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Is there morality without God?
YES! Somethings are simply wrong! 85%  85%  [ 34 ]
NO! If God decided that torturing babies was righteous it would be righteous! 15%  15%  [ 6 ]
Total votes : 40

DentArthurDent
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23 Jan 2014, 4:22 am

Moviefan2k4 wrote:
Concepts like love, honor, justice, peace, and selflessness aren't rooted in materials or molecules. If you murder somebody, the carbon atom isn't bothered one bit.


Once again you show your complete and utter ignorance of evolutionary science, if you had the slightest knowledge of the subject you would know that altruism is an evolutionary stable strategy. A tad more knowledge and you would have an inkling regarding the concept of hereditary evolution, but you dont.

Also which gods morals should we be following, the Rainbow serpent , the Norse Gods, the Greek, Roman, Mayan, if its the Abrahamic god which flavour would you like; Muslim, Jew, or Christian. If its the god of the old testament which morals would you like to take on board, the genocidal flood, the keeping of slaves, the ten commandments where the adulation of god occupies the first four commandments with 'thou shalt not kill' coming in a desultory sixth place, or that long hair on a man is shameful, or that we should shun anything porcine, or a raped woman must marry her rapist, or that one should marry his dead brothers wife, or shall anyone who strikes his father or mother be put to death,or that humans should be burnt for offending god, or a child who curses his father should be killed, or “You shall not permit a sorceress to live" a line used to kill tens if not hundred of thousands of innocent women, men and children

I could go on and on with atrocities in the bible, but enough, you get my point, and yet you have the gall to tell me and everyone else, that the bible is the font of all human morals. What a foolish position you take.

The simple fact is that societies existed before the time of the biblical writings, that they appear somewhat uncivilised by our standards has nothing to do with the bible, as I have just shown by contemporary western standards, much within the bible is disturbingly immoral or amoral.

Ethics and Morals are not divine, they are not religious, they instead arise in two forms. One a very base evolutionary necessity and the other from the acquisition of knowledge and understanding of the natural world, something that creationists immorally lie about.


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23 Jan 2014, 4:27 am

Moviefan2k4 wrote:
The debate has been about belief for far too long; people need to get back to discussing truth instead of throwing emotional tantrums. In the end, it doesn't matter what any of us choose to accept in our minds; absolute truth will be the deciding factor.


I could not agree more, now regarding the age of the earth and the fact that is, evolution.............


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23 Jan 2014, 7:42 am

I have tried to stay out of this discussion because the framing of the poll does not relate in any way to the views that I personally hold. Since neither is a particularly good description, I have not chosen either option. My view is that good comes, not from what God says but from what he is. The conception of God that I hold to is where he is the highest moral authority. It does not follow from this (as is blatant within the poll) that morality is arbitrary. God's nature is good and he could no more command someone to do wrong than he could square a circle. That is not to say God is limited by anything other than logic. If something is wrong then it follows that God cannot command one to do it. To suggest otherwise would be to offer a logical contradiction.

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23 Jan 2014, 7:44 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
rokendearp wrote:
I voted no, technically good cannot exist without God,

The word ..od is not getting us anywhere!

All the apologetic Christians , if your God told you to kill babies and you disobey you will rot in you hell. Deservedly so for being such half arsed believers.!

Stop bending Christianity to fit into what ever twisted mess of devotion you call belief!


To quote Martin Luther in regard to the Bible: "You have to take the shaft with the wheat." That is, not everything in the Bible is of equal worth. And so yes, you have to choose what's right and keeping with Christ's message of reciprocating God's love for us by loving one another. And killing babies is not conducive to Christ's message of grace.


CHAFF!! !! !! ! With the wheat, I believe Martin L used the word tares which for all intents and purposes is the same thing!

I believe it was catholic priest talking about taking the shaft that made him start writing letters and buying nails in the first place.


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23 Jan 2014, 8:03 am

DentArthurDent wrote:
Once again you show your complete and utter ignorance of evolutionary science, if you had the slightest knowledge of the subject you would know that altruism is an evolutionary stable strategy. A tad more knowledge and you would have an inkling regarding the concept of hereditary evolution, but you dont.


Before jumping into this, what definition of 'good' are you using? Just so down the track we don't get into equivocation between how I would define it and how you would, it might be best if we distinguish. I have had this debate at a pretty high level in our country and against the best that the Atheist Foundation could throw at my side and we won. On the atheist side was an evolutionary biologist and perhaps the biggest misunderstanding she had was definitional. How is something that is good for the species, morally good? It is an answer that really has no proper reply because it is based on a fundamental equivocation between demonstrable utility and moral virtue. Lions for example, kill but they don't murder. It also leads to some pretty awful behaviour being sanctioned, are you really comfortable advocating a position where evolution is consistently equivocated with moral goodness? I have not met an evolutionary biologist yet brave enough to say that every useful behaviour under evolution constitutes moral goodness.

The second, less subtle but perhaps more profound objection comes from Plantinga in his book on Proper Function. He shows in his work that evolution can develop demonstrably incorrect beliefs (not just right and wrong related but factual), that aid survival but are still incorrect. Thus he shows a quite fundamental and additional equivocation between survival and correctness, which applies equally to moral knowledge as it does to our truth finding faculties.


DentArthurDent wrote:
Also which gods morals should we be following, the Rainbow serpent , the Norse Gods, the Greek, Roman, Mayan, if its the Abrahamic god which flavour would you like


Believe it or not, I actually agree with you here and extra points for the Rainbow Serpent, very Australian. It is however an additional argument to move from a deist view of God towards something else (which I fully acknowledge). However, lets stay with a more limited version and look at a logically coherent structure of the divine. If God is good, as a part of its nature (lets go with the general philosopher's view of God as maximally knowledgeable within the constraints of logic here here) it follows that any part of the person that cannot be reconciled to that conception ought to be treated suspiciously. So I have no issue with you taking shots at the Old Testament and some conceptions of God, its an appropriate reduction based on an insightful position. But I am not so comfortable with the machine gun assault because I can't see any real way that it invites positive discussion and thought from the person you are questioning.

DentArthurDent wrote:
Ethics and Morals are not divine, they are not religious, they instead arise in two forms. One a very base evolutionary necessity and the other from the acquisition of knowledge and understanding of the natural world, something that creationists immorally lie about.


Well I would reject the first part, for the reasons above but I certainly think we can and should engaging in reasoning when it comes to morality. I treat morality as something quite open to logical engagement, that can be refined through reason and developed over time. It is my view that moral knowledge is real objective knowledge.


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23 Jan 2014, 8:30 am

mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
Morality is a human invention, as is the concept of "God", as far as I can tell. I could be wrong, but whatever the case is, morality seems like a pretty decent thing. It helps keep (most) people from killing each other over petty things, and whatnot.


it seems to me that people conceive of their own violence and ill will in moral terms. have you ever heard someone say, "i have a right to be angry"? without morals, there is nothing to be angry about; without morals i cannot be wronged; without anger, there is little to moralize about. it takes morality in one form or another to suppress a natural concern for the well-being of others.



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23 Jan 2014, 8:43 am

Belief over reason?

We're doomed!

DOOMED, I say!



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23 Jan 2014, 11:03 am

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8T_G4u1rAs[/youtube]


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23 Jan 2014, 3:54 pm

DentArthurDent wrote:
Once again you show your complete and utter ignorance of evolutionary science, if you had the slightest knowledge of the subject you would know that altruism is an evolutionary stable strategy. A tad more knowledge and you would have an inkling regarding the concept of hereditary evolution, but you dont.


91 wrote:
I have not met an evolutionary biologist yet brave enough to say that every useful behaviour under evolution constitutes moral goodness.


Firstly 91 the above quote of mine was directly in response to Moviefan saying that "selflessness aren't rooted in materials or molecules" when in actual fact altruism IS an ESS. Secondly no evolutionary biologist worth a second glance would ever say what you quote above, what they do say however is that some socially beneficial evolutionary traits become common place and eventually get taught. I am of course discussing homosapiens here, but there is also some (admittedly scant) evidence of care and altruism amongst homo erectus.

As to Plantinga I am sorry but I cannot take seriously someone who believes in a form of Intelligent design and regards the acquiring of moral truths without the aid of god to be completely random events with a 50/50 chance of them being "true". In doing this he gives scant acknowledgement to the concept that experience/consequences/history and environment have a part to play in the acquiring of ethics and morals.


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23 Jan 2014, 6:08 pm

rokendearp wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
rokendearp wrote:
I voted no, technically good cannot exist without God,

The word ..od is not getting us anywhere!

All the apologetic Christians , if your God told you to kill babies and you disobey you will rot in you hell. Deservedly so for being such half arsed believers.!

Stop bending Christianity to fit into what ever twisted mess of devotion you call belief!


To quote Martin Luther in regard to the Bible: "You have to take the shaft with the wheat." That is, not everything in the Bible is of equal worth. And so yes, you have to choose what's right and keeping with Christ's message of reciprocating God's love for us by loving one another. And killing babies is not conducive to Christ's message of grace.


CHAFF!! !! !! ! With the wheat, I believe Martin L used the word tares which for all intents and purposes is the same thing!

I believe it was catholic priest talking about taking the shaft that made him start writing letters and buying nails in the first place.


I know, chaff... :oops:
I wrote that post without proofreading it like I should have.


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91
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23 Jan 2014, 8:45 pm

DentArthurDent wrote:
Firstly 91 the above quote of mine was directly in response to Moviefan saying that "selflessness aren't rooted in materials or molecules" when in actual fact altruism IS an ESS. Secondly no evolutionary biologist worth a second glance would ever say what you quote above, what they do say however is that some socially beneficial evolutionary traits become common place and eventually get taught. I am of course discussing homosapiens here, but there is also some (admittedly scant) evidence of care and altruism amongst homo erectus.


Well I don't really think that you would regard my discussing your statement as taking Moviefan's side. I used it to unpack issues with using evolutionary biology to eqivocate between two very different definitions of the term 'good'. On the one hand we can see something as being good for the species but it would be a fallacy of equivocation to say that what is good for the species is morally good. Moviefan is wrong in that selflessness is rooted in our evolutionary development but there is no moral property to that behavior. You did not do that, I just used your statement as a lead in to further discussion and figured you would give me the benefit of the doubt based on our past interactions.

DentArthurDent wrote:
As to Plantinga I am sorry but I cannot take seriously someone who believes in a form of Intelligent design and regards the acquiring of moral truths without the aid of god to be completely random events with a 50/50 chance of them being "true". In doing this he gives scant acknowledgement to the concept that experience/consequences/history and environment have a part to play in the acquiring of ethics and morals.


Plantinga is a good deal more sophisticated than that. There is a reason he is regarded as one of the best philosophers alive today. He does not support intelligent design as science (he worked until he retired in a department that really does hate creationism) but he does agree that a design inference is a valid philosophical position. That latter statement is something I would affirm also and any theist working with the teleological argument would also. Where Plantinga is on full attack is in the direction of the naturalist interpretation of data (which is also an equally philosophical position). I would recommend his three books on the subject to you (the most relevant would be Warrant and Proper Function) , they are actually quite good and if your only familiarity with him is through wiki or internet infidels then you have not even gotten close to the full picture of why he is so respected.


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23 Jan 2014, 8:51 pm

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24 Jan 2014, 3:48 am

91 wrote:
Well I don't really think that you would regard my discussing your statement as taking Moviefan's side. ........You did not do that, I just used your statement as a lead in to further discussion and figured you would give me the benefit of the doubt based on our past interactions


Yes I know, but I wanted to make sure that anyone reading you comment would be aware as well :wink:

DentArthurDent wrote:
As to Plantinga I am sorry but I cannot take seriously someone who believes in a form of Intelligent design and regards the acquiring of moral truths without the aid of god to be completely random events with a 50/50 chance of them being "true". In doing this he gives scant acknowledgement to the concept that experience/consequences/history and environment have a part to play in the acquiring of ethics and morals.


91 wrote:
Plantinga is a good deal more sophisticated than that.


Maybe, but he certainly has his detractors, most of them people I respect eg Sam Harris, Dawkins, HItchens to name a few, not sure what Sagan thought of him either and I doubt Ehrman thinks much of him either, but then their opinions are no doubt reciprocated by his supporters.

He did write this about a fictitious godless creature,"So consider any particular belief on the part of one of those creatures: what is the probability that it is true? Well, what we know is that the belief in question was produced by adaptive neurophysiology, neurophysiology that produces adaptive behavior. But as we’ve seen, that gives us no reason to think the belief true (and none to think it false). We must suppose, therefore, that the belief in question is about as likely to be false as to be true; the probability of any particular belief’s being true is in the neighborhood of 1/2. But then it is massively unlikely that the cognitive faculties of these creatures produce the preponderance of true beliefs over false required by reliability. If I have 1,000 independent beliefs, for example, and the probability of any particular belief’s being true is 1/2, then the probability that 3/4 or more of these beliefs are true (certainly a modest enough requirement for reliability) will be less than 10(to the power -58). And even if I am running a modest epistemic establishment of only 100 beliefs, the probability that 3/4 of them are true, given that the probability of any one’s being true is 1/2, is very low, something like .000001.[7] So the chances that these creatures’ true beliefs substantially outnumber their false beliefs (even in a particular area) are small. The conclusion to be drawn is that it is exceedingly unlikely that their cognitive faculties are reliable"

If this paragraph has not been taken out of context it then shows an absurd attempt to square the circle.

I can understand your concept of morals in the same way my partner sometimes says "love you more" when I tell her I love her. Her rationale is that my ASD prevents me from knowing true love and I cannot possibly understand the way she feels about me, I tend to accept this as possibly true. I think this is your rationale, I can have ethics and morals reached by logic and reason but without a love for, and acceptance of God, I can not possibly understand what it is to have religious ethics and my version will always be a shallow version of yours. This I reject. For starters I do not presume to force hardship and suffering on others so as to preserve my understanding of gods morals eg Contraception, Stem cell research, homosexuality, rape victims etc.

As a last thought why do people not raise the question of moral codes which precede the biblical writings Hammurabi comes immediately to mind?

PS not sure where you live in Aus but unless you are in certain parts of Queensland how good is it to have relatively benign temperatures again!


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24 Jan 2014, 3:54 am

Its a great world without god!


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24 Jan 2014, 10:41 am

Dick waving removed. Please try to keep the thread vaguely on topic.


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24 Jan 2014, 10:43 am

TallyMan wrote:
Dick waving removed. Please try to keep the thread vaguely on topic.


sorry..i didn't notice it was waving...in fact i was not looking at it...

But it is part of the topic..

sorry you do not see that..with due respect...

but carry on..please....

GOD is not restricted to Christianity...

Not hardly..

IT's a very large Universe....


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