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that morality thing

Started by billy rubin, October 21, 2019, 11:41:33 PM

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billy rubin

Quote from: Siz on October 20, 2019, 11:31:46 PM
I think we're on the same sheet.

If you want further reading, an old member, Stevil, always framed this idea in much better terms than I ever could.

Quote from: StevilTo get the record straight, I don't believe in morality. I think it is a make believe human made concept. You cannot test for it and you cannot measure it. It is simply a way of categorising human actions into good (right), bad (wrong) and neutral. The thing is, when we start categorising, we all tend to have different lists. There certainly is no absolute standard of right and wrong, so when we categorise, we are using different standards to do this. Some people use the golden rule, others a perception of what humanism is, others use the teachings of the enlightenment of Buddha, others use the teachings of Mohammad, others the teachings of Jesus and others the teachings of the Old Testament, etc.

I guess, people by and large have a desire to be good. The problem is that there is no way of telling what is good from what is bad. I feel this is a driving force behind why people take up religion. They quickly learn that the definition of good differs from person to person hence they realise that they cannot trust themselves and hence they look to the wise. However the problem with the wise is that one wise person's morality differs from anothers. Human defined morality is a problem in that one person's morality is no better or no worse than another's. Thousands of years old religion that claims to know what is good, inspired by a perfect and all good deity becomes a compelling guide. If a person chooses to believe in the deity and believe in the specific religion then their problem of defining good goes away, thus they can now work towards being a good person.

An atheist doesn't have the deity option. An atheist looking for morality must either look for a principle, a wise person/organisation or must trust themselves.

The dangerous side to belief in morality is that morality doesn't stop at the self. Morality leads towards judgement of others, as people are now making bold claims as to whether others are acting morally or immorally. If a person stopped at only the self, they would be defining their own personal values rather than morality. Once people go down that dangerous path of moral judgement of others, they then look to enforce moral rules on others, so they put this into law.

Morality based law will result in oppression, which will result in conflict, which will result in danger for those living within that moral based society.
All religious wars are due to an insistence of pushing a flavour of morality onto others.

I am a strong proponent for defining a clear and specific goal for law. I would rather law act towards creating a stable and functional society rather than a moral one. With this goal in mind it would be hard to justify law against homosexuality, or polygomy, or pornography, or prostitution, or euthanasia, or against religious freedom. You don't have to agree with these things, you would just have to realise that it isn't your place to prevent others from doing them.

Banned for not taking the hint and taking this to another thread.


more people have been to berlin than i have

billy rubin

i've read this bit from stevil several times, and it seems he has a blind spot or two. now, i've nevr met him or talked to him, so maybe i'm wrong, but here is my opinion.

basically, he makes two assertions that he thinks are reasonable.

QuoteI guess, people by and large have a desire to be good. The problem is that there is no way of telling what is good from what is bad.

and

QuoteYou don't have to agree with these things, you would just have to realise that it isn't your place to prevent others from doing them.

these two ideas contradict each other. stevil wrote that there is no way to tell good from bad, but then states that it is not good to coerce others to a point of view they disagree with.

i'm with him up to that point, but we part company there. if there is no such thing as good, then it can't be bad to force people's behavior.

stevil declares morality absurd, then declares his own to be cardinal.

just a thought.



more people have been to berlin than i have

Siz

I see no contradiction here.

The key premise of a fair society is: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (a subtle but significant reworking of the Christian golden rule).

So, if you fuck with someone else's shit, that would give justification for them to fuck with your shit. Well, I don't want my shit fucked with so I leave theirs alone.
Nothing to do with morality or any objective good/bad judgement, just maintenance of free and fair co-existence. Any of your subjective good/bad judgements are irrelevant to me as long as we each respect the golden rule.

When one sleeps on the floor one need not worry about falling out of bed - Anton LaVey

The universe is a cold, uncaring void. The key to happiness isn't a search for meaning, it's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually you'll be dead!

billy rubin

Quote from: Siz on October 22, 2019, 01:48:00 AM
I see no contradiction here.

The key premise of a fair society is: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (a subtle but significant reworking of the Christian golden rule).

So, if you fuck with someone else's shit, that would give justification for them to fuck with your shit. Well, I don't want my shit fucked with so I leave theirs alone.
Nothing to do with morality or any objective good/bad judgement, just maintenance of free and fair co-existence. Any of your subjective good/bad judgements are irrelevant to me as long as we each respect the golden rule.

but you have just defined a moral society, siz, one created in your own image. according to your suggestion, society should be"free and fair." what makes a fair society something that i should pursue? maybe i want to oppress people instead, because i like it better than fairness.

if it is right to be fair, and wrong to deny fairness, you have just defined a system that establishes the ideas of right and wrong and also establishes that people have a right to a certain manner of treatment by others.

that's morality, isn't it? right, wrong, and human rights?

as an aside, why do people here put pictures of spoons under their posts?


more people have been to berlin than i have

Siz

Quote from: billy rubin on October 22, 2019, 02:08:23 AM
Quote from: Siz on October 22, 2019, 01:48:00 AM
I see no contradiction here.

The key premise of a fair society is: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (a subtle but significant reworking of the Christian golden rule).

So, if you fuck with someone else's shit, that would give justification for them to fuck with your shit. Well, I don't want my shit fucked with so I leave theirs alone.
Nothing to do with morality or any objective good/bad judgement, just maintenance of free and fair co-existence. Any of your subjective good/bad judgements are irrelevant to me as long as we each respect the golden rule.

but you have just defined a moral society, siz, one created in your own image. according to your suggestion, society should be"free and fair." what makes a fair society something that i should pursue? maybe i want to oppress people instead, because i like it better than fairness.

if it is right to be fair, and wrong to deny fairness, you have just defined a system that establishes the ideas of right and wrong and also establishes that people have a right to a certain manner of treatment by others.

that's morality, isn't it? right, wrong, and human rights?

as an aside, why do people here put pictures of spoons under their posts?

Woah there BR, be careful with your paraphrasing.

"Should"??? I'd never use such a word without definite qualification. I certainly didn't say that society SHOULD be free and fair, because that would have been an unqualified value judgement. But I did suggest what WOULD make society free and fair. And it is my preference to live thus... because fairness suits me and unfairnes does not.

A moral society? I defined nothing of the sort. Do not confuse fair with moral. The reason i highlight 'fairnes' is because i believe it to be the closest measureable concept to the common perception of morality. And the concept most suited to achieving a society I'd like to be a part of. I'll readily call that 'good' with the understanding that it's a subjective 'good'.

As for you choosing to live outside of the golden rule - that is entirely your choice. I won't play with you though. And I might just slit your throat if you fuck with my shit. 😁

When one sleeps on the floor one need not worry about falling out of bed - Anton LaVey

The universe is a cold, uncaring void. The key to happiness isn't a search for meaning, it's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually you'll be dead!

xSilverPhinx

Quote from: billy rubin on October 22, 2019, 02:08:23 AM
as an aside, why do people here put pictures of spoons under their posts?

http://www.happyatheistforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=14281.0

:grin:

Bad Penny makes them for us when we reach 1000 posts. But he has to be asked nicely.  ;D
I am what survives if it's slain - Zack Hemsey


Magdalena

Quote from: xSilverPhinx on October 22, 2019, 03:50:40 AM
Quote from: billy rubin on October 22, 2019, 02:08:23 AM
as an aside, why do people here put pictures of spoons under their posts?

http://www.happyatheistforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=14281.0

:grin:

Bad Penny makes them for us when we reach 1000 posts. But he has to be asked nicely.  ;D

That one, or this one:
Quote from: Recusant on May 26, 2016, 06:04:02 AM
Looking for threads that used to be stickied in this board, and this one caught my eye. Here's a link to the other thread on the same topic, in the interest of historical continuity.   :studious:

"I've had several "spiritual" or numinous experiences over the years, but never felt that they were the product of anything but the workings of my own mind in reaction to the universe." ~Recusant

xSilverPhinx

I am what survives if it's slain - Zack Hemsey


Magdalena


"I've had several "spiritual" or numinous experiences over the years, but never felt that they were the product of anything but the workings of my own mind in reaction to the universe." ~Recusant

billy rubin

Quote from: Siz on October 22, 2019, 03:45:40 AM
Woah there BR, be careful with your paraphrasing.

"Should"??? I'd never use such a word without definite qualification. I certainly didn't say that society SHOULD be free and fair, because that would have been an unqualified value judgement. But I did suggest what WOULD make society free and fair. And it is my preference to live thus... because fairness suits me and unfairnes does not.

A moral society? I defined nothing of the sort. Do not confuse fair with moral. The reason i highlight 'fairnes' is because i believe it to be the closest measureable concept to the common perception of morality. And the concept most suited to achieving a society I'd like to be a part of. I'll readily call that 'good' with the understanding that it's a subjective 'good'.

As for you choosing to live outside of the golden rule - that is entirely your choice. I won't play with you though. And I might just slit your throat if you fuck with my shit. 😁

well, that's okay, but remember that "should" is the idea that stevil advocated in his original post:

QuoteYou don't have to agree with these things, you would just have to realise that it isn't your place to prevent others from doing them.

when stevil tells me that an action i might want to perform "isn't my place," then he is saying that i should follow some sort of code that he has introduced. so perhaps stevil wasn't the best choice with which to open this discussion.

personally, though, i agree with him that right and wrong are human constructs, from which we also derive good and evil. the natural world doesn't contain the idea. what could be right or wrong about leaves falling from a tree, or water flowing downhill?

or an asteroid impact wiping out all life on earth?

my own behavioural code is founded on absurdity. i behave as if morals exist, even though i couldn't justify any underlying reason for why they are normative. i follow this delusion pretty strictly, and so from the outside it appears that i am a moral person, even while i keep up the internal debate. a religious person would observe that i am following an ultimate moral code that is innate, and common to all peeople. but i don't see that in the real world, and have no evidence for the validity of religion.

why does fairness suit you? i've observed in my life that the best way to get ahead is to lie, cheat, and steal. there are examples all over human culture and biology. what is it about fairness that you find attractive?


more people have been to berlin than i have

billy rubin

Quote from: xSilverPhinx on October 22, 2019, 03:50:40 AM
Quote from: billy rubin on October 22, 2019, 02:08:23 AM
as an aside, why do people here put pictures of spoons under their posts?

http://www.happyatheistforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=14281.0

:grin:

Bad Penny makes them for us when we reach 1000 posts. But he has to be asked nicely.  ;D

one discovery generates the next mystery:

why tableware?

:thoughtful:


more people have been to berlin than i have

Tank

Quote from: billy rubin on October 22, 2019, 02:50:33 PM
Quote from: xSilverPhinx on October 22, 2019, 03:50:40 AM
Quote from: billy rubin on October 22, 2019, 02:08:23 AM
as an aside, why do people here put pictures of spoons under their posts?

http://www.happyatheistforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=14281.0

:grin:

Bad Penny makes them for us when we reach 1000 posts. But he has to be asked nicely.  ;D

one discovery generates the next mystery:

why tableware?

:thoughtful:

Ah! You find that our when you get one.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
"Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt." ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

Siz

Quote from: billy rubin on October 22, 2019, 02:43:03 PM
Quote from: Siz on October 22, 2019, 03:45:40 AM
Woah there BR, be careful with your paraphrasing.

"Should"??? I'd never use such a word without definite qualification. I certainly didn't say that society SHOULD be free and fair, because that would have been an unqualified value judgement. But I did suggest what WOULD make society free and fair. And it is my preference to live thus... because fairness suits me and unfairnes does not.

A moral society? I defined nothing of the sort. Do not confuse fair with moral. The reason i highlight 'fairnes' is because i believe it to be the closest measureable concept to the common perception of morality. And the concept most suited to achieving a society I'd like to be a part of. I'll readily call that 'good' with the understanding that it's a subjective 'good'.

As for you choosing to live outside of the golden rule - that is entirely your choice. I won't play with you though. And I might just slit your throat if you fuck with my shit. 😁

well, that's okay, but remember that "should" is the idea that stevil advocated in his original post:

QuoteYou don't have to agree with these things, you would just have to realise that it isn't your place to prevent others from doing them.

when stevil tells me that an action i might want to perform "isn't my place," then he is saying that i should follow some sort of code that he has introduced. so perhaps stevil wasn't the best choice with which to open this discussion.

personally, though, i agree with him that right and wrong are human constructs, from which we also derive good and evil. the natural world doesn't contain the idea. what could be right or wrong about leaves falling from a tree, or water flowing downhill?

or an asteroid impact wiping out all life on earth?

my own behavioural code is founded on absurdity. i behave as if morals exist, even though i couldn't justify any underlying reason for why they are normative. i follow this delusion pretty strictly, and so from the outside it appears that i am a moral person, even while i keep up the internal debate. a religious person would observe that i am following an ultimate moral code that is innate, and common to all peeople. but i don't see that in the real world, and have no evidence for the validity of religion.

why does fairness suit you? i've observed in my life that the best way to get ahead is to lie, cheat, and steal. there are examples all over human culture and biology. what is it about fairness that you find attractive?

I guess it depends on what you place value on in the world doesn't it?! If what you value or aspire to can be achieved by lying, cheating and stealing then go for it. Many people do. But it's not a nice place to live if I can also be on the recieving end of such behaviour.

I don't see fairness as particularly attractive, per se - it's a rather dreary concept, of course. But it's superior (subjectively), on aggregate, than the alternative.

But don't think I'm a sell-out to the human good - I couldn't care less if we were all wiped out by an asteroid hit tomorrow. Probably for the best in the long run... I'm gonna call that 'good'!








When one sleeps on the floor one need not worry about falling out of bed - Anton LaVey

The universe is a cold, uncaring void. The key to happiness isn't a search for meaning, it's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually you'll be dead!

billy rubin

speaking of asteroids, theres a fantastic fossil site in north dakota that was recently identified as being laid down near the end of the cretaceous. and not only near, but preciseley at the K-T boundary. its a tsunami deposit a meter thick that recods a half-hour of deposition immediately following the impact.

torn up vegetation, fish ripped apart and skewered on debris, fascinating stuff. and its all in the turf of a palaeontologist who is more or less a fringe outcast. amazing.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.sciencenews.org/article/new-fossils-north-dakota-dinosaur-killing-asteroid-impact/amp



more people have been to berlin than i have

Ecurb Noselrub

Quote from: Siz on October 22, 2019, 01:48:00 AM
I see no contradiction here.

The key premise of a fair society is: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (a subtle but significant reworking of the Christian golden rule).

Hmmm.  So here is what Jesus is reported to have said (in King James English): Matthew 7:12 -"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you: do ye even so to them."  Not sure I see how you subtly reworked it, other than switching the phrases.