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Atheistic morality

izbo35
Posts: 27
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5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals. To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral. We know this to be false. We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this. Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something. One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time. It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.
dee-em
Posts: 6,475
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5/26/2016 1:22:39 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals. To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral. We know this to be false. We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this. Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something. One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time. It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

Not subjective in the sense of the individual but subjective to the society in which one is raised. A century or two ago you could have owned a slave. Only a few decades ago being a homosexual was a criminal offense in most western countries. In some societies it still is. In other societies so-called "honour killings" are still tolerated. How can morality be objective when it is so obviously society-specific and evolving over time?
izbo35
Posts: 27
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5/26/2016 1:26:24 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 1:22:39 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals. To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral. We know this to be false. We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this. Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something. One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time. It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

Not subjective in the sense of the individual but subjective to the society in which one is raised. A century or two ago you could have owned a slave. Only a few decades ago being a homosexual was a criminal offense in most western countries. In some societies it still is. In other societies so-called "honour killings" are still tolerated. How can morality be objective when it is so obviously society-specific and evolving over time?

Because we learned from past immoral actions. In the past doctors thought freezing people with teberculous was a way to help them. It doesn't make health subjective, it just means they were wrong and we learned from it, same here.
matt8800
Posts: 2,077
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5/26/2016 1:28:23 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals. To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral. We know this to be false. We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this. Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something. One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time. It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

Morality should be determined with logic fueled by empathy. We know what is going to cause pain or joy to others. Since we all share a collective experience, morality can be considered objective.

Empathy is a much better determinant than religion. Religion does a poor job of establishing morality.
izbo35
Posts: 27
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5/26/2016 1:29:55 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 1:28:23 AM, matt8800 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals. To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral. We know this to be false. We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this. Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something. One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time. It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

Morality should be determined with logic fueled by empathy. We know what is going to cause pain or joy to others. Since we all share a collective experience, morality can be considered objective.

Empathy is a much better determinant than religion. Religion does a poor job of establishing morality.

It does, in the case of christianity it actually takes away 2000+ years of new information and bases it on a primitive book and hence why religion is harmful.
matt8800
Posts: 2,077
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5/26/2016 1:32:07 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 1:22:39 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals. To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral. We know this to be false. We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this. Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something. One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time. It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

Not subjective in the sense of the individual but subjective to the society in which one is raised. A century or two ago you could have owned a slave. Only a few decades ago being a homosexual was a criminal offense in most western countries. In some societies it still is. In other societies so-called "honour killings" are still tolerated. How can morality be objective when it is so obviously society-specific and evolving over time?

Those points could be argued that it is more a failing of human empathy than that morality is subjective. Empathy (NOT religion) would have shown these were immoral.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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5/26/2016 1:56:33 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

Atheists have no sociopolitical identity, Izbo. Atheism is a theological category and not a philosophy or culture, (although there are nontheistic philosophies.) If atheists have common cause, I'd suggest that it's really the same cause every human has:

1) To be treated with dignity;
2) The intellectual freedoms of inquiry, opinion, expression and association;
3) The freedom worship or not, as we choose;
4) To be treated equally, and not to be marginalised, vilified or persecuted just for disagreement or dissent;
5) Not to be lied to by power;
6) To test claims of authority for validity and veracity; and
7) To challenge power when authority is claimed on false or illegitimate bases.

Those aren't rights applying just to atheists, but to every law-abiding person of good will.

With that said, I agree with everything else. If one claims morality is subjective, then one can abandon those rights and all other rights as optional, and one must forfeit any justification for defending the rights of others. If one asserts those or any other rights as universal, then one needs an objective basis from which to do so.

And I agree, it's not hard to provide that basis.
izbo35
Posts: 27
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5/26/2016 1:59:40 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 1:56:33 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

Atheists have no sociopolitical identity, Izbo. Atheism is a theological category and not a philosophy or culture, (although there are nontheistic philosophies.) If atheists have common cause, I'd suggest that it's really the same cause every human has:

1) To be treated with dignity;
2) The intellectual freedoms of inquiry, opinion, expression and association;
3) The freedom worship or not, as we choose;
4) To be treated equally, and not to be marginalised, vilified or persecuted just for disagreement or dissent;
5) Not to be lied to by power;
6) To test claims of authority for validity and veracity; and
7) To challenge power when authority is claimed on false or illegitimate bases.

Those aren't rights applying just to atheists, but to every law-abiding person of good will.

With that said, I agree with everything else. If one claims morality is subjective, then one can abandon those rights and all other rights as optional, and one must forfeit any justification for defending the rights of others. If one asserts those or any other rights as universal, then one needs an objective basis from which to do so.

And I agree, it's not hard to provide that basis.

I agree that atheism is only a lack of belief in god, but there is no denying that theists try to lump things like having no morality into it and this type of thinking only helps that cause. Atheism doesn't have anything to do with morals, i am just pointing out that we do have a basis for morality.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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5/26/2016 2:09:53 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 1:59:40 AM, izbo35 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:56:33 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.
Atheists have no sociopolitical identity, Izbo.
I agree that atheism is only a lack of belief in god, but there is no denying that theists try to lump things like having no morality into it
Yes: they do it with each other too. Religious nationalism is the mother of religious bigotry.

this type of thinking only helps that cause.
Yes. Bigots will find any excuse -- both in what you say, and what you don't. But ultimately you can't alter bigotry through reason because it wasn't reasonable to start with. All you can do is reveal its corruption and ignorance so that others will condemn it too.

Atheism doesn't have anything to do with morals, i am just pointing out that we do have a basis for morality.
Yes, because all humans do, regardless of faith or cultural identity. The only substantive difference between the foundations of religious and irreligious morality is that irreligious morality isn't built on a doctrine of superstitious greed and fear.
izbo35
Posts: 27
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5/26/2016 2:14:12 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 2:09:53 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:59:40 AM, izbo35 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:56:33 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.
Atheists have no sociopolitical identity, Izbo.
I agree that atheism is only a lack of belief in god, but there is no denying that theists try to lump things like having no morality into it
Yes: they do it with each other too. Religious nationalism is the mother of religious bigotry.

this type of thinking only helps that cause.
Yes. Bigots will find any excuse -- both in what you say, and what you don't. But ultimately you can't alter bigotry through reason because it wasn't reasonable to start with. All you can do is reveal its corruption and ignorance so that others will condemn it too.

Atheism doesn't have anything to do with morals, i am just pointing out that we do have a basis for morality.
Yes, because all humans do, regardless of faith or cultural identity. The only substantive difference between the foundations of religious and irreligious morality is that irreligious morality isn't built on a doctrine of superstitious greed and fear.

Religion hurts peoples morals by changing it from actually benefiting society to what does god want and isnce their is no god, it is what does a book written by people living 1000's of years ago say. That discounts progress in understanding what is beneficial.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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5/26/2016 2:19:55 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 2:14:12 AM, izbo35 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 2:09:53 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
The only substantive difference between the foundations of religious and irreligious morality is that irreligious morality isn't built on a doctrine of superstitious greed and fear.
Religion hurts peoples morals by changing it from actually benefiting society to what does god want and isnce their is no god, it is what does a book written by people living 1000's of years ago say. That discounts progress in understanding what is beneficial.
Yes. Doctrine can blind people -- but that's also true of irreligious doctrines, since the benefit of morality is its effect, not the validation of its ideology. We can find cruelty and injustice in capitalism and socialism for example, even though they're not religious ideologies.

On the other hand, like any other cultural expression, religious stories can also inspire people and provoke insightful thought. Therefore it's not that religious thought itself is wrong, so much as the authorities claimed for it are wrong.

Or put another way: religion as culture isn't wrong. Presuppositional theology is wrong.
izbo35
Posts: 27
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5/26/2016 2:24:15 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 2:19:55 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 5/26/2016 2:14:12 AM, izbo35 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 2:09:53 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
The only substantive difference between the foundations of religious and irreligious morality is that irreligious morality isn't built on a doctrine of superstitious greed and fear.
Religion hurts peoples morals by changing it from actually benefiting society to what does god want and isnce their is no god, it is what does a book written by people living 1000's of years ago say. That discounts progress in understanding what is beneficial.
Yes. Doctrine can blind people -- but that's also true of irreligious doctrines, since the benefit of morality is its effect, not the validation of its ideology. We can find cruelty and injustice in capitalism and socialism for example, even though they're not religious ideologies.

On the other hand, like any other cultural expression, religious stories can also inspire people and provoke insightful thought. Therefore it's not that religious thought itself is wrong, so much as the authorities claimed for it are wrong.

Or put another way: religion as culture isn't wrong. Presuppositional theology is wrong.

I disagree religious thought is wrong, we are a species that survives not because we are the strongest, biggest or fastest. We are the smartest and i want everyone as educated as possible and told hold onto primitive religious beliefs doesn't do that. It gives you false beliefs and when you believe something true you generally don't think you need to find the actual answer. Religion is a hinder to morals and society in general and I fail to see anything religion can give that we cant do without it.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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5/26/2016 2:38:03 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 2:24:15 AM, izbo35 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 2:19:55 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 5/26/2016 2:14:12 AM, izbo35 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 2:09:53 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
The only substantive difference between the foundations of religious and irreligious morality is that irreligious morality isn't built on a doctrine of superstitious greed and fear.
Religion hurts peoples morals by changing it from actually benefiting society to what does god want and isnce their is no god, it is what does a book written by people living 1000's of years ago say. That discounts progress in understanding what is beneficial.
Yes. Doctrine can blind people -- but that's also true of irreligious doctrines, since the benefit of morality is its effect, not the validation of its ideology. We can find cruelty and injustice in capitalism and socialism for example, even though they're not religious ideologies.
On the other hand, like any other cultural expression, religious stories can also inspire people and provoke insightful thought. Therefore it's not that religious thought itself is wrong, so much as the authorities claimed for it are wrong.
Or put another way: religion as culture isn't wrong. Presuppositional theology is wrong.
Religion is a hinder to morals and society in general and I fail to see anything religion can give that we cant do without it.
I've never seen anything religion offers that a modern society needs either, but it's also true that we don't need G-strings, fast food or Justin Bieber.

The Bible is full of falsehood, bad advice, stories of dubious moral point, and some fair advice that needs updating. However it's only a cultural artefact, and none of it is evil until someone comes along and tells you that God wrote it, and you have to live by it, now and forever.

It's obsessive superstitions that do the harm, and theological presupposition is an obsessive superstition.
ken1122
Posts: 482
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5/26/2016 4:03:00 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals.

Absurd. Morality isn"t subjective because I say it is, it"s subjective because according to the definition of subjective and objective, it fits under the category of subjective.
http://www.diffen.com...

To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral.

No. Subjective simply means it can"t be proven as fact. Can you prove as fact what Hitler did was immoral? I think not.

We know this to be false. We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this. Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something.

Whaaattt???? Give an example of " morality not lining up with words used to describe something. I'm sorry but that makes no sense at all.

The reason actions like stealing, killing, lying, are subjective moral actions is because interpretation and extenuating circumstances are taken into consideration when deciding if those actions are good or bad.

One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time.

But behavior X never happens the exact same way every single time. That"s why extenuating circumstances are to be taken into consideration when determining if behavior "X" is good or bad.
It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

It isn"t about promoting a cause, it"s about establishing the truth. Math, measurements, physical realities are objective.
Beliefs, opinions, views, are subjective.

Ken
Logic_Not_Ignorance
Posts: 101
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5/26/2016 4:25:34 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals. To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral. We know this to be false. We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this.

Just to clarify, here. I am an atheist, and we do have morals (for the most part). There are situations, though, where morals can differ. Let's say that there is a scientific experiment that requires a human subject. We don't know how the experiment will effect the human, but we do know that the results will benefit the rest of humanity. Is it moral or ethical to put the person through possibly horrible suffering? What if the person doesn't even know that they are being experimented on? Some say no, as it is unethical and immoral to put a conscious being through something like that, especially if the being isn't aware that they are in danger. Some, however say that it is moral, as it will benefit more people than it will hurt. Morals are (I believe) just a balance between logic and emotion. Hitler had some logic (very twisted logic) for his hate of the Jews. He believed that they were an inferior race, that they caused Germany to lose WWI, and they caused the depression that Germany. He also brought in some very powerful emotions (mostly hate). There was still morality, but it was twisted due to twisted emotions and false logic.

I am in NO WAY condoning or justifying what Hitler did or believed. It is just an example. What he did was twisted, wrong, and fueled by ignorance and hate. There is only one good, that is knowledge; there is only one evil, that is ignorance - Aristotle

I believe that morals differ from person to person. A more logical person will have different morals from an emotional person. Atheists tend to be more on the logical side (from my experience), so their morals will differ from a more emotional religious person's (again, my experience). This does not mean that either set of morals is wrong. Emotion helps us to keep our humanity and feel for each other, which is necessary for social animals like humans. Logic helps us advance as a species and gain more knowledge, which is also necessary for the survival of the species. These are just my beliefs. End of rant.

Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something. One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time. It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.
Outplayz
Posts: 1,274
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5/26/2016 4:56:55 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 4:25:34 AM, Logic_Not_Ignorance wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals. To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral. We know this to be false. We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this.

Just to clarify, here. I am an atheist, and we do have morals (for the most part). There are situations, though, where morals can differ. Let's say that there is a scientific experiment that requires a human subject. We don't know how the experiment will effect the human, but we do know that the results will benefit the rest of humanity. Is it moral or ethical to put the person through possibly horrible suffering? What if the person doesn't even know that they are being experimented on? Some say no, as it is unethical and immoral to put a conscious being through something like that, especially if the being isn't aware that they are in danger. Some, however say that it is moral, as it will benefit more people than it will hurt. Morals are (I believe) just a balance between logic and emotion. Hitler had some logic (very twisted logic) for his hate of the Jews. He believed that they were an inferior race, that they caused Germany to lose WWI, and they caused the depression that Germany. He also brought in some very powerful emotions (mostly hate). There was still morality, but it was twisted due to twisted emotions and false logic.

I am in NO WAY condoning or justifying what Hitler did or believed. It is just an example. What he did was twisted, wrong, and fueled by ignorance and hate. There is only one good, that is knowledge; there is only one evil, that is ignorance - Aristotle

I believe that morals differ from person to person. A more logical person will have different morals from an emotional person. Atheists tend to be more on the logical side (from my experience), so their morals will differ from a more emotional religious person's (again, my experience). This does not mean that either set of morals is wrong. Emotion helps us to keep our humanity and feel for each other, which is necessary for social animals like humans. Logic helps us advance as a species and gain more knowledge, which is also necessary for the survival of the species. These are just my beliefs. End of rant.

Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something. One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time. It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

I liked your beliefs and agree with most, except the experiment example... why hide it from the person, that makes it unethical and immoral in my opinion. There are enough people on this planet, and i can say confidently, for fact, someone would give their lives willingly to benefit the rest of humanity - even if painful. So... i don't understand why you would hide an intent of experimentation to save humanity such as your example gives - that would be immoral.

I can only see this maybe viable under a zombie apocalypse type of scenario, in which, one person has the cure but need to be eaten by a zombie to spread it... now... if this person was moral them self, they may just do it (especially under the situation), but lets say they didn't want to... in a way, you can argue they are being selfish, but that doesn't really matter bc they will be the one to have to feel the pain of being eaten alive... it is still up to them. But... i am sure, as a group, we would throw the poor guy or girl to the zombies to save humanity ... but, i wouldn't in the end of the day feel good about it or think that it was the moral thing to do... both logically and emotionally; i would agree i did something immoral. Everything else would just be a trick to your mind to deal with it... like, they were being selfish, they were being unemphatic and so on.

I think in your examples you were going the two extremes: Logical or emotional... I really liked that, but i think, and i am just asserting this with no evidence, that the best morality can be found in someone with both traits balanced. This person would just simply be superior in their morality to the ... for example, scientists that logically feel torture is the answer, with no emotion behind it... i find this unemphatic form of morality a bit sub-human and a contribution to human suffering.
POPOO5560
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5/26/2016 6:04:37 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals. To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral. We know this to be false. We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this. Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something. One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time. It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

at the bottom of their hearts they know there is no morality. what u think is good would be good. there r no facts in this matter. they have a laugh when they try to justify "morality" by collective what is beneficial to everybody and stuff.. but the truth is everybody have its own world. what u consider is good will be good and vice versa. until they admit it religious ppl wont admit it also. they both got brainwashed by stuff what is true/good or not. psychology at best!
Never fart near dog
dee-em
Posts: 6,475
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5/26/2016 6:50:56 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 1:26:24 AM, izbo35 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:22:39 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals. To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral. We know this to be false. We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this. Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something. One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time. It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

Not subjective in the sense of the individual but subjective to the society in which one is raised. A century or two ago you could have owned a slave. Only a few decades ago being a homosexual was a criminal offense in most western countries. In some societies it still is. In other societies so-called "honour killings" are still tolerated. How can morality be objective when it is so obviously society-specific and evolving over time?

Because we learned from past immoral actions.

Nonsense. Those actions have become immoral only by present day standards and that supports the view that morality is subjective.

In the past doctors thought freezing people with teberculous was a way to help them. It doesn't make health subjective, it just means they were wrong and we learned from it, same here.

Not the same at all. Medicine is an evidence-based science. Morality is not, it is simply a consensus positionby reached by a society.
dee-em
Posts: 6,475
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5/26/2016 7:04:01 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 1:32:07 AM, matt8800 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:22:39 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals. To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral. We know this to be false. We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this. Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something. One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time. It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

Not subjective in the sense of the individual but subjective to the society in which one is raised. A century or two ago you could have owned a slave. Only a few decades ago being a homosexual was a criminal offense in most western countries. In some societies it still is. In other societies so-called "honour killings" are still tolerated. How can morality be objective when it is so obviously society-specific and evolving over time?

Those points could be argued that it is more a failing of human empathy than that morality is subjective. Empathy (NOT religion) would have shown these were immoral.

If human empathy should be the basis of morality, how do you explain the lack of it in the examples I gave? The majority of people seemed quite comfortable with what we now consider to be immoral. Since the ability to feel empathy varies from individual to individual and society to society (by place and time), aren't you agreeing with me that morality is subjective?
izbo35
Posts: 27
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5/26/2016 11:00:33 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 7:04:01 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:32:07 AM, matt8800 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:22:39 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals. To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral. We know this to be false. We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this. Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something. One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time. It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

Not subjective in the sense of the individual but subjective to the society in which one is raised. A century or two ago you could have owned a slave. Only a few decades ago being a homosexual was a criminal offense in most western countries. In some societies it still is. In other societies so-called "honour killings" are still tolerated. How can morality be objective when it is so obviously society-specific and evolving over time?

Those points could be argued that it is more a failing of human empathy than that morality is subjective. Empathy (NOT religion) would have shown these were immoral.

If human empathy should be the basis of morality, how do you explain the lack of it in the examples I gave? The majority of people seemed quite comfortable with what we now consider to be immoral. Since the ability to feel empathy varies from individual to individual and society to society (by place and time), aren't you agreeing with me that morality is subjective?

Morality is very much evidence based, we can judge evidence on whether something is harmful or helpful to our main goal of survival. Slavery was not and is not benefical, so it was immoral then they just didn't understand it. Now, for the example of the experiment, people may have different thoughts on what the moral and immoral thing to do is, but one side is going to be right and the other side is going to be wrong based on evidence. We can go and say it is immoral or moral for reasons x,y, and z.
PureX
Posts: 1,528
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5/26/2016 12:26:05 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
Morality is both objective and subjective at the same time. As anyone with an understanding of reality would expect.

Moral codes of behavior are based on ethical imperatives. And those imperatives are derived from the needs and desires of the human collective (objective imperatives) and the needs and desires of the human individual within the collective (subjective imperatives). And we humans are constantly trying to find the proper balance between these two imperatives when they conflict.

Religions can be a positive in this regard to the degree that they help us empathize with each other's suffering, needs, and desires. However, religion can be a negative to the degree that they try to impose ethical and moral imperatives that only serve themselves (as is very often the case).

Morality and ethics have little to do with atheism because atheism is simply the rejection of theism, and not the rejection of ethical or moral imperatives, objective or subjective. And when religionists claim that atheist are inherently immoral or unethical simply because they deny the existence of gods, they are both lying, and slandering others, out of their own religious ignorance and bigotry. Which is, itself, an immoral and unethical act.
Logic_Not_Ignorance
Posts: 101
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5/26/2016 1:22:32 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 4:56:55 AM, Outplayz wrote:
At 5/26/2016 4:25:34 AM, Logic_Not_Ignorance wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals. To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral. We know this to be false. We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this.

Just to clarify, here. I am an atheist, and we do have morals (for the most part). There are situations, though, where morals can differ. Let's say that there is a scientific experiment that requires a human subject. We don't know how the experiment will effect the human, but we do know that the results will benefit the rest of humanity. Is it moral or ethical to put the person through possibly horrible suffering? What if the person doesn't even know that they are being experimented on? Some say no, as it is unethical and immoral to put a conscious being through something like that, especially if the being isn't aware that they are in danger. Some, however say that it is moral, as it will benefit more people than it will hurt. Morals are (I believe) just a balance between logic and emotion. Hitler had some logic (very twisted logic) for his hate of the Jews. He believed that they were an inferior race, that they caused Germany to lose WWI, and they caused the depression that Germany. He also brought in some very powerful emotions (mostly hate). There was still morality, but it was twisted due to twisted emotions and false logic.

I am in NO WAY condoning or justifying what Hitler did or believed. It is just an example. What he did was twisted, wrong, and fueled by ignorance and hate. There is only one good, that is knowledge; there is only one evil, that is ignorance - Aristotle

I believe that morals differ from person to person. A more logical person will have different morals from an emotional person. Atheists tend to be more on the logical side (from my experience), so their morals will differ from a more emotional religious person's (again, my experience). This does not mean that either set of morals is wrong. Emotion helps us to keep our humanity and feel for each other, which is necessary for social animals like humans. Logic helps us advance as a species and gain more knowledge, which is also necessary for the survival of the species. These are just my beliefs. End of rant.

Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something. One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time. It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

I liked your beliefs and agree with most, except the experiment example... why hide it from the person, that makes it unethical and immoral in my opinion. There are enough people on this planet, and i can say confidently, for fact, someone would give their lives willingly to benefit the rest of humanity - even if painful. So... i don't understand why you would hide an intent of experimentation to save humanity such as your example gives - that would be immoral.

I can only see this maybe viable under a zombie apocalypse type of scenario, in which, one person has the cure but need to be eaten by a zombie to spread it... now... if this person was moral them self, they may just do it (especially under the situation), but lets say they didn't want to... in a way, you can argue they are being selfish, but that doesn't really matter bc they will be the one to have to feel the pain of being eaten alive... it is still up to them. But... i am sure, as a group, we would throw the poor guy or girl to the zombies to save humanity ... but, i wouldn't in the end of the day feel good about it or think that it was the moral thing to do... both logically and emotionally; i would agree i did something immoral. Everything else would just be a trick to your mind to deal with it... like, they were being selfish, they were being unemphatic and so on.

I think in your examples you were going the two extremes: Logical or emotional... I really liked that, but i think, and i am just asserting this with no evidence, that the best morality can be found in someone with both traits balanced. This person would just simply be superior in their morality to the ... for example, scientists that logically feel torture is the answer, with no emotion behind it... i find this unemphatic form of morality a bit sub-human and a contribution to human suffering.

Thank you for the feedback. I agree that morality is a balance between logic and emotion. The reason that my examples were to one extreme or the other was that it was just the easiest way for me to explain myself. Also, I like the zombie example. I would not feel good about throwing the person out. I'd be disturbed if anyone did. It would cause some emotional trauma, but I would still do it. It is the logical thing to do.
dee-em
Posts: 6,475
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5/26/2016 1:52:17 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 11:00:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 7:04:01 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:32:07 AM, matt8800 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:22:39 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals. To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral. We know this to be false. We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this. Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something. One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time. It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

Not subjective in the sense of the individual but subjective to the society in which one is raised. A century or two ago you could have owned a slave. Only a few decades ago being a homosexual was a criminal offense in most western countries. In some societies it still is. In other societies so-called "honour killings" are still tolerated. How can morality be objective when it is so obviously society-specific and evolving over time?

Those points could be argued that it is more a failing of human empathy than that morality is subjective. Empathy (NOT religion) would have shown these were immoral.

If human empathy should be the basis of morality, how do you explain the lack of it in the examples I gave? The majority of people seemed quite comfortable with what we now consider to be immoral. Since the ability to feel empathy varies from individual to individual and society to society (by place and time), aren't you agreeing with me that morality is subjective?

Morality is very much evidence based, we can judge evidence on whether something is harmful or helpful to our main goal of survival.

Who does the judging? If judging is required, how can it be objective?

Here's an example. In China the peasants would often kill female babies:

https://en.wikipedia.org...

Please explain how this practice of female infanticide (not confined to just China) was harmful or helpful to the main goal of survival.

Slavery was not and is not benefical, ...

I'm afraid that the plantation owners in America would not have agreed with you. They found it very beneficial. The slaves would have found it less so, granted.

... so it was immoral then they just didn't understand it.

That's a little naive, looking at it with your 21st century eyes. Back then they considered black people to be subhuman so the question of empathy and morality did not arise. If morality is objective, how could they have failed to understand?

Now, for the example of the experiment, people may have different thoughts on what the moral and immoral thing to do is, but one side is going to be right and the other side is going to be wrong based on evidence.

Really? Show me the evidence for marriage equality and how it is clear-cut that one side is wrong and the other is right. If such evidence existed this issue would have been resolved long ago. Instead it has been a long slow process to change the hearts and minds of the general population. It's what I have been saying all along - morality evolves one step at a time. That being the case, how could it possibly be objective?

We can go and say it is immoral or moral for reasons x,y, and z.

Sure. However objective morality would not require reasons or persuasion. It would just be self-evident fact and there would be no argument.
ethang5
Posts: 4,104
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5/26/2016 2:06:13 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 1:29:55 AM, izbo35 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:28:23 AM, matt8800 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals. To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral. We know this to be false. We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this. Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something. One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time. It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

Morality should be determined with logic fueled by empathy. We know what is going to cause pain or joy to others. Since we all share a collective experience, morality can be considered objective.

Empathy is a much better determinant than religion. Religion does a poor job of establishing morality.

It does, in the case of christianity it actually takes away 2000+ years of new information and bases it on a primitive book and hence why religion is harmful.

This is irrational. Morality is worked out on principles. True principles do not change. For example, how many years of "new information" will it take to make, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" untrue?

Do you know of any foundational moral principle which has changed in the last 2,000 years due to "new information".

People who say, "Christianity takes away 2000+ years of new information and hence is harmful" show they do not know what either morality or Christianity are.
ethang5
Posts: 4,104
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5/26/2016 2:17:53 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 4:03:00 AM, ken1122 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:

I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals.

Absurd. Morality isn"t subjective because I say it is, it"s subjective because according to the definition of subjective and objective, it fits under the category of subjective.
http://www.diffen.com...

Ok, so morality is whatever we define it as?

To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral.

No. Subjective simply means it can"t be proven as fact. Can you prove as fact what Hitler did was immoral? I think not.

We know this to be false.

How? And the people who think otherwise? How are they "wrong"?

We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this.

Hitler and his gang, in fact, at the time, most of Germany, thought Hitler's program would cause benefit to them. And it would have had he won.

Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something.

Whaaattt???? Give an example of " morality not lining up with words used to describe something. I'm sorry but that makes no sense at all.

The reason actions like stealing, killing, lying, are subjective moral actions is because interpretation and extenuating circumstances are taken into consideration when deciding if those actions are good or bad.

Thank you! Now someone please tell atheists this.

One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time.

But behavior X never happens the exact same way every single time. That"s why extenuating circumstances are to be taken into consideration when determining if behavior "X" is good or bad.

You are an atheist. How come you know this and not one other atheist on this site seems to know it?

It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

Noooo! Let them continue. We win just about every objective morality argument here. The atheists don't seem to mind. They don't even seem to be aware.

It isn"t about promoting a cause, it"s about establishing the truth. Math, measurements, physical realities are objective.
Beliefs, opinions, views, are subjective.

Ken

Very good post Ken.
Benshapiro
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5/26/2016 2:40:06 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
"Objective morality" per the definition commonly used in philosophy cannot be true if atheism is true.
matt8800
Posts: 2,077
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5/26/2016 3:47:19 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 7:04:01 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:32:07 AM, matt8800 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:22:39 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals. To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral. We know this to be false. We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this. Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something. One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time. It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

Not subjective in the sense of the individual but subjective to the society in which one is raised. A century or two ago you could have owned a slave. Only a few decades ago being a homosexual was a criminal offense in most western countries. In some societies it still is. In other societies so-called "honour killings" are still tolerated. How can morality be objective when it is so obviously society-specific and evolving over time?

Those points could be argued that it is more a failing of human empathy than that morality is subjective. Empathy (NOT religion) would have shown these were immoral.

If human empathy should be the basis of morality, how do you explain the lack of it in the examples I gave? The majority of people seemed quite comfortable with what we now consider to be immoral. Since the ability to feel empathy varies from individual to individual and society to society (by place and time), aren't you agreeing with me that morality is subjective?

I see a lack of morality in the examples you gave but I also see a lack of empathy. I'm not saying that everyone has empathy naturally. We know that sociopaths lack empathy.

I wouldn't categorically say that all slave owners were completely devoid of empathy but I would say that whatever empathy they had, it was not enough. Empathy is the ability to look out of someone else's eyes, to feel what they feel and to care about their experience.

If everyone on this planet had the empathy we wished they had, would we have to teach them morality? Can you think of an example of an immoral act in which empathy for others would not have fixed?

Tribalism can dampen empathy but wouldn't you say real empathy transcends tribalism? If it doesn't, how can it still be called empathy?

There are Christians on this site that state it was perfectly moral for God's people to rape virgins they kidnaped from neighboring peoples. Even in this example, religion is telling them what is moral but wouldn't a person with deep sense of empathy choose not to participate in such acts anyway?
Outplayz
Posts: 1,274
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5/26/2016 8:26:20 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 1:22:32 PM, Logic_Not_Ignorance wrote:
At 5/26/2016 4:56:55 AM, Outplayz wrote:
At 5/26/2016 4:25:34 AM, Logic_Not_Ignorance wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:

Thank you for the feedback. I agree that morality is a balance between logic and emotion. The reason that my examples were to one extreme or the other was that it was just the easiest way for me to explain myself. Also, I like the zombie example. I would not feel good about throwing the person out. I'd be disturbed if anyone did. It would cause some emotional trauma, but I would still do it. It is the logical thing to do.

I understand, that is why i liked your response in the way that you used the two extremes. I would be glad to have you on my zombie team... to much emotion would kill you, too much logic would just be shady, but the balance is where it is at... and, yeah, i would throw the person to the zombies too. lol.
dee-em
Posts: 6,475
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5/27/2016 12:09:56 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 3:47:19 PM, matt8800 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 7:04:01 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:32:07 AM, matt8800 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:22:39 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals. To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral. We know this to be false. We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this. Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something. One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time. It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

Not subjective in the sense of the individual but subjective to the society in which one is raised. A century or two ago you could have owned a slave. Only a few decades ago being a homosexual was a criminal offense in most western countries. In some societies it still is. In other societies so-called "honour killings" are still tolerated. How can morality be objective when it is so obviously society-specific and evolving over time?

Those points could be argued that it is more a failing of human empathy than that morality is subjective. Empathy (NOT religion) would have shown these were immoral.

If human empathy should be the basis of morality, how do you explain the lack of it in the examples I gave? The majority of people seemed quite comfortable with what we now consider to be immoral. Since the ability to feel empathy varies from individual to individual and society to society (by place and time), aren't you agreeing with me that morality is subjective?

I see a lack of morality in the examples you gave but I also see a lack of empathy. I'm not saying that everyone has empathy naturally. We know that sociopaths lack empathy.

I wouldn't categorically say that all slave owners were completely devoid of empathy but I would say that whatever empathy they had, it was not enough. Empathy is the ability to look out of someone else's eyes, to feel what they feel and to care about their experience.

Which makes it subjective, right?

If everyone on this planet had the empathy we wished they had, would we have to teach them morality? Can you think of an example of an immoral act in which empathy for others would not have fixed?

The point is that empathy is a subjective thing. You can't mandate a level of empathy for everyone.

Tribalism can dampen empathy but wouldn't you say real empathy transcends tribalism? If it doesn't, how can it still be called empathy?

Real empathy? No true Scotsman? If you can have a society where empathy is not felt towards one section of the population then it is not felt no matter how much you, with your modern understanding of morality, would wish that it were otherwise. Is it immoral to eat red meat? Today only a minority would say it is. One of your future descendants in 200 years may look back at this time and make similar comments to what you are expounding now. Where is our empathy with our fellow mammalian travellers in the journey of life? Morality has evolved over time and will continue to evolve. Given this fact, I fail to see how it could be objective.

There are Christians on this site that state it was perfectly moral for God's people to rape virgins they kidnaped from neighboring peoples. Even in this example, religion is telling them what is moral but wouldn't a person with deep sense of empathy choose not to participate in such acts anyway?

Soldiers in ancient times were usually conscripted from other occupations. They needed incentives to fight. Those incentives were the spoils of war - land, gold and silver, food, slaves and, yes, the rape of any female survivors. This was the norm and no-one really questioned it. The issue of empathy fof the victims never arose. You did to them before they could do it to you. You are looking at it with 21st century eyes and trying to impose your understanding of morality on a culture which was not ready for it. Civilization had to progress before such practices could be outlawed by international law.

The fact that the Bible reflects the practices of the culture at the time is no surprise. It was written by men of the time. Christians would like to have their cake and eat it too. On the one hand they assert that morality is objective coming from God. On the other hand they have to somehow apologise for the barbaric morality (by modern standards) often displayed in the Bible. I, and most reasonable people, find it an absurd position. If morality were objective then it could not change, by definition. They should either agree that Bible morality does not come from God or practice, to the letter, what is written in the Bible. Anything else is dishonest.
matt8800
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5/27/2016 12:21:28 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/27/2016 12:09:56 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/26/2016 3:47:19 PM, matt8800 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 7:04:01 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:32:07 AM, matt8800 wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:22:39 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/26/2016 1:05:33 AM, izbo35 wrote:
I have been to many places where atheists claim that morality is subjective. As an atheist i find this to be naive at best and actually gives credibility to the argument that theists often say atheists don't have morals. To be subjective one must agree that someones opinion that hitler is the most moral person ever, is on the same ground as someone who says hitler was very immoral. We know this to be false. We get our morality from the species being a self interested species and can judge things very objectively based on whether it causes harm or beneifit to this. Some atheists argue well not all murder is wrong or not all stealing is wrong. Yes, that may be true but the reason isn't that it is subjective it is just morals don't line up with the words we use to describe something. One act of stealing is very different from another. The way to get if it is objective or not is if we determine that stealing (we will call situation x) is always wrong if it happened the exact same way every time. It doesn't matter if y is right or wrong that is a totally different scenario that includes stealing. It is time atheists realize they are hurting their cause and not thinking below surface level if they say morals are subjective.

Not subjective in the sense of the individual but subjective to the society in which one is raised. A century or two ago you could have owned a slave. Only a few decades ago being a homosexual was a criminal offense in most western countries. In some societies it still is. In other societies so-called "honour killings" are still tolerated. How can morality be objective when it is so obviously society-specific and evolving over time?

Those points could be argued that it is more a failing of human empathy than that morality is subjective. Empathy (NOT religion) would have shown these were immoral.

If human empathy should be the basis of morality, how do you explain the lack of it in the examples I gave? The majority of people seemed quite comfortable with what we now consider to be immoral. Since the ability to feel empathy varies from individual to individual and society to society (by place and time), aren't you agreeing with me that morality is subjective?

I see a lack of morality in the examples you gave but I also see a lack of empathy. I'm not saying that everyone has empathy naturally. We know that sociopaths lack empathy.

I wouldn't categorically say that all slave owners were completely devoid of empathy but I would say that whatever empathy they had, it was not enough. Empathy is the ability to look out of someone else's eyes, to feel what they feel and to care about their experience.

Which makes it subjective, right?

If everyone on this planet had the empathy we wished they had, would we have to teach them morality? Can you think of an example of an immoral act in which empathy for others would not have fixed?

The point is that empathy is a subjective thing. You can't mandate a level of empathy for everyone.

Tribalism can dampen empathy but wouldn't you say real empathy transcends tribalism? If it doesn't, how can it still be called empathy?

Real empathy? No true Scotsman? If you can have a society where empathy is not felt towards one section of the population then it is not felt no matter how much you, with your modern understanding of morality, would wish that it were otherwise. Is it immoral to eat red meat? Today only a minority would say it is. One of your future descendants in 200 years may look back at this time and make similar comments to what you are expounding now. Where is our empathy with our fellow mammalian travellers in the journey of life? Morality has evolved over time and will continue to evolve. Given this fact, I fail to see how it could be objective.

There are Christians on this site that state it was perfectly moral for God's people to rape virgins they kidnaped from neighboring peoples. Even in this example, religion is telling them what is moral but wouldn't a person with deep sense of empathy choose not to participate in such acts anyway?

Soldiers in ancient times were usually conscripted from other occupations. They needed incentives to fight. Those incentives were the spoils of war - land, gold and silver, food, slaves and, yes, the rape of any female survivors. This was the norm and no-one really questioned it. The issue of empathy fof the victims never arose. You did to them before they could do it to you. You are looking at it with 21st century eyes and trying to impose your understanding of morality on a culture which was not ready for it. Civilization had to progress before such practices could be outlawed by international law.

The fact that the Bible reflects the practices of the culture at the time is no surprise. It was written by men of the time. Christians would like to have their cake and eat it too. On the one hand they assert that morality is objective coming from God. On the other hand they have to somehow apologise for the barbaric morality (by modern standards) often displayed in the Bible. I, and most reasonable people, find it an absurd position. If morality were objective then it could not change, by definition. They should either agree that Bible morality does not come from God or practice, to the letter, what is written in the Bible. Anything else is dishonest.

I am not stating whether people should or should not have empathy. I am merely stating that if everyone in a particular society had a highly developed sense of empathy, I think it might be likely they might conduct themselves in a way that they would all agree to be "moral" without having to be taught was should be moral. Would you agree that if everyone had the same idea of subjective morality that it would, in effect, be the same as objective morality in many ways?

Regarding empathy and morality, there have been many wartime incidences in which some soldiers treated enemy individuals with empathy whereas other soldiers did not. While rape of women in wartime might have been widely accepted, I think it would be a reasonable statement to say that probably not all soldiers participated.