Morality

Discussions on a ranges of philosophical issues including the nature of truth and reality, personal identity, mind-body theories, epistemology, justification of beliefs, argumentation and logic, philosophy of religion, free will and determinism, etc.
Nils
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Re: Morality

Postby Nils » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:05 pm

Philip wrote:We could go around and round of the opposing viewpoints of what is moral and why, forever. Bottom line: "If" God exists (and ONLY "if") - the God of the Bible - then He IS the standard - as whatever He declares to be bad or evil is so. He Himself IS good, and can do no evil. If unbelievers don't agree that there is an objective morality based upon a God who sets the standards - then one will never convince them otherwise.

Of course, you can never convince an atheist that there is a God-based objective moral. Are you astonished?


But I think most people can agree on the terrible dangers posed by many whose only standard of morality is their own subjective view of it - those who don't even ponder the question or concern themselves beyond whatever they personally deem desirable actions for themselves, per their thoughts - whether they desire to murder for money or pursue bloodlust and genocide to acquire an empire.

You and others repeatedly say that societies based on a subjective moral, mostly secular societies, are more bloodthirsty then others. Do you have any statistical evidence?

Also you don't seem to understand that secular democratic societies often has higher morality than religious societies. The country that is the most secularised, Japan, has a murder rate per capita that is less than one tenth of that of USA. The North European countries are also highly secular and their murder rate is about one fifth of that of USA. There are other resources for acquiring a high morality than religion. There is the instinct that made us like to live in groups and living in groups requires that you treat the group members mainly as you want to be treated by them. If the group grows to a states there may be possibilities for a subgroup to take power but that is against the desire of the rest of the population. Belief in objective morality is not necessary. On the contrary, it may be used to empower a subgroup.

The best way to get a state that is good for as many of the citizens as possible is probably to have a democracy that is based on the same moral that is valid in small groups. Evolution has made us to fit to live in small groups, including giving us a fitting morality. Our moral is not arbitrary, a whims or just to chose flavour of ice cream. It is based on what is best for humans.

Nils

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Re: Morality

Postby Philip » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:25 pm

Philip wrote: We could go around and round of the opposing viewpoints of what is moral and why, forever. Bottom line: "If" God exists (and ONLY "if") - the God of the Bible - then He IS the standard - as whatever He declares to be bad or evil is so. He Himself IS good, and can do no evil. If unbelievers don't agree that there is an objective morality based upon a God who sets the standards - then one will never convince them otherwise.


Nils: Of course, you can never convince an atheist that there is a God-based objective moral. Are you astonished?


Why would that be surprising?

Philip: But I think most people can agree on the terrible dangers posed by many whose only standard of morality is their own subjective view of it - those who don't even ponder the question or concern themselves beyond whatever they personally deem desirable actions for themselves, per their thoughts - whether they desire to murder for money or pursue bloodlust and genocide to acquire an empire.


Nils: You and others repeatedly say that societies based on a subjective moral, mostly secular societies, are more bloodthirsty then others. Do you have any statistical evidence?


But that's not what I asserted, IS it???!!! I merely stated that we can see that "many" - clarified by noting I was speaking of those with sinister motives and actions unfetterer by any sense of a morality but what they PERSONALLY deem it should be. And my statement in no way means that people with a God-honoring / objective view of morality aren't capable of all manner of bad actions. But I would submit that you will find very few TRUE, practicing/believing Christians committing murder and mayhem. And, please distinguish between those merely CALLING themselves Christians and those who truly are trying to follow and honor God - because those actually trying to live Christian lives don't believe that there personal desires are the ultimate arbitrator of what is right and wrong - but what God says they are. However, others following non-Christian "gods" also base their morality upon what they believe their god would have them do. Of course, for some, that would include unthinkable acts committed in "honor" of their god. And yet, many very conscientious unbelieving people are nonetheless relatively moral in their conduct. But I'm only speaking of evil narcissists who have NO concept of any type of God or god-driven morality.

Nils: Also you don't seem to understand that secular democratic societies often has higher morality than religious societies.


And I would submit to you that democracy grew out of Christian influences, and thus those in such societies - even atheists - have absorbed culturally absorbed influences of Christian teachings. This would include much of Europe and the New World.

Nils: The country that is the most secularised, Japan, has a murder rate per capita that is less than one tenth of that of USA.


That is true. Now, compare Japan's overall murder and crime rate to that of practicing Christians - then you'll see the comparison is invalid. You'd also see similar in people following the relatively peaceful practices of most religions.

Nils: The North European countries are also highly secular and their murder rate is about one fifth of that of USA.


Still, those countries have absorbed the residue of Christianity. They also aren't armed to the teeth as we are. BTW, the US is mostly NOT a Christian nation - which is the point. I'm comparing those ONLY self-driven without respect to any God/god expected morality.

Nils: There are other resources for acquiring a high morality than religion. There is the instinct that made us like to live in groups and living in groups requires that you treat the group members mainly as you want to be treated by them.


Most western and even other nations are often highly influenced by their religions' teachings - even per those secular, following cultural norms and sensibilities.

Nils: Our moral is not arbitrary, a whims or just to chose flavour of ice cream. It is based on what is best for humans.


And so that is part of my point - as I'm not speaking of people who consider their fellow man, but those whose morality is unconcerned with such - with a personal morality that is only concerned with what THEY, personally desire - whose concern of others is virtually absent. Yes, many do consider the collective good. They realize living peacefully and lawfully benefits all. But where the contrast between those only concerned with what they personally want, and those who see a higher reason (God or god) for their morality, is when you consider such people who ALSO have tremendous personal power, influence, wealth, and often ruthless ambition. With such people, they don't necessarily have the same mutually common constraints, and their ego, ambition and pride reduces their actions to whatever personally pleases themselves - to hell with other people.

And make no mistake, if the respected beliefs of one's religion also sees it moral to trample upon their fellow man, their religion often means their treatment of their fellow man will be no better than that of the evil narcissist. Look at the Hindus historic, religious-based treatment of the so-called "untouchables" - as they have believed that they would be interfering with the karma brought by their sins actions of past lives.

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Re: Morality

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:11 am

Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Ken: Thoughts do not exist, they are not real; they are just figments of our imaginations.


*cough* self-refuting argument *cough*

Right now I'm thinking about Santa Clause coming to town in about a week and a half. Are those thoughts real, or just a figment of my imagination?

You don't get it do you Ken?
Your whole argument falls apart IF thoughts don't exist and are figments of your imagination.
Heck, imagination doesn't exist !

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Re: Morality

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:19 am

Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:It pains me when people don't know enough history to see the REAL danger of subjective morality and the "ends justifies the means" mentality.

If morality is objective, thus subjective morality is only a hypothetical; history would be full of examples of Objective morality, not Subjective morality. So how could someone look at history to see the dangers of this hypothetical Subjective morality where the "ends justifies the means" mentality?

Ken


Ken.
For the last time:
That there is a good is objective, one can't deny that or else there ARE NO MORALS.
WHAT is good CAN be subjective.

An example of the dangers of the 'ends justify the means"?
Here you go, after a 2 second Google:
https://www.livescience.com/13002-7-abs ... hilis.html

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Re: Morality

Postby Kenny » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:40 am

Philip wrote:The real questions are, where do the thoughts originate, and how do we respond to them?

Thoughts originate from the brain, and when we understand the consequences of actions and how they affect ourselves and our neighbors, we make a decision on which thoughts to respond to and make reality, and which thoughts we allow to remain just thoughts
Philip wrote:So another question is, what impacts our arbitration of whether to act upon what is, at first, only a terrible thought existing in one's mind? What influences impact our behaviors and responses to our thoughts?

Again; our ability to understand the consequences of actions will cause us to make the decision to act or not. As far as influences, our own personal moral code will impact how we act on our thoughts.

Ken

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Re: Morality

Postby Kenny » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:42 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Ken: Thoughts do not exist, they are not real; they are just figments of our imaginations.


*cough* self-refuting argument *cough*

Right now I'm thinking about Santa Clause coming to town in about a week and a half. Are those thoughts real, or just a figment of my imagination?

You don't get it do you Ken?
Your whole argument falls apart IF thoughts don't exist and are figments of your imagination.
Heck, imagination doesn't exist !

When I said "don't exist" in this case, I meant "not real". If you want to make the case that thoughts exist in the world of make believe, I will grant you that.

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Re: Morality

Postby Kenny » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:47 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:It pains me when people don't know enough history to see the REAL danger of subjective morality and the "ends justifies the means" mentality.

If morality is objective, thus subjective morality is only a hypothetical; history would be full of examples of Objective morality, not Subjective morality. So how could someone look at history to see the dangers of this hypothetical Subjective morality where the "ends justifies the means" mentality?

Ken


Ken.
For the last time:
That there is a good is objective, one can't deny that or else there ARE NO MORALS.
WHAT is good CAN be subjective.

An example of the dangers of the 'ends justify the means"?
Here you go, after a 2 second Google:
https://www.livescience.com/13002-7-abs ... hilis.html


Bruh! I am never going to agree with you on this one. I don't believe "good" is objective; I can only see it as subjective, and I don't believe this excludes the possibility of morality. I will continue to explain why I disagree with you (and others) on this issue, but it is probably one of those things where we will have to agree to disagree on.

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Re: Morality

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:45 am

You do realize that it is a logical inconsistency to say that good is subjective BUT to disagree that "good" exist?

If you agree that good exists ( and you must for obvious reasons) then you agree that the comment, "there is such a thing as good", is valid, correct?

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Re: Morality

Postby Nils » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:21 am

Philip wrote:
Philip wrote: We could go around and round of the opposing viewpoints of what is moral and why, forever. Bottom line: "If" God exists (and ONLY "if") - the God of the Bible - then He IS the standard - as whatever He declares to be bad or evil is so. He Himself IS good, and can do no evil. If unbelievers don't agree that there is an objective morality based upon a God who sets the standards - then one will never convince them otherwise.

Nils: Of course, you can never convince an atheist that there is a God-based objective moral. Are you astonished?

Why would that be surprising?

Isn't that evident? An atheist doesn't believe in any God and then it is not possible to believe in anything that is based on God. There are atheists that think that there is an objective moral but the don't think that is base on God (but I don't agree with them).
Philip wrote:
Philip: But I think most people can agree on the terrible dangers posed by many whose only standard of morality is their own subjective view of it - those who don't even ponder the question or concern themselves beyond whatever they personally deem desirable actions for themselves, per their thoughts - whether they desire to murder for money or pursue bloodlust and genocide to acquire an empire.


Nils: You and others repeatedly say that societies based on a subjective moral, mostly secular societies, are more bloodthirsty then others. Do you have any statistical evidence?


But that's not what I asserted, IS it???!!! I merely stated that we can see that "many" - clarified by noting I was speaking of those with sinister motives and actions unfetterer by any sense of a morality but what they PERSONALLY deem it should be. And my statement in no way means that people with a God-honoring / objective view of morality aren't capable of all manner of bad actions. But I would submit that you will find very few TRUE, practicing/believing Christians committing murder and mayhem. And, please distinguish between those merely CALLING themselves Christians and those who truly are trying to follow and honor God - because those actually trying to live Christian lives don't believe that there personal desires are the ultimate arbitrator of what is right and wrong - but what God says they are. However, others following non-Christian "gods" also base their morality upon what they believe their god would have them do. Of course, for some, that would include unthinkable acts committed in "honor" of their god. And yet, many very conscientious unbelieving people are nonetheless relatively moral in their conduct. But I'm only speaking of evil narcissists who have NO concept of any type of God or god-driven morality.

Yes, there are always persons that don't have empathy and values their own interest unduly. Some of them get power and gets followers that trust and are convinced by the powerful establishing a subculture that oppress all others. But we are only talking about a clear minority. The majority is bent towards values that you and I adhere and in a democratic welfare society they will get power and implement laws and morality that benefits everybody.
Philip wrote:
Nils: Also you don't seem to understand that secular democratic societies often has higher morality than religious societies.

And I would submit to you that democracy grew out of Christian influences, and thus those in such societies - even atheists - have absorbed culturally absorbed influences of Christian teachings. This would include much of Europe and the New World.

See below
Philip wrote:
Nils: The country that is the most secularised, Japan, has a murder rate per capita that is less than one tenth of that of USA.


That is true. Now, compare Japan's overall murder and crime rate to that of practicing Christians - then you'll see the comparison is invalid. You'd also see similar in people following the relatively peaceful practices of most religions.

You make it easy to you defining away all these with low moral as not being god Christians.
Philip wrote:
Nils: The North European countries are also highly secular and their murder rate is about one fifth of that of USA.


Still, those countries have absorbed the residue of Christianity. They also aren't armed to the teeth as we are. BTW, the US is mostly NOT a Christian nation - which is the point. I'm comparing those ONLY self-driven without respect to any God/god expected morality.

Nils: There are other resources for acquiring a high morality than religion. There is the instinct that made us like to live in groups and living in groups requires that you treat the group members mainly as you want to be treated by them.


Most western and even other nations are often highly influenced by their religions' teachings - even per those secular, following cultural norms and sensibilities.

Nils: Our moral is not arbitrary, a whims or just to chose flavour of ice cream. It is based on what is best for humans.


And so that is part of my point - as I'm not speaking of people who consider their fellow man, but those whose morality is unconcerned with such - with a personal morality that is only concerned with what THEY, personally desire - whose concern of others is virtually absent. Yes, many do consider the collective good. They realize living peacefully and lawfully benefits all. But where the contrast between those only concerned with what they personally want, and those who see a higher reason (God or god) for their morality, is when you consider such people who ALSO have tremendous personal power, influence, wealth, and often ruthless ambition. With such people, they don't necessarily have the same mutually common constraints, and their ego, ambition and pride reduces their actions to whatever personally pleases themselves - to hell with other people.

And make no mistake, if the respected beliefs of one's religion also sees it moral to trample upon their fellow man, their religion often means their treatment of their fellow man will be no better than that of the evil narcissist. Look at the Hindus historic, religious-based treatment of the so-called "untouchables" - as they have believed that they would be interfering with the karma brought by their sins actions of past lives.

I can agree with lot of what you say but there seems to be two issues on which we disagree.
The first is the question of what is the base of morality in a secular society. I claim that high morality is a heritage from animals and early humans that lived in groups where moral laws were necessary to be able to compete with other groups. A sense of instinctive morality evolved. Through the history we have also learnt and slowly adapted the moral of the society and this has accelerated with the enlightenment, the scientific revolution and the advent of the welfare state. You say that morality is God based. My question is why was there so little improvement of societies during the Middle Ages when Christianity (in western societies) had an almost complete monopoly.

I don't say that modern western secular states are uninfluenced by Christianity but I think that you exaggerate it. In my country the abolishment of capital punishment, the humanisation of the punishment system, the criminalisation of violence against children etc were not at all driven from the church.

The second question is if belief in Christianity is a better guard against violence and misconduct. You indicate that you think so but I doubt it looking at the history.

As I said before my intention with the discussion on morality is not to pursue you or others that a secular based morality is better than theist morality, I only argue that secular morality is a viable and coherent philosophical system. I have seen some persons here denying that (you also?).

Nils

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Re: Morality

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:29 am

I claim that high morality is a heritage from animals and early humans that lived in groups where moral laws were necessary to be able to compete with other groups.


How did that come to be?

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Re: Morality

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:31 am

Animals do NOT show a high sense of morality or any morality, they are not self-aware in a rational sense, in that way.
They may demonstrate what WE PERCEIVE as morals but the only way an act is moral is if the thing doing the act KNOWS that it is good.
One would have to prove conscious intent to do good on the part of the animal.
How would you do that?

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Re: Morality

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:39 am

There have been many attempts to demonstrate the morals can evolve naturally, Sam Harris wrote a book on his theory on the matter.
Issue is that there is no evidence to support that theory and far too many questions without answers.
All cultures have there morals from a religious base that pre-dates the society of said culture.
As the evidence from the Gobekli tepe temple demonstrates religion pre-dates civilization.

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Re: Morality

Postby Philip » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:43 am

Nils: You say that morality is God based.


No, not ALL morality is God-based. But much of it is born of religion-based influences - whether Christian ones or not. But not all - some merely see peaceful and fair interactions with their fellow man to be preferable to the opposite.

Nils: My question is why was there so little improvement of societies during the Middle Ages when Christianity (in western societies) had an almost complete monopoly.


Where you see unmerited violence and aggression ANYWHERE, you'll find people who are not following the behaviors God desires, that you find in the Bible - and that is a different thing entirely from people who merely call themselves Christians or are members of some church. There are those merely following religion, and those who are truly trying to live out their Christianity per the New Testament's directives, in their commitment to Christ.

Nils: In my country the abolishment of capital punishment, the humanisation of the punishment system, the criminalisation of violence against children etc were not at all driven from the church.


And what country might that be? Capital punishment can be and should be, but often isn't, justly carried out. The principals of loving one's fellow man and how we are to treat them are long preceded by your country's good steps forward. But to think that your country developed its thoughts on humane treatment in isolation from the influences of other Western nations - whose democracies flowed from Christian roots, is naive.

Nils: The second question is if belief in Christianity is a better guard against violence and misconduct. You indicate that you think so but I doubt it looking at the history.


You'll never see Christians who take serious the teachings of Christ, and who OBEY them, engaged in a significant percentage of unwarranted violence and atrocities. Again, you will find, across history, many doing such things, who nonetheless merely call themselves Christians, but are not committed to Christ and His teachings - HUGE difference.

Nils: I only argue that secular morality is a viable and coherent philosophical system. I have seen some persons here denying that (you also?).


No, I don't doubt that secular people can be kind and concerned about their fellow man. But in many such societies, they are often immensely influenced by the residuals of Christian beliefs in their practices - whether or not they acknowledge or are even aware of these influences or not. NONE of what I am saying means Christians always act more moral than those of no faith or of religious belief. But it IS to say you'll often find far more concern for their fellow man amongst people who are influenced by personal beliefs that their morality came from above them, per some spiritual authority. And yet, that can work in another way, in which religions can influence horrible actions (Islam is one). Christianity, properly followed and believed, is not a religion and does not influence people to horrible actions.

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Re: Morality

Postby Kenny » Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:29 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:You do realize that it is a logical inconsistency to say that good is subjective BUT to disagree that "good" exist?

No; here is how it works: Good is subjective, means everybody has their own personal view of what is good, that varies a little from person to person. The vast majority of issues everybody will agree on, but there will be a small percentage of items that people will disagree on.
As far as “good” only existing in the make-believe world, that is because everybody brings their own personal view of “good” to the table, because those thoughts only exist in our heads.

PaulSacramento wrote: If you agree that good exists ( and you must for obvious reasons) then you agree that the comment, "there is such a thing as good", is valid, correct?

“Good” does not exist in the physical world, it only exists mentally.

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Re: Morality

Postby Nils » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:23 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
I claim that high morality is a heritage from animals and early humans that lived in groups where moral laws were necessary to be able to compete with other groups.


How did that come to be?

Do you ask 1 why they lived in groups or 2why moral laws were necessary, or 3why the had to compete or 4. something else.?
The short answers are
1: Because it was preferable being able to support each other.
2. When you live in a group you have to have rules how to behave.
3. Because resources most times are scare.
4 It depends ...
If you explain which question you ask, I can elaborate.
Nils


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