Harmony Central Forums
Announcement
Collapse
No announcement yet.

morality clarified

Collapse



X
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • morality clarified

    i have asserted many times on this board that we are the authors of our morality. I've tried to articulate it many ways, but I came across an article that does such an excellent job of it that I just had to post it here







    One of the most common defenses of god belief involves the claim that a god is necessary to explain man’s innate morality. Personally, I think this is just another case of people getting carried away with their feelings and not testing a theory rigorously. We need to ask - what does history tell us about man’s innate morality, and what does the Bible tell us about “god’s morality?”


    About a year ago, Leah Libresco, an atheist blogger on the Patheos Atheist Portal, announced that she had decided there really was a god and that she was in the process of becoming a Roman Catholic. Now Leah is no dummy; she is a Yale graduate and an obviously smart and articulate writer, so what was at the root of her conversion?

    If you doubt that she was a committed atheist to begin with, then you are not alone. As this article, by another atheist blogger shows, there are abundant signs that she was already leaning toward god belief and Catholicism when she started her blog: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/camelsw...o-catholicism/

    In that fateful article where she announces that she has converted to Christianity, she makes it clear that the overriding cause of her transformation involved the question of morals. Speaking of her friends with whom she had debated, she wrote: “I could see where they were coming from, but I stayed put. I was ready to admit that there were parts of Christianity and Catholicism that seemed like a pretty good match for the bits of my moral system that I was most sure of, while meanwhile my own philosophy was pretty kludged together and not particularly satisfactory.”

    She describes her startling epiphany thus:
    “My friend pressed me to stop beating up on other people’s explanations and offer one of my own.

    “I don’t know,” I said. ”I’ve got bupkis.”

    “Your best guess.”

    “I haven’t got one.”

    “You must have some idea.”

    “I don’t know. I’ve got nothing. I guess Morality just loves me or something.”

    “…”

    “Ok, ok, yes, I heard what I just said. Give me a second and let me decide if I believe it.”

    It turns out I did.

    I believed that the Moral Law wasn’t just a Platonic truth, abstract and distant. It turns out I actually believed it was some kind of Person, as well as Truth. And there was one religion that seemed like the most promising way to reach back to that living Truth.”
    Apparently, she decided that god IS morality, or, at the least, is the ultimate source of morality. I would argue that she missed the obvious as she she didn’t seek the counsel of history, nor did she examine closely the testimony of the foundational document of her new religion – the Bible - against her new theory.

    Libresco claimed that those who explained human morality in terms of evolutionary psychology, “Usually . . . radically misunderstand a) evolution b) moral philosophy or c) both.” Either those who attempted those explanations were complete dunderheads, or she wasn’t really listening, since the need for development of morality in the evolution of intelligent, social animals is a no-brainer. Man is weak against nature and the larger predators when alone. He has no fur against the elements, is, on average, a mediocre problem solver on his own, and is – compared to lions, tigers, etc. – weak and slow. Only by living in groups can he survive and compete successfully, and those groups (tribes, nations, whatever) would not hold together if man acted totally selfishly and had no sympathy for his neighbors. Could anything be more obvious?

    Thus, a moral tendency, i.e., a sympathy for others, is indeed innate in man. Yet, history shows that that tendency exists with a very wide range of expression. As the Bible clearly illustrates, what passed for moral behavior was considerably different in Biblical times. The Bible portrays slavery, racism, arranged marriages, gay-bashing, absolute authority of men over women, and women as property as perfectly standard morality. Today, we in the developed world find such a “morality” abhorrent and our laws reflect that fact.

    Now, if our morality came directly from god, how is it that what we call moral has changed so drastically over the past 2,000 years?

    What passed for moral behavior was considerably different in Biblical times.
    Further, if our morality is god-given, then why do we disagree on so many moral questions like abortion, gay marriage, premarital sex, capital punishment, etc.? And how does one explain sociopaths, those born without conscience, without sympathy? Where is god in this? Also, there is a vast literature on people whose moral outlooks were totally shifted because of brain damage, tumors, or other disease.

    In short, while the normal man or woman does have an innate sympathy for others, the expression of that tendency has changed dramatically over time, and exhibits considerable variance across individuals and cultures. If man got his moral sense from a god, then man has dramatically improved on god’s original plan. Who among us would willingly return to the moral landscape of the Western world of the early 20th century, when women did not have the vote or other equal rights, racism was rampant, and gays stayed in the closet for fear of ridicule or physical harm?

    I suggest that Leah Libresco turned to Christianity and Catholicism from purely emotional drives, not from clear-headed consideration of human morality from the facts of human existence and human history. Now, emotion can be good, but when judging how the world really works, the value of hard evidence and logic should never be ignored. The evidence of a god as the basis of human morality adds up to something between scant and none. In fact, I find the evidence overwhelming that nature, through evolution, planted the seeds of human morality, and from there (as Pogo might have put it),
    “We have met the morals-maker and he is us.”





  • #2
    "If man got his moral sense from a god, then man has dramatically improved on god’s original plan."
    Well said.
    E'lera del terzo mondo
    He's a Third World Man

    Comment


    • #3
      Morality is a man-made propaganda tool. "Don't **************** where you eat" is not morality. It's a survival trait.

      Zip
      665 - Neighbor of the Beast

      Originally Posted by RobRoy: I believe that the only way Obama will remain in power is if he suspends elections. And at that point he is no longer president. He is dictator. But I don't believe he will even survive that long. It could be suicide, impeachment by BOTH parties, you name it.

      Comment


      • #4
        I really don't know why I bother but...

        Atheists typically reject the idea that a morality exists independent of what a person thinks or feels, in the same way they reject the idea that a God exists outside of anyone's mind. What they are saying is that morality doesn't exist. If all it takes to make evil into good is for enough people to agree, how can you still call that consensus morality? Every society, including religious ones btw, becomes categorically moral.

        Ok fine. But they then, like the insipid meme in the op, they almost always turn around and say stuff like "I don't need any bearded guy to know what's right!" Wait. So somehow the atheist is a super good person despite neither good or evil existing? Neat trick!



        While she's talking, I'll use my mind to think of other things. She can't stop my mind!

        Comment


        • #5
          Last edited by goodhonk; 11-21-2014, 12:22 PM.
          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Opposite Day View Post
            I really don't know why I bother but...

            Atheists typically reject the idea that a morality exists independent of what a person thinks or feels, in the same way they reject the idea that a God exists outside of anyone's mind. What they are saying is that morality doesn't exist. If all it takes to make evil into good is for enough people to agree, how can you still call that consensus morality? Every society, including religious ones btw, becomes categorically moral.

            Ok fine. But they then, like the insipid meme in the op, they almost always turn around and say stuff like "I don't need any bearded guy to know what's right!" Wait. So somehow the atheist is a super good person despite neither good or evil existing? Neat trick!
            I think the point is that morality comes from man, not God. This is obvious, when you consider that mankind exists, and God... has not been shown to be even plausible. No contest.
            E'lera del terzo mondo
            He's a Third World Man

            Comment


            • #7
              The point about many things from biblical morality such as slavery and the subordination of women are pretty clear evidence that morality since the bronze age has changed. Absolutist can't persuasively argue otherwise.
              __________________________________________________

              Is This Thing On?

              https://soundcloud.com/tom-hicks888

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Tom Hicks View Post
                The point about many things from biblical morality such as slavery and the subordination of women are pretty clear evidence that morality since the bronze age has changed. Absolutist can't persuasively argue otherwise.
                what if we decided that slavery is not "wrong" and actually benefits society as a whole, does that make it "right"?

                ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Opposite Day View Post
                  I really don't know why I bother but...

                  Atheists typically reject the idea that a morality exists independent of what a person thinks or feels, in the same way they reject the idea that a God exists outside of anyone's mind. What they are saying is that morality doesn't exist. If all it takes to make evil into good is for enough people to agree, how can you still call that consensus morality? Every society, including religious ones btw, becomes categorically moral.

                  Ok fine. But they then, like the insipid meme in the op, they almost always turn around and say stuff like "I don't need any bearded guy to know what's right!" Wait. So somehow the atheist is a super good person despite neither good or evil existing? Neat trick!


                  LOL there is a collective morality that exists independent of what an individual person thinks or feels. this is evident by the fact that not everyone needs to subscribe to it. like CS lewis's natural law. its there but you can choose to go against it.

                  you premise that somehow the atheist is a super good person despite neither good or evil existing is a strawman. no one is saying good or evildont exist. we're say that they are human constructs and by nature temporary and devoid of everlasting meaning.
                  Last edited by moogerfooger; 11-21-2014, 12:56 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ​Amanda Marcote conveniently neglects to mention the shinning examples of history that the countries who practiced the Atheist religion, and have relied on the "morality of man", have left.

                    Unfortunately for Marcote, her sh@t actually stinks too.
                    Last edited by jorhay1; 11-21-2014, 01:08 PM.
                    __________________________________________________ _________
                    arcadesonfire:
                    And even if I were complaining about Democrats in general, I think it's healthy to critique one's own kind
                    ______________________________________________ _________
                    guido61: Nobody wants to be around No Fun Trump
                    __________________________________________________ ______
                    Zig al-din: The whole concept of a polite political dialogue is an oxymoron
                    _____________________________________________ _________
                    ​prolurkerguy: Knee jerk + soap box = injury waiting to happen

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      that just shows that people are people no matter what they believe.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        nationalism isn't the atheist religion.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by moogerfooger View Post



                          LOL there is a collective morality that exists independent of what an individual person thinks or feels. this is evident by the fact that not everyone needs to subscribe to it. like CS lewis's natural law. its there but you can choose to go against it.

                          you premise that somehow the atheist is a super good person despite neither good or evil existing is a strawman. no one is saying good or evildont exist. we're say that they are human constructs and by nature temporary and devoid of everlasting meaning.
                          It can't simultaneously be based on what people think and be independent of what people think. Sorry.

                          And as I said, f you reduce good and evil/morality to nothing more than prevailing opinion, you are saying they don't exist as something distinct from opinion.



                          While she's talking, I'll use my mind to think of other things. She can't stop my mind!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by goodhonk View Post
                            what if we decided that slavery is not "wrong" and actually benefits society as a whole, does that make it "right"?
                            Your hypothetical is too implausible for me to take it very seriously. But I am willing to discuss with you how elements of biblical morality have changed over the past several thousand years. Ever eaten shellfish? Likely there was a heath related reason initially for it being an "abomination" perhaps like oysters and months with an R.
                            __________________________________________________

                            Is This Thing On?

                            https://soundcloud.com/tom-hicks888

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Elektron View Post
                              I think the point is that morality comes from man, not God. This is obvious, when you consider that mankind exists, and God... has not been shown to be even plausible. No contest.
                              The way I see it, morality comes from both.

                              God is the part of us that understands the True Nature of our existence (as the Buddha put it) where, based on that understanding, Loving Kindness, Forgiveness and "Do Unto Others..." is a natural fit. It doesn't come from any rule book or fear of eternal damnation.


                              Originally posted by Opposite Day View Post

                              If all it takes to make evil into good is for enough people to agree, how can you still call that consensus morality? Every society, including religious ones btw, becomes categorically moral.
                              We don't "make evil into good" because there really is no evil. It is only out of ignorance of our True Nature that people behave in ways where their morality is compromised.

                              It's not really "consensus morality" but more of an understanding of what is truly important.


                              Originally posted by Tom Hicks View Post
                              The point about many things from biblical morality such as slavery and the subordination of women are pretty clear evidence that morality since the bronze age has changed. Absolutist can't persuasively argue otherwise.
                              Again, those morals were based on ignorance, not evil.



                              The main hindrances to discovering our True Nature are greed, hatred and delusion. Once we gat past those, morality becomes internally obvious and does not have to be dictated from the outside.


                              As a human being, you come with the whole range of inner possibilities
                              from the deepest hell to the highest states.

                              It is up to you which one you choose to explore
                              .

                              Comment













                              Working...
                              X