especially that both avail themselves of imperatives or commands, which are intended to apply universally. In the case of religion, and most obviously theism, these commands emanate from a Commander; "and this all people call God," as Aquinas might have put it. The problem with theism is of course the shaky grounds for believing in God. But the problem with morality, I now maintain, is that it is in even worse shape than religion in this regard; for if there were a God, His issuing commands would make some kind of sense. But if there is no God, as of course atheists assert, then what sense could be made of there being commands of this sort? In sum, while theists take the obvious existence of moral commands to be a kind of proof of the existence of a Commander, i.e., God, I now take the non-existence of a Commander as a kind of proof that there are no Commands, i.e., morality."
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popculturepooka
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9/13/2010 8:39:26 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 8:37:30 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
So says philosopher Joel Marks (an atheist). I thought this article was really interesting so I though[t] I'd share.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
LaissezFaire
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9/13/2010 8:45:33 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
If you interpret morality to mean completely arbitrary commands from above, as this person does, then yes, it does make sense to think this. But that's completely ridiculous. Morality can be derived from reason without there being any god. See natural rights, Objectivism.
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: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
annhasle
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9/13/2010 8:46:09 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I read the excerpt and then had to read the whole thing! Very interesting read, thanks for posting it!

The problem I have with it, is I don't believe morality came from a God, so there being no God wouldn't affect the existence of morality. He seems to jump from there being no God to there being no morality, without ever explaining why he thinks morality came from a God. He kind of glossed over it....

I guess I'm not a Hard Atheist! :P
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
J.Kenyon
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9/13/2010 8:50:14 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I guess I missed the part where he actually makes a coherent argument...

Not saying there are no decent arguments for nihilsm (error theory, moral skepticism), but he didn't present any. At least not in that excerpt.
popculturepooka
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9/13/2010 8:56:41 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 8:45:33 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
If you interpret morality to mean completely arbitrary commands from above, as this person does, then yes, it does make sense to think this. But that's completely ridiculous. Morality can be derived from reason without there being any god. See natural rights, Objectivism.

You're missing his point. A lot of morality is imperatives or commands even in ethical theories that don't refer to God. Fact.

What he's saying is that commands or imperatives don't make any sense on atheism (at least how he conceptualizes it).

That said, I don't agree with him but I do think that certain construals of naturalism or physicalism lead to moral nihilism.
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mattrodstrom
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9/13/2010 8:58:32 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
My morality is determined by what I care about...

What I demand... as I demand it.

I wouldn't cling to it any longer than it's what I care about...

the Soft/Hard determinist stuff is a good analog.... and in BOTH cases the distinction between the two is silly... it's a matter of naming the same things differently.

a "hard" determinist denies "free will" on the basis that our decisions are really necessary processes...

a "soft" determinist acknowledges that there are such processes behind it... but acknowledges the name "choice/decision" as fitting such processes...

Really they both believe the same thing.

Now with Morality.... I think it's the same... I betcha he still thinks people naturally care about things... but he doesn't acknowledge an Ultimate immutable base for that... and so calls his care-based assertions/acts non-"moral" ones. I TOO don't believe in any ultimate and immutable base for Morals... but I call my care-based assertions "Moral" and I think that generally when people discuss "morals" they're talking about care-based assertions...

call it whatever you wanna call it... the Name doesn't matter.

we DO care about things... and that seems to be intimately linked to what we consider "moral"... arguing about whether this process is worthy of the Name "Morality" is unimportant and silly.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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9/13/2010 8:59:05 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I've only read the Excerpt though..
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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9/13/2010 9:02:11 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 8:56:41 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
What he's saying is that commands or imperatives don't make any sense on atheism (at least how he conceptualizes it).

lol....

my tummy commands food all the time... and it has NOTHING to do with Gods...

also... my emotions tend to command my putting an end to Crazy Johnny torturing my dog.... so... I'll make him stop, b/c I that's what I care to do... that's what I Demand of the world.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
popculturepooka
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9/13/2010 9:02:25 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 8:46:09 PM, annhasle wrote:
He seems to jump from there being no God to there being no morality, without ever explaining why he thinks morality came from a God. He kind of glossed over it....

I was struck by salient parallels between religion and morality, especially that both avail themselves of imperatives or commands, which are intended to apply universally. In the case of religion, and most obviously theism, these commands emanate from a Commander; "and this all people call God," as Aquinas might have put it. The problem with theism is of course the shaky grounds for believing in God. But the problem with morality, I now maintain, is that it is in even worse shape than religion in this regard; for if there were a God, His issuing commands would make some kind of sense. But if there is no God, as of course atheists assert, then what sense could be made of there being commands of this sort?

He definitely needs to have in-depth arguments for his point, though. He doesn't provide them however...
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GeoLaureate8
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9/13/2010 9:03:34 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Moral theories that don't need God:

Ethical Naturalism: Ethical sentences express propositions. Some such propositions are true. Those propositions are made true by objective features of the world, independent of human opinion.

Deontological Ethics: an approach to ethics that determines goodness or rightness from examining acts, rather than third-party consequences of the act as in consequentialism, or the intentions of the person doing the act as in virtue ethics. Deontologists look at rules and duties.

Moral Universalism: the meta-ethical position that some system of ethics, or a universal ethic, applies universally, that is, for "all similarly situated individuals"[1], regardless of culture, race, sex, religion, nationality, sexuality, or other distinguishing feature.

Theory of Intentionality: German philosopher Martin Heidegger (Being and Time), defined intentionality as "care" (Sorge), a sentient condition where an individual's existentiality, facticity, and forfeiture to the world identifies their ontological significance, in contrast to that which is the mere ontic (thinghood).

Karma: in Indian religions is the concept of "action" or "deed", understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect.

Source: Wikipedia
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
popculturepooka
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9/13/2010 9:05:38 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 9:02:11 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 9/13/2010 8:56:41 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
What he's saying is that commands or imperatives don't make any sense on atheism (at least how he conceptualizes it).

lol....

my tummy commands food all the time... and it has NOTHING to do with Gods...


If you'd look just above where I typed that you'd know I'm clearly referring to moral/ethical commands or imperatives.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
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mattrodstrom
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9/13/2010 9:06:20 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 9:02:25 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/13/2010 8:46:09 PM, annhasle wrote:
He seems to jump from there being no God to there being no morality, without ever explaining why he thinks morality came from a God. He kind of glossed over it....


I was struck by salient parallels between religion and morality, especially that both avail themselves of imperatives or commands, which are intended to apply universally.

My commands apply to the world...

What I care about... I seek to have done.

it's not really a social phenomenon... but "religious" belief/assertions don't have to be either...

If people Adopt MY morality w/o actually Caring about those things I do THEMSELVES... THEN I could see it being like Religion.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
LaissezFaire
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9/13/2010 9:09:37 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 8:56:41 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/13/2010 8:45:33 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
If you interpret morality to mean completely arbitrary commands from above, as this person does, then yes, it does make sense to think this. But that's completely ridiculous. Morality can be derived from reason without there being any god. See natural rights, Objectivism.

You're missing his point. A lot of morality is imperatives or commands even in ethical theories that don't refer to God. Fact.

What he's saying is that commands or imperatives don't make any sense on atheism (at least how he conceptualizes it).

That said, I don't agree with him but I do think that certain construals of naturalism or physicalism lead to moral nihilism.

I disagree with his claim that commands and imperatives don't make sense to an atheist then. He says that religious morality stems from God's commands, and then from this, concludes that moral commands of any sort don't apply to atheism. Unless he's playing with semantics or something, I just can't see the connection.
Should we subsidize education?
http://www.debate.org...

http://mises.org...

http://lewrockwell.com...

http://antiwar.com...

: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
mattrodstrom
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9/13/2010 9:09:49 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 9:05:38 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
If you'd look just above where I typed that you'd know I'm clearly referring to moral/ethical commands or imperatives.

If you looked at my post, just below what you responded to, You'd know I covered what you were referring to...

I just used the more simple example to give a simple parallel to my conception of "Moral" assertions.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
annhasle
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9/13/2010 9:09:57 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 9:02:25 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/13/2010 8:46:09 PM, annhasle wrote:
He seems to jump from there being no God to there being no morality, without ever explaining why he thinks morality came from a God. He kind of glossed over it....


I was struck by salient parallels between religion and morality, especially that both avail themselves of imperatives or commands, which are intended to apply universally. In the case of religion, and most obviously theism, these commands emanate from a Commander; "and this all people call God," as Aquinas might have put it. The problem with theism is of course the shaky grounds for believing in God. But the problem with morality, I now maintain, is that it is in even worse shape than religion in this regard; for if there were a God, His issuing commands would make some kind of sense. But if there is no God, as of course atheists assert, then what sense could be made of there being commands of this sort?

He definitely needs to have in-depth arguments for his point, though. He doesn't provide them however...

Yes, he definitely does. Since a moral relativist would read the first sentence and simply state, "Morals are not universal." And in regards to the last line, there being no God really should have no effect on there being "universal commands". I do not believe in a God, but I do not have a problem with the International Right #26: Right to Education. He seems to have this idea that if there is no God, there should be no authority... It's odd and needs more explaining.
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
GeoLaureate8
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9/13/2010 9:10:40 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 8:45:33 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
If you interpret morality to mean completely arbitrary commands from above, as this person does, then yes, it does make sense to think this. But that's completely ridiculous. Morality can be derived from reason without there being any god.

This hits the nail on the head.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
J.Kenyon
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9/13/2010 9:10:42 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 8:56:41 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
You're missing his point. A lot of morality is imperatives or commands even in ethical theories that don't refer to God. Fact.

If the commands were arbitrary, he'd have a point. But first he has to show that all secular moral codes involve arbitrary commands.

What he's saying is that commands or imperatives don't make any sense on atheism (at least how he conceptualizes it).

That said, I don't agree with him but I do think that certain construals of naturalism or physicalism lead to moral nihilism.

If you're a hard determinism, that makes sense. But even then, what about Frankfurt Counterexamples?
J.Kenyon
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9/13/2010 9:11:54 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 9:10:42 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 9/13/2010 8:56:41 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
You're missing his point. A lot of morality is imperatives or commands even in ethical theories that don't refer to God. Fact.

If the commands were arbitrary, he'd have a point. But first he has to show that all secular moral codes involve arbitrary commands.

What he's saying is that commands or imperatives don't make any sense on atheism (at least how he conceptualizes it).

That said, I don't agree with him but I do think that certain construals of naturalism or physicalism lead to moral nihilism.

If you're a hard determinist, that makes sense. But even then, what about Frankfurt Counterexamples?

Fix'd.
popculturepooka
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9/13/2010 9:28:14 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 9:09:37 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:

I disagree with his claim that commands and imperatives don't make sense to an atheist then. He says that religious morality stems from God's commands, and then from this, concludes that moral commands of any sort don't apply to atheism. Unless he's playing with semantics or something, I just can't see the connection.

His basic position is this: morality is either entirely constituted by or, at the very least, a substantial part of it consists of universal commands and imperatives and prescriptive actions. He's asking on which view does morality (construed as commands) make more sense on.

Theism makes some kind of sense of these universal commands, imperatives, and prescriptive actions because if there were a God he'd be the Commander. Theism is false, though.

Atheism doesn't make any sense of these universal commands, imperatives, and prescriptive actions because there is no "big c" or even "little c" commander to issue them.

His reasoning isn't what you take it to be.
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LaissezFaire
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9/13/2010 9:31:08 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 9:28:14 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/13/2010 9:09:37 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:

I disagree with his claim that commands and imperatives don't make sense to an atheist then. He says that religious morality stems from God's commands, and then from this, concludes that moral commands of any sort don't apply to atheism. Unless he's playing with semantics or something, I just can't see the connection.


His basic position is this: morality is either entirely constituted by or, at the very least, a substantial part of it consists of universal commands and imperatives and prescriptive actions. He's asking on which view does morality (construed as commands) make more sense on.

Theism makes some kind of sense of these universal commands, imperatives, and prescriptive actions because if there were a God he'd be the Commander. Theism is false, though.

Atheism doesn't make any sense of these universal commands, imperatives, and prescriptive actions because there is no "big c" or even "little c" commander to issue them.

His reasoning isn't what you take it to be.

Still, I don't see why there needs to be a "commander" for universal moral laws, if morality can be derived from reason. Did I miss where he explained why this is so?
Should we subsidize education?
http://www.debate.org...

http://mises.org...

http://lewrockwell.com...

http://antiwar.com...

: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
mattrodstrom
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9/13/2010 9:34:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
there is to be no torturing of my dog for entertainment purposes.

Why??

b/c I said so... and I tend to care about such things.

YOU don't care? TOO BAD... I'm COMMANDING it be so.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
popculturepooka
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9/13/2010 9:34:43 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 9:10:42 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 9/13/2010 8:56:41 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
You're missing his point. A lot of morality is imperatives or commands even in ethical theories that don't refer to God. Fact.

If the commands were arbitrary, he'd have a point. But first he has to show that all secular moral codes involve arbitrary commands.


Arbitrariness doesn't factor into this equation at all.

What he's saying is that commands or imperatives don't make any sense on atheism (at least how he conceptualizes it).

That said, I don't agree with him but I do think that certain construals of naturalism or physicalism lead to moral nihilism.

If you're a hard determinism, that makes sense. But even then, what about Frankfurt Counterexamples?

My problem is more with how abstract objects fit into that picture. Especially if morals are considered necessary truths like a lot of moral realists think.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
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popculturepooka
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9/13/2010 9:41:25 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 9:31:08 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
At 9/13/2010 9:28:14 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/13/2010 9:09:37 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:

I disagree with his claim that commands and imperatives don't make sense to an atheist then. He says that religious morality stems from God's commands, and then from this, concludes that moral commands of any sort don't apply to atheism. Unless he's playing with semantics or something, I just can't see the connection.


His basic position is this: morality is either entirely constituted by or, at the very least, a substantial part of it consists of universal commands and imperatives and prescriptive actions. He's asking on which view does morality (construed as commands) make more sense on.

Theism makes some kind of sense of these universal commands, imperatives, and prescriptive actions because if there were a God he'd be the Commander. Theism is false, though.

Atheism doesn't make any sense of these universal commands, imperatives, and prescriptive actions because there is no "big c" or even "little c" commander to issue them.

His reasoning isn't what you take it to be.

Still, I don't see why there needs to be a "commander" for universal moral laws, if morality can be derived from reason.

You don't find it strange that there'd be commands with no commander?

Did I miss where he explained why this is so?

No, he doesn't really argue for it. The article is more about how he is going to live his life without believing in right and wrong, etc.

PS I'm just playing devil's advocate.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
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mattrodstrom
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9/13/2010 9:47:07 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 9:28:14 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/13/2010 9:09:37 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:

I disagree with his claim that commands and imperatives don't make sense to an atheist then. He says that religious morality stems from God's commands, and then from this, concludes that moral commands of any sort don't apply to atheism. Unless he's playing with semantics or something, I just can't see the connection.


His basic position is this: morality is either entirely constituted by or, at the very least, a substantial part of it consists of universal commands and imperatives and prescriptive actions. He's asking on which view does morality (construed as commands) make more sense on.

Theism makes some kind of sense of these universal commands, imperatives, and prescriptive actions because if there were a God he'd be the Commander. Theism is false, though.

Atheism doesn't make any sense of these universal commands, imperatives, and prescriptive actions because there is no "big c" or even "little c" commander to issue them.

also... Mencius gives a good shot at saying Human Nature comes packaged with certain "commands" given a certain Upbringing/experience...

I think the reason MY "moral" assertions connect up with so many other peoples is because of our similar natures...

Now... I don't think Everyone has similar enough nature's to the Point that We'll all have the same "moral" ideas (even GIVEN relevantly similar/decent upbringing/experiences)... BUT I do think our similar nature is why SO MANY PEOPLE would Be Morally AGAINST torturing many kinds of Mammals for fun.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
LaissezFaire
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9/13/2010 9:49:03 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 9:41:25 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/13/2010 9:31:08 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
At 9/13/2010 9:28:14 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/13/2010 9:09:37 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:

I disagree with his claim that commands and imperatives don't make sense to an atheist then. He says that religious morality stems from God's commands, and then from this, concludes that moral commands of any sort don't apply to atheism. Unless he's playing with semantics or something, I just can't see the connection.


His basic position is this: morality is either entirely constituted by or, at the very least, a substantial part of it consists of universal commands and imperatives and prescriptive actions. He's asking on which view does morality (construed as commands) make more sense on.

Theism makes some kind of sense of these universal commands, imperatives, and prescriptive actions because if there were a God he'd be the Commander. Theism is false, though.

Atheism doesn't make any sense of these universal commands, imperatives, and prescriptive actions because there is no "big c" or even "little c" commander to issue them.

His reasoning isn't what you take it to be.

Still, I don't see why there needs to be a "commander" for universal moral laws, if morality can be derived from reason.

You don't find it strange that there'd be commands with no commander?
No, I don't. In fact, I find the concept of morality being determined by a "commander" strange. If morality can be determined by reason, then a commander is irrelevant.

Did I miss where he explained why this is so?

No, he doesn't really argue for it. The article is more about how he is going to live his life without believing in right and wrong, etc.

PS I'm just playing devil's advocate.
Yeah, I got that. I just don't think his argument has any merit whatsoever.
Should we subsidize education?
http://www.debate.org...

http://mises.org...

http://lewrockwell.com...

http://antiwar.com...

: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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9/13/2010 9:49:12 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 9:47:07 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 9/13/2010 9:28:14 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/13/2010 9:09:37 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:

I disagree with his claim that commands and imperatives don't make sense to an atheist then. He says that religious morality stems from God's commands, and then from this, concludes that moral commands of any sort don't apply to atheism. Unless he's playing with semantics or something, I just can't see the connection.


His basic position is this: morality is either entirely constituted by or, at the very least, a substantial part of it consists of universal commands and imperatives and prescriptive actions. He's asking on which view does morality (construed as commands) make more sense on.

Theism makes some kind of sense of these universal commands, imperatives, and prescriptive actions because if there were a God he'd be the Commander. Theism is false, though.

Atheism doesn't make any sense of these universal commands, imperatives, and prescriptive actions because there is no "big c" or even "little c" commander to issue them.

also... Mencius gives a good shot at saying Human Nature comes packaged with certain "commands" given a certain Upbringing/experience...

not "commands" but disposition for the Subject to Command things of the world/pursue things being a certain way.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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9/13/2010 10:17:39 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/13/2010 9:34:43 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/13/2010 9:10:42 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 9/13/2010 8:56:41 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
You're missing his point. A lot of morality is imperatives or commands even in ethical theories that don't refer to God. Fact.

If the commands were arbitrary, he'd have a point. But first he has to show that all secular moral codes involve arbitrary commands.

Arbitrariness doesn't factor into this equation at all.

Well, in that case, I'm confused. What am I missing? If there is warrant to believe a given moral truth (Hitler is evil), then it seems like his argument misses the mark.

What he's saying is that commands or imperatives don't make any sense on atheism (at least how he conceptualizes it).

That said, I don't agree with him but I do think that certain construals of naturalism or physicalism lead to moral nihilism.

If you're a hard determinism, that makes sense. But even then, what about Frankfurt Counterexamples?

My problem is more with how abstract objects fit into that picture. Especially if morals are considered necessary truths like a lot of moral realists think.

I won't pretend to have more than a pedestrian understanding of abstract objects.
kogline
Posts: 134
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9/13/2010 11:34:15 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
as an atheist and moral nihilist i have to agree with the author. the definition of morality is right or wrong action. one of the usual reasons atheists are atheists is because there is no evidence of god. or the evidence is substandard and questionable. and then atheists get upset about being accused of moral nihilism. what evidence is there of objective morality in the universe? does morality exist in the universe somewhere? under a rock in the amazon forest maybe? no. it is just an idea similar to the idea of god, used by humans to feel significant and important. now i dont plan on killing myself because i dont believe the humans have objective value or because there is no objectively right or wrong actions. mostly because im conditioned by genetics and enviroment to value certain things even if there is no real reason to value those things. so even though im a moral nihilist i act like a hedonist. unlike a true hedonist i dont claim that happiness and pleasure are objectively good, they are just things i like so im going to try and obtain them. i dont think its moral or imoral, it just is. i think i would even say people who dont believe in god but believe in morality are to some extent religious, the two ideas are pretty inconsistent.
if state farm has perfected teleportation technology why do they still sell car insurance?