Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

Healthy skepticism of ALL worldviews is good. Skeptical of non-belief like found in Atheism? Post your challenging questions. Responses are encouraged.
PaulSacramento
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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#181

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:33 am

Actually my disagreement is with #2 & #3. As far as morality consisting of moral facts, and duties, (#2) that sounds more like an objective moral belief, something I disagree with. With #3, if one believes mankind is the most advanced and intelligent being in existence, there is nobody left to provide us moral guidance other than mankind. Who would be next in line? A Dog?
The issue is that there ARE moral facts and duties.
They MAY vary from time to time and society to society but there ARE moral facts and duties.
Historically we see this.
Example: at no point in time was stealing EVER viewed as right, even by those that stole.

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#182

Post by Kenny » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:48 am

Kenny wrote:I agree! But as I pointed out before, IMO unlike morality; math is objective.
Question for you; if Math and Morality are both objective, how come we’ve discovered true math thousands of years ago (it has yet to be changed), but we have yet to discover true morality seeing it is in a constant state of change?
Actually, foundations to morality are not in a constant state of change. Moral laws are different from moral values, and I believe I've discussed such on several occasions with you in the distant past. [/quote]
I was referring to “moral laws, not values or foundations
Kurieuo wrote: It is broadly understood it's not good to kill another human being. That love (a virtue) and being loving is better than hating. That raping and abusing another person is wrong. Stealing is wrong. There are certain moral values we all share, and terms like "psychopath" is a label given to those who would have no emotional response to extremely immoral or cruel acts that trangress many of these values.

In a normal functioning human, those of us who hear a story of some child being molested, raped, trapped for days and then beat to death, there's something within us that screams out for justice, the perpetrator ought to be punished. Why is that? Is there something really wrong with such, or is it truly just our opinion it is wrong. Would such an act still be wrong even if everyone agreed it was right? If you believe so, then you are treating morality as an "object" external to us.
How about human sacrifice? Even if the virgin wanted to be thrown into the volcano to appease the Gods, today we would call her a brain washed victim and those sacrificing her monsters. You can give example after example on how things are the same, and I can give example after example of how things are constantly changing, but the fact is; some things are different, and some things change. With math, nothing changes because it’s objective.
Kurieuo wrote: Where moral rules often become muddy is when certain rules affront a person gaining power, wealth or doing what they want to do. For example, a man finds a woman attractive who won't sleep with him, so he'll just rape her. Or screwing many people over for money and claiming "its just business". People don't like feeling like a bad guy, people don't like being held accountable, being told they're wrong, that they're a sinner -- so then all the excuses start coming out to justify themselves.

In some instances, wrong actions can be normalised socially and find their ways into laws -- I mean if everyone wants to do it, will do it and is doing it anyway -- either we punish a majority of people or just make an allowance of sorts. Making allowances often gains a popular vote and so works in the favour of a political party wanting to be elected.

So then, I fundamentally disagree with your statement. Certain moral concepts and values are shared by all of us. Certainly, morality is qualitatively a different area than say mathematics. But, nonetheless just as real.
You seem to be suggesting the constant change in morality y is due to dishonesty. I disagree; sometimes beliefs change and there is no dishonesty involved
Kurieuo wrote: As an aside, I also disagree that government (politicians) construct laws based upon what they believe in moral -- in fact, many construct laws based upon what they see will give them the popular vote (and power).
Most laws are based on morality, and in a perfect world it would be this way; but obviously we don’t live in a perfect world, and crooked people will enact laws according to their agenda which is usually far from fair.
Kurieuo wrote: Further, you may reject there is a real moral fabric that exists. Which just goes back to the point of my previous post, that then, no guidance is necessary as to what is truly morally right or wrong. We should just do that which gives us an advantage in life, since such is what maximise our happiness. Is it better to be selfish rather than altruistic? Without some sort of morality standing as judge over us, then there is no reason why it isn't better to be selfish.
Are you being melodramatic, or is this how you feel? If this is your world view, I suspect your religion is the only thing keeping you from nillism and it is barely holding you back. Do me a favor, don’t lose your faith.
Kurieuo wrote: Finally, you accept math is objective. But, to say that is is means believing math is something we humans discover rather than construct. You've previously said math doesn't exist, except in the minds of humans or something such. In which case, math isn't objective at all. It isn't an "object" we discover, but rather manufactured by the "subject" (i.e., us). Therefore, you're again being confusing and contradictory with your positions. Do you really believe math is now objective and something we discover?
No; objective does not mean it must be discovered. There are countless things constructed that are objective.

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#183

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:58 am

Math and mathematical principles are objective because 1+1=2 will always be 1+1=2 regardless if there are any units to count OR people to count them.

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#184

Post by Kenny » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:26 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
Actually my disagreement is with #2 & #3. As far as morality consisting of moral facts, and duties, (#2) that sounds more like an objective moral belief, something I disagree with. With #3, if one believes mankind is the most advanced and intelligent being in existence, there is nobody left to provide us moral guidance other than mankind. Who would be next in line? A Dog?
The issue is that there ARE moral facts and duties.
They MAY vary from time to time and society to society but there ARE moral facts and duties.
Facts and Duties? By definition; facts don’t change or vary from time to time, or society to society; but duties do. I can agree with moral duties; (moral issues we obligate ourselves to) but moral facts? I can't go with cha on that one bruh!
PaulSacramento wrote: Math and mathematical principles are objective because 1+1=2 will always be 1+1=2 regardless if there are any units to count OR people to count them. Math and mathematical principles are objective because 1+1=2 will always be 1+1=2 regardless if there are any units to count OR people to count them.
Now with that I agree!

Ken

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#185

Post by Philip » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:02 pm

Philip wrote:
If morality is merely a question of self-interests,

Ken: Morality is not merely a question of self-interests.
Clearly not. But the reasons I referenced that, is that many atheists would say that society has a self-moralizing corrective, as people realize that certain actions often bring misery and problems, and by avoiding such actions, things are much more tranquil - which is true. Except that this cannot be applied universally as an explanation for morality, is there are many people who get what they personally want, but at the expense of others suffering from their decisions and actions. So, in a society with no definitive right or wrong, one's morality is based upon personal opinion - which can vary significantly, from person to person.

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#186

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:06 pm

Facts and Duties? By definition; facts don’t change or vary from time to time, or society to society; but duties do. I can agree with moral duties; (moral issues we obligate ourselves to) but moral facts? I can't go with cha on that one bruh!
Ok,
FACT: no culture has ever viewed stealing as right.
Can you dispute that?
Not justified mind you, was it ever viewed as right?

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#187

Post by Kenny » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:03 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
Facts and Duties? By definition; facts don’t change or vary from time to time, or society to society; but duties do. I can agree with moral duties; (moral issues we obligate ourselves to) but moral facts? I can't go with cha on that one bruh!
Ok,
FACT: no culture has ever viewed stealing as right.
Can you dispute that?
Not justified mind you, was it ever viewed as right?
I am not going to dispute that. What's your point?

Ken

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#188

Post by Kenny » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:08 pm

Philip wrote:
Philip wrote:
If morality is merely a question of self-interests,

Ken: Morality is not merely a question of self-interests.
Clearly not. But the reasons I referenced that, is that many atheists would say that society has a self-moralizing corrective, as people realize that certain actions often bring misery and problems, and by avoiding such actions, things are much more tranquil - which is true. Except that this cannot be applied universally as an explanation for morality, is there are many people who get what they personally want, but at the expense of others suffering from their decisions and actions. So, in a society with no definitive right or wrong, one's morality is based upon personal opinion - which can vary significantly, from person to person.
I get what you are saying. But "personal opinion", is different than "self interest"

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#189

Post by Kurieuo » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:47 pm

Some day Kenny, I pray that the penny drops with morality stuff, or better yet, you have a spiritual awakening of sorts.

I think, based upon seeing your time here at the board and all our discussions, your discussions with others and the like, especially on the morality issue, you're just often too busy running away to really hear and understand what many others say. I'm not even sure you understand much of what Christians hum and har about so how can you even accept what is being said?

That's not me trying to disparage you, but rather whereas say someone like RickD maybe thinks you're purposefully obtuse, I think you're actually sincere and yet really just can't see. I mean, you've stayed on at this board for some strange reason. You seem to be searching for something, but it's like seeing a blind man search an empty room they're trapped within for a key to unlock the door which can't be found within.

Such is really quite frustrating to watch, because I really don't know how to help you to understand, to see what I see so clearly. Yet, you willfully remain on this board. I can only tell you, what I believe in and see is as clear to me as the Sun. I can only attempt to provide you with reasons. Take that for what it's worth. And, I'm sure even if you don't understand much, you can see many reasons are put forward, certainly to a consistency as good as any other possible position one might choose.

I know such holds little weight with you, but I pray one day you will be able to trust one the keys being given to you in order to take perhaps open up the door to that empty cell.
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PaulSacramento
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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#190

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:58 am

Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Facts and Duties? By definition; facts don’t change or vary from time to time, or society to society; but duties do. I can agree with moral duties; (moral issues we obligate ourselves to) but moral facts? I can't go with cha on that one bruh!
Ok,
FACT: no culture has ever viewed stealing as right.
Can you dispute that?
Not justified mind you, was it ever viewed as right?
I am not going to dispute that. What's your point?

Ken
The point is that stealing is wrong is a moral FACT.

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#191

Post by Kenny » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:48 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Facts and Duties? By definition; facts don’t change or vary from time to time, or society to society; but duties do. I can agree with moral duties; (moral issues we obligate ourselves to) but moral facts? I can't go with cha on that one bruh!
Ok,
FACT: no culture has ever viewed stealing as right.
Can you dispute that?
Not justified mind you, was it ever viewed as right?
I am not going to dispute that. What's your point?

Ken
The point is that stealing is wrong is a moral FACT.
So if someone claims stealing is right, how would you prove them wrong?

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#192

Post by Hortator » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:58 pm

Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Facts and Duties? By definition; facts don’t change or vary from time to time, or society to society; but duties do. I can agree with moral duties; (moral issues we obligate ourselves to) but moral facts? I can't go with cha on that one bruh!
Ok,
FACT: no culture has ever viewed stealing as right.
Can you dispute that?
Not justified mind you, was it ever viewed as right?
I am not going to dispute that. What's your point?

Ken
The point is that stealing is wrong is a moral FACT.
So if someone claims stealing is right, how would you prove them wrong?
Why won't you address Kurieuo above?

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#193

Post by Kenny » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:57 am

Hortator wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote: Ok,
FACT: no culture has ever viewed stealing as right.
Can you dispute that?
Not justified mind you, was it ever viewed as right?
I am not going to dispute that. What's your point?

Ken
The point is that stealing is wrong is a moral FACT.
So if someone claims stealing is right, how would you prove them wrong?
Why won't you address Kurieuo above?
Kurieuo and I have had many discussions in the past, and everything he mentioned has pretty much been covered in our many previous discussions; so I felt no need to address them again.
However it appears you are following our discussions, so for your sake I will reply to his post.

Kurieuo
Some day Kenny, I pray that the penny drops with morality stuff, or better yet, you have a spiritual awakening of sorts.

Reply
I am sure many of my christian friends are praying for me. As with them, I appreciate your good intentions.

Kurieuo
I think, based upon seeing your time here at the board and all our discussions, your discussions with others and the like, especially on the morality issue, you're just often too busy running away to really hear and understand what many others say. I'm not even sure you understand much of what Christians hum and har about so how can you even accept what is being said?

Reply
I do understand what you guys are saying, I just don’t agree with it. As I said before, I understand the logic in much of what you guys say, its just that in order for your point to make sense; especially with the morality issue, one must presuppose the existence of God or some higher power, and thats not something I am willing to do.

Kurieuo
That's not me trying to disparage you, but rather whereas say someone like RickD maybe thinks you're purposefully obtuse, I think you're actually sincere and yet really just can't see. I mean, you've stayed on at this board for some strange reason. You seem to be searching for something, but it's like seeing a blind man search an empty room they're trapped within for a key to unlock the door which can't be found within.

Reply
No; I’m not searching for anything, I just like discussing with some of the people here. hopefully I can learn something from you guys, and you guys can learn from me. Perhaps we can both walk away from a conversation a little smarter than when we entered it.

Kurieuo
Such is really quite frustrating to watch, because I really don't know how to help you to understand, to see what I see so clearly.

Reply
Perhaps you shouldn’t assume if I don’t agree with you, that I just don’t understand

Kurieuo
Yet, you willfully remain on this board.

Reply
Well… this is the Atheist section and the title of this thread is “question for Atheist” . With titles like that, I think that’s a pretty good reason to stick around; don’t you?

Kurieuo
I can only tell you, what I believe in and see is as clear to me as the Sun. I can only attempt to provide you with reasons.

Reply
And I attempt to do that with you as well.

Kurieuo
Take that for what it's worth. And, I'm sure even if you don't understand much, you can see many reasons are put forward, certainly to a consistency as good as any other possible position one might choose.

Reply
And I appreciate it. That’s why I enjoy discussing with you my friend!

Kurieuo
I know such holds little weight with you, but I pray one day you will be able to trust one the keys being given to you in order to take perhaps open up the door to that empty cell

Reply
As a Christian I understand it is your job to convert everybody to Christianity, but don’t take it personally; I am not looking for a key, or any type of understanding to fill a void, or to somehow make sense of my life. I never came here for that. I am here because I enjoy discussing with those whom I disagree with and to perhaps provide an alternative point of view that you guys will not get from just “preaching to the choir”. As I said before, there are many people I have talked to whom I’ve learned much from, and it seems there are those who have learned from me as well. It’s not always about conversion; if we can learn from each other, and leave a conversation a little smarter than when we entered it, we will both be better off because of it.

Hortator; is there anything you would like to add?

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#194

Post by RickD » Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:38 pm

kenny wrote:
As a Christian I understand it is your job to convert everybody to Christianity...
You know nothing, Jon Snow.
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Re: Key Questions for Atheists and Agnostics

#195

Post by Kurieuo » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:49 pm

RickD wrote:
kenny wrote:
As a Christian I understand it is your job to convert everybody to Christianity...
You know nothing, Jon Snow.
Yeah, actually, it's not about converting someone, anyone, everyone, to Christianity. Rather, that everyone would ultimately know who the "Landlord" is, who gave us this world to look after it and others in it. As a Christian, I'm merely a sign post trying to point in the right direction as a guide to others. People are free to ignore me or perhaps follow a little in the direction I point.

At the end of the day it's between God and each of us, and up to us to make our own decision in relation to Him. I never see it as my job to convert someone else. Yet, say, when attending a funeral, I'm always extra saddened when I believe a non-Christian has died. Whatever nice words are said, I know they're about to go through a rotational door in single file, stand before their maker one to one, and most likely without the Lord who created them standing in their corner.
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