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  1. #51
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Well, I think we developed morality because it was evolutionarily adaptive for us to regard certain behaviors as more ethical than others, because this facilitated trust and a peaceful coexistence that promoted mutually beneficial and productive cooperation rather than mindless competition.

    If you disregard these instincts, and do not care about the well-being of others, or how you'll be treated by others for breaking these rules without the concept of a God... then I suppose we're all lucky that you believe in one. That doesn't make God real, it just means that if we need to make up stories about a reward in heaven to keep you line... it's better to have you believe the story so you will stay in line, now isn't it?

    So you see, religion being true may not be necessary for us to have a moral basis, but it's possible that, for some people, the belief in it might be.

    I don't actually believe that there's an inherent morality in the universe... I believe that human beings see things in moral terms, but that the universe itself is completely amoral. Morality is something that we have invented for our own comfort and benefit as a species. The first person to invent it, probably also invented religion as an excuse to make people adhere to it.

  2. #52
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Because you do care. You're here discussing it. You're asking particles a question about particles. Are some particles more trustworthy than others?
    Ah, but the world I live in didn't happen by chance... it was created. That makes all the difference.

  3. #53
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Well, I think we developed morality because it was evolutionarily adaptive for us to regard certain behaviors as more ethical than others, because this facilitated trust and a peaceful coexistence the promoted cooperation rather than mindless competition.

    If you disregard these instincts, and do not care about the well-being of others, or how you'll be treated by others for breaking these rules without the concept of a God... then I suppose we're all lucky that you believe in one. That doesn't make God real, it just means that if we need to make up stories about a reward in heaven to keep you line... it's better to have you believe the story so you will stay in line, now isn't it?
    Oh, come on... all I'm asking is for the materialists to connect all the dots for me. It should be a trivial exercise, considering how vital a question hinges upon it.

  4. #54
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Ah, but the world I live in didn't happen by chance... it was created. That makes all the difference.
    Irrelevant. You only presume it was created, but this point cannot be known. It has no place in the discussion. We would be better off working entirely in the known. Our explanations are rooted in what is known. Knowledge is power.

  5. #55
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    It's the random meandering of an accidental aggregation of particles. Why should I care?
    Because Human Being B could have shagged Human Being A and advanced the concept of "Human Being" in general? Love thy neighbor.. literally.

    Seriously though.. "Human Being" is a concept worth preserving over just one form of it. B needs to realize this. If he can not care about peaceful coexistence, then he does not care about the future of humanity.

    It gets complicated when there are "Human Beings A through Z", all disagreeing with each other. Sometimes it's necessary to take out Human Being M, for example, because he's bringing everyone down, halting progress in general.. but the stakes keep rising the more you do it.

  6. #56
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    If you disregard these instincts, and do not care about the well-being of others, or how you'll be treated by others for breaking these rules without the concept of a God... then I suppose we're all lucky that you believe in one. That doesn't make God real, it just means that if we need to make up stories about a reward in heaven to keep you line... it's better to have you believe the story so you will stay in line, now isn't it?
    So your premise is that basis of consensus morality should be enlightened self-interest? That morality serves us as a survival mechanism for societies?

    I would argue that a morality based on that premise is functionally different than a morality based on theism. In the former case, the individual can always justify breaking the moral code at the collective's expense, as long as he can get away with it. In the latter case, the Deity is always watching.

  7. #57
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    So your premise is that basis of consensus morality should be enlightened self-interest? That morality serves us as a survival mechanism for societies?

    I would argue that a morality based on that premise is functionally different than a morality based on theism. In the former case, the individual can always justify breaking the moral code at the collective's expense, as long as he can get away with it. In the latter case, the Deity is always watching.
    Morality IS a survival mechanism. If you absolutely cannot function, you risk endangering the human superorganism. This will not end well, because humans fight very, very hard. It is very likely that you will suffer more by opposing such a powerful entity. Best to just play by the rules as much as possible.

  8. #58
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    It's the random meandering of an accidental aggregation of particles. Why should I care?

    There are plenty of us who are socially responsible and respectful of culture without religion. My innate ethics do not require a creator to be useful and necessary. Life is not meaningless simply because I can't identify why it exists.

  9. #59
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Irrelevant. You only presume it was created, but this point cannot be known. It has no place in the discussion. We would be better off working entirely in the known. Our explanations are rooted in what is known. Knowledge is power.
    Hence the thought experiment, Bear. That's why I posited the question that way. With regard to the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Irrelevant. You only presume it was created, but this point cannot be known. It has no place in the discussion.
    ...I refer you to your own quote from earlier:

    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Easy. Humans decide what is right and what is wrong. We can use those big brains to make decisions.
    I am human. By your own declaration I have the power to decide, and I have decided that it does have a place in the discussion. My presumption of a Creator is no less credible than your presumption of the absense of a Creator (though much less fashionable, I confess).

  10. #60
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Hence the thought experiment, Bear. That's why I posited the question that way. With regard to the following:

    ...I refer you to your own quote from earlier:

    I am human. By your own declaration I have the power to decide, and I have decided that it does have a place in the discussion. My presumption of a Creator is no less credible than your presumption of the absense of a Creator (though much less fashionable, I confess).
    The creator is still just a flavor, a novel feature of the point of discussion (that would be morality)

    So, with this grand revelation of yours, you are now equipped to discuss the point of contention

    What is moral?

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