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Morality - atheism's Achilles

Benshapiro
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9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.
bulproof
Posts: 25,225
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9/27/2015 5:10:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:

Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?
Prove that such has never happened and you can prove objective morality. BTW you have always claimed it immoral not amoral, try some honesty you never know where it may lead.
Unfortunately you can't and so your "conjecture", not argument, fails.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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9/27/2015 5:30:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

Um, I'm a moral nihilist, so I don't see how this applies. I think that things are 'moral abominations', on a societal level, when they're absolutely nonsensical and on balance harmful. 'Raping an infant' certainly qualifies. I think that your whole stance on this is hung up on the idea of 'truth'. I think that most moral codes, theistic and secular, are lies. But I ALSO think that human society is better when most people believe in those lies regardless of their validity; and people, for the most part, do. We believe in the religious and cultural ethical codes into which we were brought up much more because of emotional attachment to them than because they are inherently rational.

The question then becomes: who shapes and manipulates these moral codes by which so many people live? My answer is: people who are capable of seeing and appreciating both the amoral nature of life AND the necessity of maintaining these illusions, and who also possess keen political minds, a good sense of history, and an affinity for manipulation. I, for example, possess the first qualifiers but not the latter. I'm probably going to get hate for this, but I think that Pope Francis is a perfect example of the sort of benevolent, enlightened Machiavellian hierophant that I'm looking for.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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9/27/2015 5:35:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

So you're a theist because you don't like the fact atheism would mean you'd have no morals?

The answers to this are kinda obvious. Moral systems are just systems put in place for weak men to control the strong. The reason for example that polygamy is considered wrong is because weaklings will be forced to have just one sexual partner while the strong will have many.

Another reason morality exists, is that we all have a type of moral sense given to us by evolutionary psychology. Altruistic urges are good for the group, so it's passed on easier.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,609
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9/27/2015 5:43:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

What about laws created in a secular society, do they not go hand in hand with morality? Are laws not created for those who wish to do immoral acts to individuals and society? Do they not guide us on how to behave, to distinguish the good and bad of our actions?
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Devilry
Posts: 454
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9/27/2015 5:45:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/27/2015 5:30:19 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

Um, I'm a moral nihilist, so I don't see how this applies. I think that things are 'moral abominations', on a societal level, when they're absolutely nonsensical and on balance harmful. 'Raping an infant' certainly qualifies. I think that your whole stance on this is hung up on the idea of 'truth'. I think that most moral codes, theistic and secular, are lies. But I ALSO think that human society is better when most people believe in those lies regardless of their validity; and people, for the most part, do. We believe in the religious and cultural ethical codes into which we were brought up much more because of emotional attachment to them than because they are inherently rational.

The question then becomes: who shapes and manipulates these moral codes by which so many people live? My answer is: people who are capable of seeing and appreciating both the amoral nature of life AND the necessity of maintaining these illusions, and who also possess keen political minds, a good sense of history, and an affinity for manipulation. I, for example, possess the first qualifiers but not the latter. I'm probably going to get hate for this, but I think that Pope Francis is a perfect example of the sort of benevolent, enlightened Machiavellian hierophant that I'm looking for.

Very amusing. Might you, however, go a little further into detail on why Pope Francis should serve as a 'perfect example'?
: : : At 11/15/2016 6:22:17 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
: That's not racism. Thats economics.
Devilry
Posts: 454
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9/27/2015 5:50:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I just felt a little giggle rise up in me there, asking that question, as if I was Bulgakov's devil, having made arrival in Russia, chatting to Berlioz and Bezdomny by the Patriarch Ponds! Very, very amusing.
: : : At 11/15/2016 6:22:17 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
: That's not racism. Thats economics.
Hitchian
Posts: 764
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9/27/2015 6:22:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

A thread on atheism a day keeps the atheist at bay?

)

For all intents and purposes, morality is not objective. If judicial systems are any indication, no code of ethics would have the approval of the entire world population. There's a plethora of philosophical stances on the matter and even among those who profess to subscribe to one in particular the behaviour seems to vary greatly.

There's of course a small area of overlap and general agreement which centres itself around a few platitudes, such as the injunction not to lie, steal or commit murder. These platitudes arise from the acknowledgement of the gregarious nature of our lives. Living together as a society is what best serves the individual and living as a society comes with its set of impositions.

So as long as we can agree that the perpetuation and flourishment of human life is the prime end goal, than a number of basic premises follow directly. It is this basic acknowledgement that explains the traditional consensus around the aforementioned minimal set of moral truths.

Very little, if anything at all, would change in the world if we were to suddenly realize objective moral truths exist. We would still have to deal with the complexity of life on a daily basis. Notice how even Western judicial systems, supposedly inspired in the Bible, have outgrown it both in scope and in depth to face up to the demands of contemporary societies. That's because the Bible, one of the alleged sources or revelations of objective moral truth, is morally obsolete. It is at once excessively fussy and ghastly omissive.

I can't say I understand why this issue is said to pose a problem for atheists, not least because, no, atheists do not hold the same take on the topic. Sam Harris, among others, has taken on the task to establish the edifice of a secular objective morality. Other fellow atheist philosophers may disagree on both the feasibility and necessity of that project.

There is no additional problem that arrives merely from the lack of universal acknowledgment that supposedly objective moral truths do exist.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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9/27/2015 6:29:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/27/2015 5:45:02 PM, Devilry wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:30:19 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

Um, I'm a moral nihilist, so I don't see how this applies. I think that things are 'moral abominations', on a societal level, when they're absolutely nonsensical and on balance harmful. 'Raping an infant' certainly qualifies. I think that your whole stance on this is hung up on the idea of 'truth'. I think that most moral codes, theistic and secular, are lies. But I ALSO think that human society is better when most people believe in those lies regardless of their validity; and people, for the most part, do. We believe in the religious and cultural ethical codes into which we were brought up much more because of emotional attachment to them than because they are inherently rational.

The question then becomes: who shapes and manipulates these moral codes by which so many people live? My answer is: people who are capable of seeing and appreciating both the amoral nature of life AND the necessity of maintaining these illusions, and who also possess keen political minds, a good sense of history, and an affinity for manipulation. I, for example, possess the first qualifiers but not the latter. I'm probably going to get hate for this, but I think that Pope Francis is a perfect example of the sort of benevolent, enlightened Machiavellian hierophant that I'm looking for.

Very amusing. Might you, however, go a little further into detail on why Pope Francis should serve as a 'perfect example'?

Mostly for the way in which he's handled a subtle shift in the tone of the church, deftly stepping around established powers in the Vatican and avoiding changing doctrine itself. He's lived a humble life as a big part of this, and the public roaring in approval has really given him some political punch that most Popes don't have. He's using that punch wisely, to undermine his enemies without destroying them, and to gradually tilt the balance of power in Rome. Catholicism, historically, goes through cycles of stagnation and corruption followed by reform. The Protestant Reformation was the breaking of this cycle, as the North broke off from Catholicism and embraced more nationalistic brands of theology. The big problem, for Catholicism, is that the north of Europe has been, historically, the wellspring from which the waves of reform originated. Leo IX, Gregory VII, Urban II, the Cluniacs, Thomas Aquinas, and Gregory X were all born of the Northern Catholic intellectual institutions. When they broke off, Catholicism was deprived of this intellectual input. From the Reformation to my own lifetime, every single pope has been Italian. Francis represents, to me, perhaps the first in a new trend: that the new waves of Reformation will be coming from the third world, from people with both the savvy and ideological conviction to take on the established power politics and corruption which settle in the Vatican like an inevitable accumulation of dust.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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9/27/2015 7:25:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code?
I am not sure what you are asking for. Moral motivation?

Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?
Theism does not offer moral objectivity. Objectivity denotes mind independence, so of course objective moral values are disembodied.

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress?
If it was, no.

Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.
Atheism does not even entail any metaethical view to begin with.
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: space contradicts logic
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,095
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9/27/2015 8:43:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

I disbelieve claims of the existence of god(s). No moral code is suggested in that disbelief. However, you have assigned one to me (and apparently an alternative version to theists) in order to attack atheism.

The OP is a strawman.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
TanusBarbarus
Posts: 124
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9/27/2015 8:50:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.
........

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

This last sentence is what made me chuckle. Theism offers a COMPLETE, INTERNALLY CONSISTENT account? Do you really believe that? That, to me, seems amazingly obtuse considering, in Christianity alone, the myriad inconsistencies in what is and isn't considered moral from chapter to verse.
We are told that the Bible holds all of the knowledge that mankind needs to live morally, and many accept this hook, line and sinker. But upon closer examination, we find a god laying out supposed rules of morality for mankind, while the example he sets for us cannot be considered moral by any stretch of the imagination.
God says "don't kill", yet sanctions, commands and helps carry out genocide after genocide in support of the so called "chosen" people. Psalm 137:9 "How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones Against the rock."
God says "don't steal" but then commands his people to steal land already settled, while stealing the lives of said people in utterly barbaric ways.
There is NO consistency in the Bible when it comes to moral behavior, much less consistency in the example set by the supposed creator of the universe, the all knowing, all loving god of the bible.
Maintaining the illusion of consciousness since 1969...
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,963
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9/28/2015 12:48:37 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/27/2015 5:30:19 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

Um, I'm a moral nihilist, so I don't see how this applies. I think that things are 'moral abominations', on a societal level, when they're absolutely nonsensical and on balance harmful. 'Raping an infant' certainly qualifies. I think that your whole stance on this is hung up on the idea of 'truth'.

So "raping an infant is wrong" is not true?

I think that most moral codes, theistic and secular, are lies. But I ALSO think that human society is better when most people believe in those lies regardless of their validity; and people, for the most part, do. We believe in the religious and cultural ethical codes into which we were brought up much more because of emotional attachment to them than because they are inherently rational.

Wouldn't all of them be lies since you believe nihilism is true?

The question then becomes: who shapes and manipulates these moral codes by which so many people live? My answer is: people who are capable of seeing and appreciating both the amoral nature of life AND the necessity of maintaining these illusions, and who also possess keen political minds, a good sense of history, and an affinity for manipulation. I, for example, possess the first qualifiers but not the latter. I'm probably going to get hate for this, but I think that Pope Francis is a perfect example of the sort of benevolent, enlightened Machiavellian hierophant that I'm looking for.

I think nihilists are the last people who should be manipulating and maintaining moral codes. What would be the justification for stopping evil?
Benshapiro
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9/28/2015 12:50:21 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/27/2015 5:10:44 PM, bulproof wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:

Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?
Prove that such has never happened and you can prove objective morality. BTW you have always claimed it immoral not amoral, try some honesty you never know where it may lead.
Unfortunately you can't and so your "conjecture", not argument, fails.

We don't always obey our moral code. So morality can still be objective if we don't adhere to it 100% of the time. I'm saying that in an atheistic worldview it is subjectively immoral or amoral unless you tried to appeal to an objective moral code which fails as well.
Benshapiro
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9/28/2015 12:53:44 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/27/2015 5:35:18 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

So you're a theist because you don't like the fact atheism would mean you'd have no morals?

I see morality as a weakness in an atheistic worldview because of its lack of explanatory power.

The answers to this are kinda obvious. Moral systems are just systems put in place for weak men to control the strong. The reason for example that polygamy is considered wrong is because weaklings will be forced to have just one sexual partner while the strong will have many.

Another reason morality exists, is that we all have a type of moral sense given to us by evolutionary psychology. Altruistic urges are good for the group, so it's passed on easier.

I don't see why we ought to adhere to or adopt any type of instinctual moral code.
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,963
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9/28/2015 12:55:28 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/27/2015 5:43:33 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

What about laws created in a secular society, do they not go hand in hand with morality? Are laws not created for those who wish to do immoral acts to individuals and society? Do they not guide us on how to behave, to distinguish the good and bad of our actions?

Laws derive from our sense of morality. Morality doesn't derive from laws. I'm questioning what grounds morality in an atheistic worldview.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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9/28/2015 12:55:46 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/28/2015 12:48:37 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:30:19 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

Um, I'm a moral nihilist, so I don't see how this applies. I think that things are 'moral abominations', on a societal level, when they're absolutely nonsensical and on balance harmful. 'Raping an infant' certainly qualifies. I think that your whole stance on this is hung up on the idea of 'truth'.

So "raping an infant is wrong" is not true?

If someone had a nuclear detonator in one hand and a baby in another and said 'rape this baby or I vaporize Manhattan,' and you have good reason to believe that he'll follow through on the threat, then infant rape starts to look pretty rosy. Is that scenario in the least bit likely? No. So as a general moral rule it's a pretty solid one, just not an objectively true one which applies in every imaginable circumstance.

I think that most moral codes, theistic and secular, are lies. But I ALSO think that human society is better when most people believe in those lies regardless of their validity; and people, for the most part, do. We believe in the religious and cultural ethical codes into which we were brought up much more because of emotional attachment to them than because they are inherently rational.

Wouldn't all of them be lies since you believe nihilism is true?

All moral claims are lies, but I don't think that the codes, as a whole, consist wholly of lies, seeing as they often encompass cause and effect and other things outside of moral claims.

The question then becomes: who shapes and manipulates these moral codes by which so many people live? My answer is: people who are capable of seeing and appreciating both the amoral nature of life AND the necessity of maintaining these illusions, and who also possess keen political minds, a good sense of history, and an affinity for manipulation. I, for example, possess the first qualifiers but not the latter. I'm probably going to get hate for this, but I think that Pope Francis is a perfect example of the sort of benevolent, enlightened Machiavellian hierophant that I'm looking for.

I think nihilists are the last people who should be manipulating and maintaining moral codes. What would be the justification for stopping evil?

Well, evil doesn't exist, so there's really nothing to worry about there. What's normally seen as 'evil' isn't really healthy for society as a whole, hence the widespread negative reaction to it. And whoever makes the rules is a part of their respective society, which must compete with other societies, so they have a vested interest in making it run well.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Benshapiro
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9/28/2015 1:00:46 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/27/2015 6:22:40 PM, Hitchian wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

A thread on atheism a day keeps the atheist at bay?

)

For all intents and purposes, morality is not objective. If judicial systems are any indication, no code of ethics would have the approval of the entire world population. There's a plethora of philosophical stances on the matter and even among those who profess to subscribe to one in particular the behaviour seems to vary greatly.

How many people do you imagine would find raping an infant to be immoral? Consensus wouldn't determine objectivity anyway.

There's of course a small area of overlap and general agreement which centres itself around a few platitudes, such as the injunction not to lie, steal or commit murder. These platitudes arise from the acknowledgement of the gregarious nature of our lives. Living together as a society is what best serves the individual and living as a society comes with its set of impositions.

So murder is only wrong in a society that agrees on it being wrong?

So as long as we can agree that the perpetuation and flourishment of human life is the prime end goal, than a number of basic premises follow directly. It is this basic acknowledgement that explains the traditional consensus around the aforementioned minimal set of moral truths.

It depends on what end people pursue. There's no intrinsic perpetuating purpose.

Very little, if anything at all, would change in the world if we were to suddenly realize objective moral truths exist. We would still have to deal with the complexity of life on a daily basis. Notice how even Western judicial systems, supposedly inspired in the Bible, have outgrown it both in scope and in depth to face up to the demands of contemporary societies. That's because the Bible, one of the alleged sources or revelations of objective moral truth, is morally obsolete. It is at once excessively fussy and ghastly omissive.

It can't be morally obsolete without an objective moral standard to appeal to. I don't think anything would change much either because I believe we're currently operating on an objective moral system.

I can't say I understand why this issue is said to pose a problem for atheists, not least because, no, atheists do not hold the same take on the topic. Sam Harris, among others, has taken on the task to establish the edifice of a secular objective morality. Other fellow atheist philosophers may disagree on both the feasibility and necessity of that project.

There is no additional problem that arrives merely from the lack of universal acknowledgment that supposedly objective moral truths do exist.

The implications are the problem. Mainly, what significance does morality have and ought we adopt any particular moral code?
Benshapiro
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9/28/2015 1:03:27 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/27/2015 7:25:38 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code?
I am not sure what you are asking for. Moral motivation?

No, what would compel somebody who decided not to adopt an objective moral code based on instinct, for example.

Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?
Theism does not offer moral objectivity. Objectivity denotes mind independence, so of course objective moral values are disembodied.

That's not true. Objectivity most simply means something that is definitively true.

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress?
If it was, no.

Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.
Atheism does not even entail any metaethical view to begin with.

It necessarily entails it as an ontological claim.
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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9/28/2015 1:03:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/28/2015 12:53:44 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:35:18 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

So you're a theist because you don't like the fact atheism would mean you'd have no morals?

I see morality as a weakness in an atheistic worldview because of its lack of explanatory power.

The answers to this are kinda obvious. Moral systems are just systems put in place for weak men to control the strong. The reason for example that polygamy is considered wrong is because weaklings will be forced to have just one sexual partner while the strong will have many.

Another reason morality exists, is that we all have a type of moral sense given to us by evolutionary psychology. Altruistic urges are good for the group, so it's passed on easier.

I don't see why we ought to adhere to or adopt any type of instinctual moral code.

I don't see why we ought to either, I'm just acknowledging it's existence.
Benshapiro
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9/28/2015 1:06:01 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/27/2015 8:43:21 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

I disbelieve claims of the existence of god(s). No moral code is suggested in that disbelief. However, you have assigned one to me (and apparently an alternative version to theists) in order to attack atheism.

The OP is a strawman.

Atheism, as an ontological claim, necessarily entails an explanation for morality.
Yassine
Posts: 2,617
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9/28/2015 1:15:28 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/27/2015 5:30:19 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:

Um, I'm a moral nihilist, so I don't see how this applies. I think that things are 'moral abominations', on a societal level, when they're absolutely nonsensical and on balance harmful. 'Raping an infant' certainly qualifies. I think that your whole stance on this is hung up on the idea of 'truth'. I think that most moral codes, theistic and secular, are lies. But I ALSO think that human society is better when most people believe in those lies regardless of their validity; and people, for the most part, do. We believe in the religious and cultural ethical codes into which we were brought up much more because of emotional attachment to them than because they are inherently rational.

- I partially agree with you that Morality has a lot to do with society than anything else. Nonetheless, we believe that there are some values that every person is designed to agree on, believer or not.

The question then becomes: who shapes and manipulates these moral codes by which so many people live? My answer is: people who are capable of seeing and appreciating both the amoral nature of life AND the necessity of maintaining these illusions, and who also possess keen political minds, a good sense of history, and an affinity for manipulation. I, for example, possess the first qualifiers but not the latter. I'm probably going to get hate for this, but I think that Pope Francis is a perfect example of the sort of benevolent, enlightened Machiavellian hierophant that I'm looking for.

- Here is where our worldviews differ. Here we believe if it's a natural habit, then it must be part of the design. If doing good, makes humans feel good, then doing good is what should be done. If religion solves mental problems, then it is designed so. If humans re prone to follow moral codes, then moral codes should exist...etc.
Current Debates:

Islam is not a religion of peace vs. @ Lutonator:
* http://www.debate.org...
Benshapiro
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9/28/2015 1:20:49 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/28/2015 12:55:46 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 9/28/2015 12:48:37 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:30:19 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

Um, I'm a moral nihilist, so I don't see how this applies. I think that things are 'moral abominations', on a societal level, when they're absolutely nonsensical and on balance harmful. 'Raping an infant' certainly qualifies. I think that your whole stance on this is hung up on the idea of 'truth'.

So "raping an infant is wrong" is not true?

If someone had a nuclear detonator in one hand and a baby in another and said 'rape this baby or I vaporize Manhattan,' and you have good reason to believe that he'll follow through on the threat, then infant rape starts to look pretty rosy. Is that scenario in the least bit likely? No. So as a general moral rule it's a pretty solid one, just not an objectively true one which applies in every imaginable circumstance.

So raping an infant wouldn't be wrong under that circumstance? It wouldn't just be a different evil? It's interesting that you brought up this circumstance because it already implies a sense of moral justice. Like "Kill one to save many" would already be expected to be understood, even though there's really not such a guideline. Also I didn't ask under what circumstances could it be justified, I just asked "so 'raping an infant is wrong' is not true?" It doesn't require any circumstances. If raping it wasn't wrong you could do it for whatever reason you felt like.

I think that most moral codes, theistic and secular, are lies. But I ALSO think that human society is better when most people believe in those lies regardless of their validity; and people, for the most part, do. We believe in the religious and cultural ethical codes into which we were brought up much more because of emotional attachment to them than because they are inherently rational.

Wouldn't all of them be lies since you believe nihilism is true?

All moral claims are lies, but I don't think that the codes, as a whole, consist wholly of lies, seeing as they often encompass cause and effect and other things outside of moral claims.

So "I want to kill Bob by using a hammer" is not an example of a lie?

The question then becomes: who shapes and manipulates these moral codes by which so many people live? My answer is: people who are capable of seeing and appreciating both the amoral nature of life AND the necessity of maintaining these illusions, and who also possess keen political minds, a good sense of history, and an affinity for manipulation. I, for example, possess the first qualifiers but not the latter. I'm probably going to get hate for this, but I think that Pope Francis is a perfect example of the sort of benevolent, enlightened Machiavellian hierophant that I'm looking for.

I think nihilists are the last people who should be manipulating and maintaining moral codes. What would be the justification for stopping evil?

Well, evil doesn't exist, so there's really nothing to worry about there. What's normally seen as 'evil' isn't really healthy for society as a whole, hence the widespread negative reaction to it. And whoever makes the rules is a part of their respective society, which must compete with other societies, so they have a vested interest in making it run well.

Raping an infant isn't evil? How about child abuse? Torturing an innocent person? Burning people alive for being gay? None of that is evil?

So was anti Semitism in Nazi Germany towards the Jews good since they believed it was helping their society?
Benshapiro
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9/28/2015 1:22:43 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/28/2015 1:03:36 AM, Wylted wrote:
At 9/28/2015 12:53:44 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:35:18 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

So you're a theist because you don't like the fact atheism would mean you'd have no morals?

I see morality as a weakness in an atheistic worldview because of its lack of explanatory power.

The answers to this are kinda obvious. Moral systems are just systems put in place for weak men to control the strong. The reason for example that polygamy is considered wrong is because weaklings will be forced to have just one sexual partner while the strong will have many.

Another reason morality exists, is that we all have a type of moral sense given to us by evolutionary psychology. Altruistic urges are good for the group, so it's passed on easier.

I don't see why we ought to adhere to or adopt any type of instinctual moral code.

I don't see why we ought to either, I'm just acknowledging it's existence.

So there's really no such thing as evil and a way we ought to conduct ourselves? We just have this arbitrary sense that isn't really useful towards how we ought to behave?
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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9/28/2015 1:29:20 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/28/2015 1:22:43 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/28/2015 1:03:36 AM, Wylted wrote:
At 9/28/2015 12:53:44 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:35:18 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

So you're a theist because you don't like the fact atheism would mean you'd have no morals?

I see morality as a weakness in an atheistic worldview because of its lack of explanatory power.

The answers to this are kinda obvious. Moral systems are just systems put in place for weak men to control the strong. The reason for example that polygamy is considered wrong is because weaklings will be forced to have just one sexual partner while the strong will have many.

Another reason morality exists, is that we all have a type of moral sense given to us by evolutionary psychology. Altruistic urges are good for the group, so it's passed on easier.

I don't see why we ought to adhere to or adopt any type of instinctual moral code.

I don't see why we ought to either, I'm just acknowledging it's existence.

So there's really no such thing as evil and a way we ought to conduct ourselves? We just have this arbitrary sense that isn't really useful towards how we ought to behave?

I think it's useful in some senses. For example it hurts me to hurt other people, so I do my best not to do that, it benefits me because I don't experience that pain and it benefits others because they feel less pain as a result of my seemingly altruistic tendencies.

People that have no moral sense have a hard time looking too far in the future and making good decisions. The ability to empathize and sympathize with others, is directly correlated with your ability to emphasize or symphathize with your future self. So this moral sense seems useful in a ton of respects, though morality itself is merely a social as well as biological construct.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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9/28/2015 1:33:47 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/28/2015 1:20:49 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/28/2015 12:55:46 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 9/28/2015 12:48:37 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:30:19 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

Um, I'm a moral nihilist, so I don't see how this applies. I think that things are 'moral abominations', on a societal level, when they're absolutely nonsensical and on balance harmful. 'Raping an infant' certainly qualifies. I think that your whole stance on this is hung up on the idea of 'truth'.

So "raping an infant is wrong" is not true?

If someone had a nuclear detonator in one hand and a baby in another and said 'rape this baby or I vaporize Manhattan,' and you have good reason to believe that he'll follow through on the threat, then infant rape starts to look pretty rosy. Is that scenario in the least bit likely? No. So as a general moral rule it's a pretty solid one, just not an objectively true one which applies in every imaginable circumstance.

So raping an infant wouldn't be wrong under that circumstance? It wouldn't just be a different evil? It's interesting that you brought up this circumstance because it already implies a sense of moral justice. Like "Kill one to save many" would already be expected to be understood, even though there's really not such a guideline. Also I didn't ask under what circumstances could it be justified, I just asked "so 'raping an infant is wrong' is not true?" It doesn't require any circumstances. If raping it wasn't wrong you could do it for whatever reason you felt like.

Ummm, no, you don't understand the basic principle of moral nihilism if you think that saying that something isn't objectively immoral means that you could do it for whatever reason you feel like. Belief in morality has social utility, even if the morality isn't true. The thing about the bomb isn't concerned with evil at all, it's a comparative analysis of costs, of cause and effect. Either 'this infant suffers' or 'huge swathes of people and resources at the beating heart of my civilization are destroyed'. That decision, from the viewpoint of societal welfare, should be made with those costs in mind.

I think that most moral codes, theistic and secular, are lies. But I ALSO think that human society is better when most people believe in those lies regardless of their validity; and people, for the most part, do. We believe in the religious and cultural ethical codes into which we were brought up much more because of emotional attachment to them than because they are inherently rational.

Wouldn't all of them be lies since you believe nihilism is true?

All moral claims are lies, but I don't think that the codes, as a whole, consist wholly of lies, seeing as they often encompass cause and effect and other things outside of moral claims.

So "I want to kill Bob by using a hammer" is not an example of a lie?

'If I hit Bob with this hammer he will die, and x, y, and z will happen' is not an example as a lie.

The question then becomes: who shapes and manipulates these moral codes by which so many people live? My answer is: people who are capable of seeing and appreciating both the amoral nature of life AND the necessity of maintaining these illusions, and who also possess keen political minds, a good sense of history, and an affinity for manipulation. I, for example, possess the first qualifiers but not the latter. I'm probably going to get hate for this, but I think that Pope Francis is a perfect example of the sort of benevolent, enlightened Machiavellian hierophant that I'm looking for.

I think nihilists are the last people who should be manipulating and maintaining moral codes. What would be the justification for stopping evil?

Well, evil doesn't exist, so there's really nothing to worry about there. What's normally seen as 'evil' isn't really healthy for society as a whole, hence the widespread negative reaction to it. And whoever makes the rules is a part of their respective society, which must compete with other societies, so they have a vested interest in making it run well.

Raping an infant isn't evil? How about child abuse? Torturing an innocent person? Burning people alive for being gay? None of that is evil?

No.

So was anti Semitism in Nazi Germany towards the Jews good since they believed it was helping their society?

It wasn't good because it wasn't helping their society. The shher insanity of Nazi Germany is why it no longer exist. It was an irrational, clawing, revanchist attempt at restoring national dignity after staggering humiliation, and was doomed to failure from the moment that it set out because of the raw emotion at its heart, the same emotion which boiled over during the holocaust.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,963
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9/28/2015 1:39:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/28/2015 1:29:20 AM, Wylted wrote:
At 9/28/2015 1:22:43 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/28/2015 1:03:36 AM, Wylted wrote:
At 9/28/2015 12:53:44 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:35:18 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

So you're a theist because you don't like the fact atheism would mean you'd have no morals?

I see morality as a weakness in an atheistic worldview because of its lack of explanatory power.

The answers to this are kinda obvious. Moral systems are just systems put in place for weak men to control the strong. The reason for example that polygamy is considered wrong is because weaklings will be forced to have just one sexual partner while the strong will have many.

Another reason morality exists, is that we all have a type of moral sense given to us by evolutionary psychology. Altruistic urges are good for the group, so it's passed on easier.

I don't see why we ought to adhere to or adopt any type of instinctual moral code.

I don't see why we ought to either, I'm just acknowledging it's existence.

So there's really no such thing as evil and a way we ought to conduct ourselves? We just have this arbitrary sense that isn't really useful towards how we ought to behave?

I think it's useful in some senses. For example it hurts me to hurt other people, so I do my best not to do that, it benefits me because I don't experience that pain and it benefits others because they feel less pain as a result of my seemingly altruistic tendencies.

People that have no moral sense have a hard time looking too far in the future and making good decisions. The ability to empathize and sympathize with others, is directly correlated with your ability to emphasize or symphathize with your future self. So this moral sense seems useful in a ton of respects, though morality itself is merely a social as well as biological construct.

It's only useful in whatever end you're trying to pursue. If your intent is to maximize harm then torturing someone is good.
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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9/28/2015 1:42:37 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/28/2015 1:39:19 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/28/2015 1:29:20 AM, Wylted wrote:
At 9/28/2015 1:22:43 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/28/2015 1:03:36 AM, Wylted wrote:
At 9/28/2015 12:53:44 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:35:18 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

So you're a theist because you don't like the fact atheism would mean you'd have no morals?

I see morality as a weakness in an atheistic worldview because of its lack of explanatory power.

The answers to this are kinda obvious. Moral systems are just systems put in place for weak men to control the strong. The reason for example that polygamy is considered wrong is because weaklings will be forced to have just one sexual partner while the strong will have many.

Another reason morality exists, is that we all have a type of moral sense given to us by evolutionary psychology. Altruistic urges are good for the group, so it's passed on easier.

I don't see why we ought to adhere to or adopt any type of instinctual moral code.

I don't see why we ought to either, I'm just acknowledging it's existence.

So there's really no such thing as evil and a way we ought to conduct ourselves? We just have this arbitrary sense that isn't really useful towards how we ought to behave?

I think it's useful in some senses. For example it hurts me to hurt other people, so I do my best not to do that, it benefits me because I don't experience that pain and it benefits others because they feel less pain as a result of my seemingly altruistic tendencies.

People that have no moral sense have a hard time looking too far in the future and making good decisions. The ability to empathize and sympathize with others, is directly correlated with your ability to emphasize or symphathize with your future self. So this moral sense seems useful in a ton of respects, though morality itself is merely a social as well as biological construct.

It's only useful in whatever end you're trying to pursue. If your intent is to maximize harm then torturing someone is good.

Sure, but typically people don't want to harm themselves, so having an ethical code like that would be suicidal. If they did decide to accept that form of morality, that's on them. It goes against the socially constructed and most people's moral sense, so society will attempt to harm them, but if they want to do that, I wouldn't call it imorral.
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,963
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9/28/2015 1:57:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/28/2015 1:33:47 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 9/28/2015 1:20:49 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/28/2015 12:55:46 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 9/28/2015 12:48:37 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:30:19 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 9/27/2015 5:03:36 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
I invite any atheist to come and defend the role of morality in their worldview.

Here's where it always ends:

If morality is *objective* then are we obligated to adopt that moral code? Is the source of *objectivity* unembodied?

If morality is inherently subjective is there truly such thing as moral progress? Is "love" just as inherently good or bad as "hatred"? Are moral abominations, like raping an infant, truly amoral or subjectively immoral?

Either way, it fails to offer a complete, internally consistent account like theism offers.

Um, I'm a moral nihilist, so I don't see how this applies. I think that things are 'moral abominations', on a societal level, when they're absolutely nonsensical and on balance harmful. 'Raping an infant' certainly qualifies. I think that your whole stance on this is hung up on the idea of 'truth'.

So "raping an infant is wrong" is not true?

If someone had a nuclear detonator in one hand and a baby in another and said 'rape this baby or I vaporize Manhattan,' and you have good reason to believe that he'll follow through on the threat, then infant rape starts to look pretty rosy. Is that scenario in the least bit likely? No. So as a general moral rule it's a pretty solid one, just not an objectively true one which applies in every imaginable circumstance.

So raping an infant wouldn't be wrong under that circumstance? It wouldn't just be a different evil? It's interesting that you brought up this circumstance because it already implies a sense of moral justice. Like "Kill one to save many" would already be expected to be understood, even though there's really not such a guideline. Also I didn't ask under what circumstances could it be justified, I just asked "so 'raping an infant is wrong' is not true?" It doesn't require any circumstances. If raping it wasn't wrong you could do it for whatever reason you felt like.

Ummm, no, you don't understand the basic principle of moral nihilism if you think that saying that something isn't objectively immoral means that you could do it for whatever reason you feel like. Belief in morality has social utility, even if the morality isn't true. The thing about the bomb isn't concerned with evil at all, it's a comparative analysis of costs, of cause and effect. Either 'this infant suffers' or 'huge swathes of people and resources at the beating heart of my civilization are destroyed'. That decision, from the viewpoint of societal welfare, should be made with those costs in mind.

Are you suggesting that moral nihilism acts in the interest of society at large? I don't think you understand nihilism either, if that's the case. Everything is inherently purposeless and valueless under moral nihilism. What we ought to do is *completely* defined by our ends. So if I felt like nuking society was the proper end, that's exactly what I should do.

I think that most moral codes, theistic and secular, are lies. But I ALSO think that human society is better when most people believe in those lies regardless of their validity; and people, for the most part, do. We believe in the religious and cultural ethical codes into which we were brought up much more because of emotional attachment to them than because they are inherently rational.

Wouldn't all of them be lies since you believe nihilism is true?

All moral claims are lies, but I don't think that the codes, as a whole, consist wholly of lies, seeing as they often encompass cause and effect and other things outside of moral claims.

So "I want to kill Bob by using a hammer" is not an example of a lie?

'If I hit Bob with this hammer he will die, and x, y, and z will happen' is not an example as a lie.

I agree. But "giving to charity is good" is a lie, in your view.

The question then becomes: who shapes and manipulates these moral codes by which so many people live? My answer is: people who are capable of seeing and appreciating both the amoral nature of life AND the necessity of maintaining these illusions, and who also possess keen political minds, a good sense of history, and an affinity for manipulation. I, for example, possess the first qualifiers but not the latter. I'm probably going to get hate for this, but I think that Pope Francis is a perfect example of the sort of benevolent, enlightened Machiavellian hierophant that I'm looking for.

I think nihilists are the last people who should be manipulating and maintaining moral codes. What would be the justification for stopping evil?

Well, evil doesn't exist, so there's really nothing to worry about there. What's normally seen as 'evil' isn't really healthy for society as a whole, hence the widespread negative reaction to it. And whoever makes the rules is a part of their respective society, which must compete with other societies, so they have a vested interest in making it run well.

Raping an infant isn't evil? How about child abuse? Torturing an innocent person? Burning people alive for being gay? None of that is evil?

No.

Amazing. So if your mom, brother, son or daughter was raped, tortured, and burned alive the assailant has done nothing immoral?

So was anti Semitism in Nazi Germany towards the Jews good since they believed it was helping their society?

It wasn't good because it wasn't helping their society. The shher insanity of Nazi Germany is why it no longer exist. It was an irrational, clawing, revanchist attempt at restoring national dignity after staggering humiliation, and was doomed to failure from the moment that it set out because of the raw emotion at its heart, the same emotion which boiled over during the holocaust.

It did help their society. It promoted a sense of nationalism and unity. Any society that discriminates against another race but results in greater overall societal cohesion then it's good.