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We should take the Moral Highground
#21
RE: We should take the Moral Highground
(April 2, 2012 at 5:11 pm)ChadWooters Wrote: I'm not being sarcastic or anything, but how is it possible to claim the 'high moral ground' while asserting that morality is just a set of arbitrary conventions for behavior?

As opposed to asserting that morality is just a set of arbitrary conventions for behavior by an imaginary god that always seems to want whatever the believer wants?

Asserting that morality is a function of how we treat our fellow sentient beings, as determined by our innate sense of empathy, fair play and the social contract is superior.
Atheist Forums Hall of Shame:
"The trinity can be equated to having your cake and eating it too."
...      -Lucent, trying to defend the Trinity concept
"(Yahweh's) actions are good because (Yahweh) is the ultimate standard of goodness. That’s not begging the question"
...       -Statler Waldorf, Christian apologist
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#22
RE: We should take the Moral Highground
Quote:I think atheists definitely have a better understanding of morality. We act morally because it's the right thing to do, not out of fear that some God will punish us if we don't.

I have never seen any credible evidence for such a claim,although it is a common conceit with some atheists (such as Penn Jillete) From my observation, human beings as a species act from self interest above all.


I have no idea what you mean by "an understanding of morality" unless you mean YOUR understanding.


I am unaware of any objective code of morality nor of any universal,absolute ,moral imperatives.

For anyone to attempt claim the moral high ground in principle is humbug of the first water. Leave it to sanctimonious prigs such as Drip, GC, Undeceived et all and politicians justifying a war.Cool Shades
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#23
RE: We should take the Moral Highground
(April 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm)tobie Wrote:
(April 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm)Matt231 Wrote: Clap I think atheists definitely have a better understanding of morality. We act morally because it's the right thing to do, not out of fear that some God will punish us if we don't.

What's worse is the theists who claim that they'd be out living a life of crime if not for their belief in god.


Actually, what's worse are theists who live a life of crime in spite of believing in their fucking god.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rel..._of_crimes
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#24
RE: We should take the Moral Highground
(April 2, 2012 at 5:57 pm)DeistPaladin Wrote: As opposed to asserting that morality is just a set of arbitrary conventions for behavior by an imaginary god that always seems to want whatever the believer wants? Asserting that morality is a function of how we treat our fellow sentient beings, as determined by our innate sense of empathy, fair play and the social contract is superior.
Appealing to empathy, fair play and social contract is still not inherently superior to nihilism. In both systems values are derived from utility.
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#25
RE: We should take the Moral Highground
(April 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm)ChadWooters Wrote:
(April 2, 2012 at 5:57 pm)DeistPaladin Wrote: As opposed to asserting that morality is just a set of arbitrary conventions for behavior by an imaginary god that always seems to want whatever the believer wants? Asserting that morality is a function of how we treat our fellow sentient beings, as determined by our innate sense of empathy, fair play and the social contract is superior.
Appealing to empathy, fair play and social contract is still not inherently superior to nihilism. In both systems values are derived from utility.

Couldn't help but notice how you glossed over my criticism of a faith based system of morality and how it boils down to little more than "my imaginary friend tells me what's right which coincidentally is always whatever I want."

Moving past that, you'll note how I discussed "innate sense". We are social animals that depend on one another for survival. The ability to form laws is an evolutionary strength as is developing a reputation for integrity that others may be comfortable in dealing with you. You are free to believe that God gave us this conscience if you wish but doing so does nothing to validate your position. Either way, we still have that aforementioned innate sense and so we don't need religion.

One of the things that makes secular values superior is we eliminate the clutter and can zero in on the heart of the matter. Morality is a function of how we treat our fellow sentients. It is where our actions impact the wellbeing of our fellow sentient beings that questions of morality apply.

Religion, by contrast, obsesses over distractions like blasphemy, idolatry and apostasy. Read the Bible or Koran cover-to-cover and you'll find most references to what they call "evil" are to victimless activities like the three I just mentioned. If you don't have the time, peruse the 10 Commandments listed in Exodus 20. A few deal with real moral issues, like the prohibitions against murder, theft and adultery, but most are about being an obedient believer. By nature, religion will be more concerned with its own interests rather than real moral issues.

In sum, religion has a conflict of interest. Secular values don't. Ergo, we win.
Atheist Forums Hall of Shame:
"The trinity can be equated to having your cake and eating it too."
...      -Lucent, trying to defend the Trinity concept
"(Yahweh's) actions are good because (Yahweh) is the ultimate standard of goodness. That’s not begging the question"
...       -Statler Waldorf, Christian apologist
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#26
RE: We should take the Moral Highground
(April 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm)ChadWooters Wrote:
(April 2, 2012 at 5:57 pm)DeistPaladin Wrote: As opposed to asserting that morality is just a set of arbitrary conventions for behavior by an imaginary god that always seems to want whatever the believer wants? Asserting that morality is a function of how we treat our fellow sentient beings, as determined by our innate sense of empathy, fair play and the social contract is superior.
Appealing to empathy, fair play and social contract is still not inherently superior to nihilism. In both systems values are derived from utility.

I would say the only thing that makes moral behavior noteworthy is that it was not required. We could have done otherwise but we treated others fairly nonetheless. By fairly I mean of course the way in which we like to be treated. Now some may argue that that is just selfishness from a broader perspective and I have no problem with that. A Kantian thinks doing the moral thing is only morally superior because we do it for that very reason. Most of us could give a rat's ass less about the self perception of goodness. We're wired for productive go existence and that's enough.
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#27
RE: We should take the Moral Highground
Quote:I would say the only thing that makes moral behavior noteworthy is that it was not required


Of course it was (and is) required.

"Moral behaviour" is just a term we use to describe some behaviours vs some others. Those behaviours are based on utility; their utility is that they aid survival if one lives in a community.(itself useful for survival).


A moral relativist, my own moral philosophy is based on utlilitarianism. I recognise no external or transcendent moral authority.

What we now call 'morality' was not invented by recorded religion.Archeaology suggests that the earliest humans had a moral sense.Nor is moral behaviour unique to primates;it has also been observed in some other apes.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/20/scienc...wanted=all


http://www.forandagainst.com/When_Animal...uman_Trait
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#28
RE: We should take the Moral Highground
All this why we're better than them horseshit makes me :puke:
just as much here as it did in church. I still may consider flaming anyone and everyone who verbally expersses that I am beneath him/her as a result, sock puppet or no. You can think it, but... Lalala

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#29
RE: We should take the Moral Highground
If I can kill all my male competitors and impregnate all the females in the tribe so my genetic offspring dominate....then it's good to be the king. But if I'm a puny twerp its good to be a rapist. Evolutionary morality is still "might makes right" in another form and hardly qualifies as morality at all.
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#30
RE: We should take the Moral Highground
(April 3, 2012 at 11:34 pm)ChadWooters Wrote: If I can kill all my male competitors and impregnate all the females in the tribe so my genetic offspring dominate....then it's good to be the king. But if I'm a puny twerp its good to be a rapist. Evolutionary morality is still "might makes right" in another form and hardly qualifies as morality at all.

What if all the competition gangs up on you? Evolutionary morality has to take that in consideration as well.
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