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Here's my response to this week's challenge.
Posted by Alan Shlemon on September 12, 2013 at 05:45 AM in :Alan Shlemon, Bio-Ethics, Challenge Q&A, Video | Permalink
Rather than borrowing morality from Christians, non-believers do morality the same way people did morality for millions of years before Christianity came along.
Christians of course borrow most, if not all, of this from these very same very human sources.
What did Christianity even add?
The claim that all this is 'grounded' by Christianity is just that: a claim.
It's a clever claim, though.
Because some people respond emotionally to the idea that the sky will fall if morality doesn't have a Cosmic Enforcer.
But that doesn't mean there is a Cosmic Enforcer.
Nor does it mean that the sky falls when people stop believing. It doesn't.
Morality belongs to all humanity. Attempts to brand it are low and will not succeed.
September 12, 2013 at 05:46 PM
People did morality millions of years before Christianity came along?
I think that millions of years before Christianity came along, even accepting your view about the origin of life, we had "nature, red in tooth and claw."
Why not be a bit more modest and claim that humans had morality in societies that existed thousands of years before Christianity?
That claim is surely right...even according to Christianity. I mean, what was that whole Ten Commandments bit about?
Of course, I don't think that Alan claimed that Christianity was the basis of morality. I think he claimed that religion was the basis of morality. He may have used his religion every now and again instead of the generic term. But in all events, contrasted his view to atheism, not to non-Christianity. Atheists are borrowing intellectual capital from those they are opposed to...theists.
It looks to me like his claim is that theism is presupposed by morality. Not Christianity in particular.
Did morality exist before Christianity?
Did morality existed before theism?
September 12, 2013 at 06:25 PM
We can well afford to be without ... theism.
It's a luxury - assuming you're into that kind of thing.
As we are, we can't afford to be without morality.
That's how it's been for, yes, millions of years.
September 12, 2013 at 07:04 PM
I don't think Ron got the point. The argument that this particular person was making is that a good God exists and created humanity, and we are created in God's image. Thus we have intrinsic value. Since he believes that the unborn are human beings, it's logical that he would be against abortion.
Most people believe that morality objectively exists (myself included). To then claim that creational monotheism is correct because of your belief in objective morality hardly makes it branding morality Christianity. First, there are several other groups that hold a view of creational monotheism. Second, you still do not have to be a Christian or even theist to recognize that those values do in fact exist. No Christian is saying that. We say that because they do in fact exist, that it is a window into the reality that the creational monotheist view is correct.
He was just bringing up the point that it seems logically inconsistent to believe in objective moral values and duties when you are an atheist. However, lots of atheists believe in these values and also believe that human beings have intrinsic value. In that case, the atheist might be against abortion. Indeed, there are atheist pro lifers. Some atheists argue that the unborn is not human, or something else illogical perhaps. It's rarely argued, as far as I can see, that human beings have no intrinsic special value, although I'm sure it has been done.
So I found his explanation quite clear and honest. His theistic belief highly influences his position that abortion is murder. At this point, though, I would like to point out that this line of pro-life argument is for anyone who is a creational monotheist or perhaps even deists. Probably not for a pantheist, since they tend to believe morality is an illusion.
There was nothing illogical or dishonest here.
Jared Berryman |
September 12, 2013 at 07:34 PM
"That's how it's been for, yes, millions of years."
Don't be ridiculous. The fact that Chimps cooperate, as indeed do African Bee Eaters, is hardly morality.
September 12, 2013 at 08:09 PM
Chimps cooperating is not morality?
Do you reckon 'humans cooperating' is 'morality'?
What is it about 'chimps cooperating' that excludes it from 'morality'?
Is it the 'chimps' part?
The 'cooperating' part?
In your mind, replace the chimps in the film with two human guys. Now, is that two amoral guys you see?
Chimps cooperating is morality. (The 'is' here is the one of class membership, not identity.) They got this capacity the same way we got it and they reap comparable (risks and) benefits.
And it's not a 'matter of taste' for them any more than it is for us.
Please define 'intrinsic value' and give reasons for thinking humans have 'intrinsic value'.
Please define 'objective morality' and give reasons for thinking it exists.
It will save time if you skip the part where you say 'even non-theists talk and act as if these things exist. Everyone talks about sunrises too.
September 13, 2013 at 04:33 AM
Thieves cooperate Ron.
Rape gangs cooperate.
The Mafia cooperates.
Cooperation is often the height of immorality. And sometimes, you know, we excoriate as moral cowards those who 'go along to get along'.
No. Chimps cooperating is not morality.
(I almost feel silly having to point this out.)
September 13, 2013 at 05:07 AM
The whole crux of your argument has often been repeated: "That's how it's been for, yes, millions of years."
If only the evidence drawn from recorded history would back up such a claim. In all the study of classic ethics, I've drawn two conclusions.
1) Legislators and philosophers recognized that there was a moral element in man.
2) There was no clear consensus on what foundation that moral element depended on.
Consider the following, where was slavery an improved institution, under the Code of Hammurabi, or the Mosaic system? The concept of some form of indentured state from which one could gain release while granted protections during years of service was a breakthrough.
Ethics seems to be a humanistic effort to balance a divine content and a human intent. That is perhaps why the use of the term for moral is of rare use in Scriptures. Immoral yes, but moral no, due to the rejection of the presented Moral Law of Old Testament fulfilled in the New. Paul, who moved the Gospel into the Hellenistic areas, was acquainted with the Grecian views of arete (virtue) but was insistent on viewing the pious life as eusebeia (godliness).
I am appreciative of Aristotle's "Middle Way" which he argued for in his Ethics. But it seems to be the high-water mark in philosophic thought. The disciplined life of the Stoic and the principled avoidance of pain and search of pleasure by the Epicureans seemed to be contrasting and passing opinions. Ethical thought in Paul's day was in decline (other than a few appeals to the good old days of virtuous men), and the Gospel he offered filled a vacuum.
In the end, "mores" have a trend of changing with time and culture, often a mark of social decline. Godliness is made of sterner stuff, which might be the real point of all these arguments. Where does the life of integrity come from, and does science have the tools to discover it?
September 13, 2013 at 07:04 AM
I obviously agree with Alan, but the response (or case/defense) depends on what you want to accomplish. Do you want to make the case for Christianity (or grounding morality) or do you want to make the pro-life case? I might steer away from Alan’s response if it’s the latter (depending on the situation). You can try both, of course. I think this makes sense in practice if abortion is the subject.
Generally speaking, I think this would play out: The person making the argument, has already, most likely, dismissed Christianity – Hence, the “You believe this just because you’re a Christian”. This probably translates to, “You believe this just because you think God said so”.
Get them on board with why killing unborn babies is wrong first - then point out why they feel the way they do about not killing unborn babies.
One should always try to make the case for Christianity when possible, but I think the steps above make sense, again, depending on the situation.
September 13, 2013 at 08:33 AM
The person making the argument has already dismissed Christianity and is giving Alan one chance to be labeled as either a rational, logical, scientific sage like himself or an irrational, illogical, unscientific, religious idiot like the rest of us. Alan said, "Yes, because I am a Christian..." What the challenger heard, "You're right, I am an irrational, illogical, unscientific, religious idiot. Blah, blah, blah...blah, blah, blah..." The challenge is just a trap, set to apply a label that allows the trap setter to quickly dismiss everything Alan said. I'm sure Alan could dismantle that trap, but it would probably take a while and some light stepping to avoid other traps set along the way.
Scott Richardson |
September 13, 2013 at 10:23 AM
I'm an atheist and I am opposed to abortion; however, I see no way to enforce effective legislation that would eliminate it. Once earned, people don't willingly give rights back, including the right to terminate a pregnancy. The moral landscape, not the legislative one, is the only place this battle can be won.
September 13, 2013 at 01:09 PM
Thieves cooperating, etc. - even to do the immoral things - is thieves, etc. doing things non-social animals can't do. They can't do them because they lack the traits.
Nothing in what I said was meant to imply that every act of cooperation is moral. Thanks for helping to make that clear.
I don't think the evidence of recorded history fails to back me up.
People invented such things as, for example, the Christian heaven.
Look at that case: The standard for entry into heaven is an idealized version of the kind of behavior they knew they had to practice to survive.
To get to the point where they could afford to develop such stories they had to spend thousands of years practicing (Yes, imperfectly. ok, sometimes not even well.) the principles that inspire the stories.
September 13, 2013 at 02:22 PM
But chimps are social animals. You say that they do morality. Do you think chimps can be immoral? Do they do immorality? Like when a group of chimps steal produce when a storekeeper turns his back?
Perhaps we can’t define what chimp immorality looks like, but we know it when we see it.
This, of course, is nonsense.
September 13, 2013 at 02:56 PM
'Doing' morality sounds odd to you. Sorry.
Chimps sometimes (not always) do some (not all) things that look similar (not identical) to things we call moral when we do them.
Sometimes (not always) when other chimps do things we'd call immoral, they react the way we react if similar things were done among us.
What motivates the chimps in these situations? Feelings much like (but not exactly like) the feelings that motivate us in similar situations.
If y'all are very determined to believe that I'm saying silly things or nonsense, then I suspect you will succeed in believing I am saying silly things or nonsense - no matter the nature of what I actually say.
September 13, 2013 at 04:31 PM
"Nothing in what I said was meant to imply that every act of cooperation is moral."
I think something you said was meant to imply that. Namely, the comment that started with this:
"Chimps cooperating is not morality?"
If you meant to imply that some forms of cooperation were not ipso facto morality, I think you would have had to say what it is in particular about the chimps pulling the ropes together to get food (which is what happened in the video you linked, for those who didn't watch it) that makes it moral.
But instead, you wrote as if it was just automatic that if the chimps cooperated, they were behaving morally.
"If y'all are very determined to believe that I'm saying silly things or nonsense, then I suspect you will succeed in believing I am saying silly things or nonsense - no matter the nature of what I actually say."
It's not so much that we're determined to believe that you said something silly Ron no matter what you said. It's that you said something manifestly silly, and we're determined to hold you to owning up to that, no matter what you say now to try to distract from that.
Now, maybe you want to say that lower animals, such as chimps and bee eaters, cooperate and that, just as the light sensitive patch on some unicellular animals eventually developed into the eye, cooperation eventually developed into morality.
That view still has little to recommend it for a host of reasons (not the least of which that sometimes it is the deliberate refusal to cooperate that is morally required). But at least it is not quite as absurd as the claim that chimps have morality.
September 13, 2013 at 05:14 PM
Not at all. I think calling chimp behavior immoral is silly, but I have my reasons. Let’s start with your, “not identical”….”not always”…”but not exactly like” caveats. They mean much more than you’re giving them credit for. Namely, these caveats distinguish what morality really is.
If a chimp turns on its owner and mauls her, it’s similar to a man turning on his wife and doing the same thing, but it’s “not always”…”not identical”…and definitely “not exactly like”. We know this is the case. Just about everyone knows this is the case (though that's not my standard).
See, when a chimp waits for a shopkeeper to turn his back to steal the bag of chips, -- the chimp just knows that when the shopkeeper is looking, it decreases the odds of getting the tasty treat. When a man does it, he knows he’s done something wrong that surpasses utility. As you've said in the past, no one else may know, but he knows he's done something immoral.
That’s why, as you say, it’s “not always”…”not identical”…or “not exactly like”. Or put another way, these things are very different.
September 13, 2013 at 05:14 PM
Regarding stealing chips: I don't know about guilt, in particular. But I've read about behavior in chimps and other animals that convinces me that they have emotional capacities you are not giving them credit for.
The emotions I have in mind are the ones that motivate individuals to self-regulate. If you follow a rule to avoid the consequences of breaking it, that's nice. Rules and enforcement help. But self-regulation is much more effective in making society possible. Self-regulation is probably essential to all social animals.
Taking others into account because it's your internal nature rather to do so rather than through personal cost/benefit analysis means taking others into account far more and far more often.
If you are a designer (i.e. evolution) of social animals, self-regulation is the way to go.
I think some non-human animals have some of these emotions and sometimes act on them - kinda like us.
September 13, 2013 at 08:14 PM
RonH is perfectly coherent in the terms he is putting forth. The reason atheism values having species kill their own young is grounded in naturalism’s necessary indifference towards life, and this is why it has valued, and nurtured, inch by inch, say, that which we find in bees which, on the one hand, kill their own babies of a certain sex, and, on the other hand, make sex-slaves of a whole group of another cast within their colony, and, on yet a third hand, live to serve their goddess, the queen. Child Sacrifice among humans in eons past is a mere extension of these ancient traits which naturalism’s blind and indifferent mechanisms has taken the time to nurture into being, and continues with us today. Human’s flourish and human’s traits towards sex-slavery doubtlessly perpetuates genomic strength, and, bees flourish along similar lines. The morality of “flourish” being the only morality, the only epistemology which naturalism’s / atheism’s ontology can claim coherence in, we find no reason for naturalism / atheism to jettison such fundamental traits. This is why naturalism’s atheism values, or fails to disvalue, various species killing their own young, or making sex-slaves of their own young.
Atheism seems to be wanting to hint, or, stealthily suggesting, that the way that bees evolved is on some magical level immoral. But the bees flourish. Atheism seems to be wanting to hint, or, stealthily suggesting, that the way that evolution nurtured Man, gently, over time, into those necessary tendencies needed to foist Child Sacrifices into actuality is, magically, immoral. But man, then, as now amidst all our fields of carnage, flourish. Atheism seems to be saying that, like insects, Man too produces various casts of slave-labor who, because they benefit the non-slaves, therein have value, and this is the mechanistic-grounds (evolution has no other grounds) to justify their existence. An atheist commentator recently referred to insect slave labor as the coherent means to atheism’s attempt at its incoherent end. Then, from there, Atheism seems to attempt the leap that although such slave casts obviously demonstrate simultaneous slave-hood and justification for existence therein there is a yet-to-be-explained reason that the myriads of casts used in such ways will be selected out of existence for “Villages” of that sort just cannot last. Then they turn this assertion around and say that these “Villages” will last because of insect-slave-mechanistic models.
Villages seem to not-last and yet last in a swirl of self-contradiction. And yet sexual-slavery is on the rise worldwide in the species called homosapien. We are like the insects. Then, from this still incoherent location, atheism will assert, in blind axiom, that slavery in insects and in homosapien are somehow immoral though atheism previously appealed to insect slave labor as naturalism’s appeal to definition with the shout of, “See! –Tis love’s mechanism!”
These are all very tough sales to make on atheistic grounds. They all, the insects and mankind with all these various casts, flourish. Atheism is, at best, contradicting its own stated claims, or, at worst, employing circular reasoning as it just cannot reach its stated End Points coherently.
“Flourishing” and “The-Good” as we all taste, Pan-World, the bitter bite of evil’s hard fist in our face are not identical actualities. Anyone whose loved one has been torn apart by evil perceives the incoherence in these definitions atheism is stuck with against its will. Yes, atheism wants to make the leap to ought-not. It just can’t pull it off without appealing to blind axiom and thus the death of circularity as it’s epistemology feigns a move toward immutable love but its ontology is claiming love’s mechanism in all sorts of unloving vices; many of which are still with us.
September 14, 2013 at 01:46 AM
The important part of the video is the last half or so - when Lefty, the guy on our left, isn't hungry.
What I see there is he knows how Righty feels (hungry). Lefty takes this into account. And and helps - even though he doesn't want to work.
For his part, Righty knows how Lefty will feel if Lefty knows Righty is hungry and Righty knows that this feeling will motivate Lefty to help Righty. So all Righty has to do is tell Lefty: I'm still hungry; help me out please.
On both sides there is knowledge of feelings of the other and action on that knowledge. That action is motivated by moral emotions.
That's how I'd interpret the video if Lefty and Righty were human. That Lefty and Righty are chimps makes no difference.
September 14, 2013 at 05:45 AM
Tugging back to the OP.
One question: What is it?
There are two answers.
1) It's a single cell organism and then a ball of undifferentiated cells - like other similar organisms.
2) It's a single cell organism and then a ball of undifferentiated cells and from the start it has a human soul - like other human beings.
If you believe the soul there, you'll answer with #2.
2a)It's a single cell organism and then a ball of undifferentiated cells and from the start it has human DNA - like other human beings.
... like other apologetic presentations, is for assuaging doubt in those who answer #2.
September 14, 2013 at 06:49 AM
>> People invented such things as, for example, the Christian heaven.
Was this before, after, or during the moments when people invented macro-evolution and evo devo?
Honestly, there was a tangent move that I'm still checking over. When did I mention heaven? I only raised the point of ethical development through classical times, pondering the connection between ideas of human morality and divine ordinance, virtue versus piety.
The scientific concepts I used in this response draw from assumptions built on established science, mainly that the normal activities of micro-evolution can be extended indefinitely. I am not leery of scientific pursuits as the natural exercise of human curiosity and inquiry. But I wonder whether we have noticed a tendency of the discovery of what is there may subtly degenerate into the discovery of what we desire to find.
September 14, 2013 at 07:47 AM
RonH, my definitions of objective morality- that which, on its own, is good. For instance, I believe it is objectively morally wrong to torture babies for fun. It shouldn't be done because it is a violation of that which we perceive to be good. It is wrong to torture babies for fun. Intrinsic value- that an object has value in and of itself because it exists. For example, human beings have value simply because they live and are. Those are the classic understandings.
I never said all atheists believe that objective moral value exist. I said most people believe that. Apparently, you do not. At least you are consistent, which is more than I can say for several atheists. However, you'll have to be comfortable with the idea that we are just products of our genetics. You will not be allowed to punish someone or do anything about someone who tortures babies for fun. They are only following natural selection where it takes them. If that's what you believe, then there's little we can do for you here (something tells me you don't believe that though).
I'm curious as to why you keep posting on a Christian website meant for Christians if you're such a strong atheist. What do you care what we believe? Do you really think anyone here is going to be persuaded? If your position is true, it really doesn't matter what anyone believes about God anyways. Since most people believe in a higher deity presently and across time, then we must have just evolved that idea to help further our survival. If I were an atheist, I would not give a fig about what other people think.
Jared Berryman |
September 14, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Shaking one's fist in anger at the pure fantasy that is ought-not. That's what atheists must "settle for". But they always try to employ magic and make the fantasy come to life.
Fantasy and magic.
That's atheism's crime and punishment.
September 14, 2013 at 01:58 PM
You defined 'objective morality'. But you didn't tell my why it you think it exists - you didn't give any evidence. Likewise for 'intrinsic value'.
September 14, 2013 at 02:54 PM
The next time you shake your fist in anger and internally shout, "ought-not-have" at Child Sacrifice or at Sex-Slavery, please stop yourself. Calm yourself. That primal notion is but a big Con being played on your neurons by Indifference. It is all Fantasy. A Fantasy which you've been programmed to believe will magically come to life if you will only just believe it.
We're big boys, RonH.
We've no time for your fantasies and your supposed magic.
September 15, 2013 at 04:11 AM
Don't you think it's about time to stop listening to those fairytales of your youth and stop believing in fantasies? I know you were programmed by all who ever taught you to believe that their fantasies, now your fantasies, will, if you just hold on, if you will just believe, by magic come to life.
They lied to you, RonH, those in that church of yours. It's been, all along, just one big, grand, Noble-Lie.
But you're all grown up now, RonH.
It's time to leave that church of atheism behind you.
September 15, 2013 at 04:23 AM
Even if, doubting that objective morality exists, I talk as if it did, it does not follow that objective morality exists.
Nor is the only alternative that I "just don't like" sex slavery.
September 15, 2013 at 06:01 AM
First surrender your fantasy.
I can't take you seriously if on necessity you feign lies.
Let's here it: Sex slavery? "Whatever....."
September 15, 2013 at 06:15 AM
Until you go there.....ontology....
September 15, 2013 at 06:18 AM
Inch by inch we'll move towards sex slavery, then, towards A. Castro, then, towards his suicide. Child Sacrifice fits quite well here too, for, so he did.
Love and Indifference.
Dishonest lies won't do.
September 15, 2013 at 06:29 AM
The girls have names, RonH. Tread lightly.
Say what you really believe and leave atheism's fantasies and magical thinking behind. That church lied to you.
September 15, 2013 at 06:45 AM
"Even if, doubting that objective morality exists, I talk as if it did, it does not follow that objective morality exists."
Hi RonH, but it does if you are striving to be coherent in your worldview. You hand wave away logical inconsistency when you dont like where it ends, why not live as if you believe your philosophy/worldview? Come on, man up and live up to Jared's appraisal of you [that you are a consistent atheist].
It seems to me that scblhrm has you on the hot seat, you are yet again exposed, even I feel uncomfortable for you--it's for your own good though.
Brad B |
September 15, 2013 at 04:56 PM
Regarding lefty and righty, what we see in the video is that one helps the other when the other bugs him to do so. We are left supremely ignorant about why the one gave in to the other's pestering. Maybe he was thinking about future help. Maybe he was also remembering the brutal mauling he received last time he refused the nudge. Or maybe it was something else. We just don't know.
But let's put your construction on it. The chimp who was not hungry was cooperating now in order to secure the other's cooperation in the future.
Once again, rape gangs cooperate. A member of the gang might well involve himself in hunting down and subduing a victim even if he does not intend, on this occasion, to rape the victim. He does it just so that his fellow gang members will cooperate with him the next time he decides that he would like to rape someone. What a prince!
Cooperation is neither necessary nor sufficient for morality.
September 15, 2013 at 06:36 PM
I guess it's incoherent to use the words 'sunrise' and 'sunset'.
Convenient, though, aren't they - since everyone knows what you mean.
How about you: Can you supply some evidence for 'objective morality'?
Again, I mean the Cosmic Enforcer kind. Ultimate Accountability.
Actually, I think I said I think he did it because of how he felt.
He might also secure future cooperation.*
And if (on average) he does secure some future benefit, then his tendency to have such feelings will have fitness value.
Friends have fitness value for social animals.
Sometimes, as you point out, he'll have the feeling, act on it, and end up hurting another chimps.
But on average, being emotionally motivated to take the feelings of others into account will lead him to help others not hurt them.
And if he has a great grandson überchimp, that guy start to argue with his friends about the origin of such feelings and what to do about them.
*Maybe he even foresees it.
September 15, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Hi RonH, what would you consider to be evidence? Isn't it enough that you strive to attain coherence and account for morals in your worldview? You want to account for morality because you cant live like you want to...ie expect all to respect others, and have others respect certain rights between each other. You want reasoned arguments to compel others that certain behavior ought to be encouraged or even demanded, you just dont want to ground them in anything but man alone...the animal. This though, is also an attempt to objectify morality, ground morality, make morality an objective standard...but, you cant logically get there from where you start so you just wave away the need for grounding the law outside of man, above man, and claim/bare nakedly assert no heed for higher authority.
In the Christian worldview, God as creator has every right to compel law keeping...it's His world and men are His creatures, He is Authority.
Both cases are evidence of objective morality...one is proven by life as experienced by man, the other by Biblical revelation.
Brad B |
September 16, 2013 at 12:40 AM
My second sentence needs edit, I didn't proofread well before posting, it should have went like this:
"You want to account for morality because you cant live like you want to without some kind of binding moral standard...ie expect all....snip"
Brad B |
September 16, 2013 at 12:50 AM
As I said before. We have no idea what the chimps are thinking. The one might be operating entirely out of fear of the other.
But no matter what construction you put on it you don't automatically have morality. Everything you said of righty and lefty could be said of members of the rape gang (except the bit about their being moral).
September 16, 2013 at 03:38 AM
Provide evidence that torturing infants for fun is morally evil in and of itself, says Ron. Let's just all stop and think about that statement for a minute...I'm sure that most people agree with me that I don't need to provide evidence that such an act is objectively morally wrong. This is where most of us seem to disagree with Ron.
Jared Berryman |
September 16, 2013 at 03:02 PM
what would you consider to be evidence?
If you had to introduce a Cosmic Enforcer/Lawgiver to account for some thing in the world that existed, I would consider that thing evidence in favor of the c e/l.
That's an oversimplification. The real answer is Bayes's theorem.
It's possible, but I don't think Lefty is afraid in the video. And it's possible, but I don't think Righty is threatening Lefty.
If, in this case, Lefty is in fact afraid and Righty is in fact threatening Lefty there's no sign of it that I can see. Anyway, couldn't I find other similar cases? Are they all misleading?
I think Lefty and Righty are having emotions much like the ones that lead us to ask each other for help and give each other help.
I completely agree with you that SOMETIMES such help asked for and given while these same kinds of emotions hold sway is help for the purposes of hurting a third party. I already said that.
I don't think Lefty and Righty are engaged in moral theorizing or following a system of ethics. I already said that.
Thank you both. Out of time for now. But this isn't going away.
September 16, 2013 at 03:23 PM
I completely agree with you that SOMETIMES such help asked for and given while these same kinds of emotions hold sway is help for the purposes of hurting a third party behaving immorally.
OK, So what we see with the chimps in not sufficient for morality. You just admitted that.
What's more, I think you also have to admit that SOMETIMES behaving morally has nothing to do with cooperation. And in fact may have to do with not cooperating. For example, the problem with collaborators during war is not that they don't cooperate...it's that they do.
And so cooperation is not necessary for morality either.
September 16, 2013 at 03:33 PM
Hmmmm.... neither necessary nor sufficient.... Sam Harris' illogical [Flourish = Good] is incoherent on yet a another front... on so many fronts....
September 16, 2013 at 05:28 PM
Oh ok, now I see, it's Bayes again...
Brad B |
September 16, 2013 at 11:07 PM
Atheism’s appeal to a calculator (Bayes) reveals why it is that the Atheism can only whisper, “Whatever……” in reply to all moral acts in question. The “non-biased” and the “physically weighable” and so on which the Atheist demands of all men makes on such questions nonsense of all his own moral statements. A certain person and his captives, mentioned earlier, are, on Atheism’s end, addressed with a calculator. Huh? They’ve got to be kidding….. a calculator? There? But how? To what end? The screen of this calculator, ever failing to yield a moral sum in ontology’s necessary display, leaves atheism simply silent. Or full of lies. One or the other. But, atheism teaches that such is not a Noble Lie, for, in the church of his youth the atheist’s high-priest did tell him: “If you will only believe your fantasy of ought-not, if you will only believe your fantasy of ought, then those fantasies will, by magic, come to life and will, in and by your magical thinking, in and by your faith, then be real. If you will only believe.”
Fantasy, Magical Thinking, and, actuality. When I was a child I use to think that Santa Clause was “real”, that he was “actual”. Because, after all, I believed it was so. But, of course, I grew up and put down all my magical, childish, thinking.
Back to the rape-gang: full of cooperation, full of genomic perpetuation, full of biological flourishing, and, the screen of atheism’s calculator, which reads as follows, on necessity: w-h-a-t-e-v-e-r
Love’s ontology inside of the necessarily triune landscape of I, of You, of these Two-Distinct-s inside of that singular Unity that is Love’s third Distinct, E Pluribus Unum, bring us to what we all know is the truth of the matter. Love and Logic, these two eyes, bring us to the end of ad infinitum on all fronts. Love void of Logic is but a lie, and, Logic void of Love is but a lie. Only the fool sacrifices either, for both speak in the language of, in the definitions of, self-evidence. That [Actuality] is a [Perfect-1] is self-evident in Logic’s Eye, though never touched, traversed, by the finger, just as, that Love is that Perfect-1, that Pefect-3, is self-evident in Love’s Eye, though never touched, traversed, by the finger. Love and Logic bring us to the end of ad infinitum.
September 17, 2013 at 02:58 AM
When what your starting point necessitates is blind, mechanistic or determined development of ever evolving automatons, I think that Bayes Theorem [as your go to unifier] can give you something along the lines of reliable prophecy.
While I dont think RonH is consistent in his atheism here...he doesn't live like he believes his thoughts are determined by material processes, Bayes as an analyistic tool is consistent with the atheistic worldview because for it to yeild reliably, it requires robot like statistical input...the kind of determinism atheism necessitates.
Brad B |
September 17, 2013 at 09:59 AM
You have to smile - when you see someone go to the mat trying to make the case that chimps are moral creatures, while at the same time brushing off any suggestion of objective morality for lack of evidence.
It’s a wonder Ron doesn’t lay in bed awake at night shuddering at the horrors of the jungle. If you can convince yourself that there’s no objective reason one ought to care at all, I guess you don’t have to.
September 17, 2013 at 10:15 AM
Coincidentally, Greg talked about chimps and morality on the show last night.
He actually touched on something I was already planning to point out here. I'll try to paraphrase him
Evolutionary theorists say that evolution explains moral feelings and behavior the behavior. They don't say evolution proves any theory of ethics nor do they say that it proves that the elements of such theories (justice, etc.) have their own independent existence.
He called this 'a dodge'. It's not a dodge. The difference between the elements of a theory and the real things in the world is a real and crucial difference.
Reminder: I am not the topic.
September 18, 2013 at 06:32 AM
Maybe you are friendlier to abductive reasoning - inference to the best explanation.
If so, can you give me an example where abduction conflicts with Bayes and wins?
September 18, 2013 at 09:44 AM
Plug this into your Bayesian calculation:
First, take any protein in the human body.
Count the number of amino acids in its structure.
Now divide that number by all other possible arrangements of the same amino acids in the protein.
Now divide that number by the average time it takes for a human being to reproduce.
Now, do the same calculation for every other protein found in the human body.
Now, sum all of the accumulated time and divide it by the time available since this planet formed.
Now, factor in a few billion years of error.
So, what are the chances that a human being could have evolved from a single celled organism by random mutation and fortuitous survival: <1/10^250
Now, what are the chances that Jesus Christ came to earth to tell us that human beings are His creation: >1/10^250
Inference to the best explanation: Trust Jesus!
Scott Richardson |
September 18, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Hi Scott Richardson,
If you can follow such presentations you can understand the errors in them.
Have at it.
September 18, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Thanks Ron! That link gave me a good laugh. A wholly fortuitous sequence formed naturally. What did that first sequence code for? With all possible sequences of junk available, how in the name of Darwin would they happen to arrange into a yet unknown viable sequence? And where did they get the Ribosome to read the sequence? And how did they get a semi-permeable membrane? And how did they happen to code for a self replicating, mutating (just not too much), organism? And what did they eat and excrete? How did it move? Just a few billion more questions to answer and we should have a working theory. LOL!
Scott Richardson |
September 18, 2013 at 06:23 PM
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