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Let's quarrel over morals!

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Radiatia
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Let's quarrel over morals!

Postby Radiatia » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:52 am

Hello everyone. Hope you're all well.

I was reading through this thread before when someone brought up that inevitable line "How can you be moral without religion"?

After all "good" without "god" is just "o", right?

I noticed, as I skimread the thread, that the other posters dismissed the question as nonsense, which I personally felt to be grossly unfair.

After all, the nature of morality is something that has baffled philosophers since before the days of Socrates, which therefore leads me to the conclusion that either a) NSG contains the greatest philosophical minds the world has ever seen or b) There is some merit to the idea that morality at the very least needs to be defined, if not by religion then by something solid.

Now firstly, about me - I'm a crochety old atheist, hence why I am currently hard at work being bitter and nihilistic.

However several of my very dear Christian and Muslim friends have asked me how I am able to say "Persecution/Slavery/The production of the TV show 'Glee' is morally wrong" when I don't have a solid, or universal definition of what is morality, which usually causes me to hide behind the "I'm a moral nihilist" excuse.

Religion, although in my humble opinion irrational and illogical, does at the very least offer some kind of definition (or attempt at one) even if said definition is "obedience and the advocation of discrimination and slavery".

So, upon pondering this, I thought of doing things like reading Plato's Euthyphro, or going to the university that I live a block away from and talking to some of the philosophy lecturers, and reading and researching into this ancient dilemma.

And then I thought "Screw that. This looks like a job for NSG."
Last edited by Radiatia on Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Alyekra
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Postby Alyekra » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:57 am

I do love quarreling.

I hold that morality without God is arbitrary.
(FOR LEGAL REASONS, THAT'S A JOKE)

65 dkp

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Radiatia
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Postby Radiatia » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:59 am

Alyekra wrote:I do love quarreling.

I hold that morality without God is arbitrary.


As an atheist, I am inclined to agree until such time as I can find a better argument.

Of course, I'm also one of those people who does not believe that 'God' is a force for "good" which then leads me into the unpleasant position of having to define "good" and "evil".

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Audacious Huxley
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Postby Audacious Huxley » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:00 am

You're all absolutely ghastly.
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Laerod
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Postby Laerod » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:00 am

Alyekra wrote:I do love quarreling.

I hold that morality without God is arbitrary.

Less so than morality with a deity.

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Ethel mermania
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Postby Ethel mermania » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:10 am

Laerod wrote:
Alyekra wrote:I do love quarreling.

I hold that morality without God is arbitrary.

Less so than morality with a deity.


i disagree. If you wofship. the mighty Favog, eyou can be pretty sure there will be some virgin sacrifice within your worship service, and that the religion is based around keeping the mighty favog from getting too pissed, and raining down death and terror on the populace.

All moral systems are arbitrary, the question is can we agree upon any particular system? maximizing greater good, maximizing individual freedom, maximizing peace and tranquility, etc.
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Alyekra
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Postby Alyekra » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:11 am

Radiatia wrote:
Alyekra wrote:I do love quarreling.

I hold that morality without God is arbitrary.


As an atheist, I am inclined to agree until such time as I can find a better argument.

Of course, I'm also one of those people who does not believe that 'God' is a force for "good" which then leads me into the unpleasant position of having to define "good" and "evil".


So you believe that your moral system is arbitrary?

I would tell you that you should probably not put your belief into a flawed system, but would I be correct in assuming that you believe that there is a non-arbitrary atheistic moral system, and you're just waiting for someone to find it?
(FOR LEGAL REASONS, THAT'S A JOKE)

65 dkp

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Laerod
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Postby Laerod » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:11 am

Ethel mermania wrote:
Laerod wrote:Less so than morality with a deity.


i disagree. If you wofship. the mighty Favog, eyou can be pretty sure there will be some virgin sacrifice within your worship service, and that the religion is based around keeping the mighty favog from getting too pissed, and raining down death and terror on the populace.

All moral systems are arbitrary, the question is can we agree upon any particular system? maximizing greater good, maximizing individual freedom, maximizing peace and tranquility, etc.

Well, no. A moral system based on ethical argumentation is simply less arbitrary by definition than following a code that some group of people long dead arbitrarily came up with.

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Raeyh
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Postby Raeyh » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:12 am

You can easily replace God with the government, your parents, society or whatever authority figure you respect.

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Alyekra
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Postby Alyekra » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:14 am

Raeyh wrote:You can easily replace God with the government, your parents, society or whatever authority figure you respect.


I hate to invoke Godwin, but does "whatever authority figure you respect" include Hitler?
(FOR LEGAL REASONS, THAT'S A JOKE)

65 dkp

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Czechanada
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Postby Czechanada » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:15 am

There is no morality, only deviance.
"You know what I was. You see what I am. Change me, change me!" - Randall Jarrell.

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Alyekra
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Postby Alyekra » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:15 am

Laerod wrote:
Ethel mermania wrote:
i disagree. If you wofship. the mighty Favog, eyou can be pretty sure there will be some virgin sacrifice within your worship service, and that the religion is based around keeping the mighty favog from getting too ****, and raining down death and terror on the populace.

All moral systems are arbitrary, the question is can we agree upon any particular system? maximizing greater good, maximizing individual freedom, maximizing peace and tranquility, etc.

Well, no. A moral system based on ethical argumentation is simply less arbitrary by definition than following a code that some group of people long dead arbitrarily came up with.


I looked up "ethical argumentation" on wikipedia and it's way above my head, could you explain what it is real quick?
(FOR LEGAL REASONS, THAT'S A JOKE)

65 dkp

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Celebel
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Postby Celebel » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:17 am

We, as human beings, whether we are religious or atheists or angnostic, have a conscience- or at least an instinct that lets us know if what we are doing is against the basic unsaid laws. These laws are instilled in ourselves and contain the basic and obvious do's-and-don'ts: i.e. don't kill people, obey your parents, help that little old lady with her groceries. These laws are the foundations for morality, and apart from being found in ever human being, they are also the common points of almost every major religion/lifestyle, whether it be Buddhism, Catholicism, Hinduism, etc. So no matter what religious/non-religious kind of person you are, you can have morals- religion just makes it easier to do so and helps define the lines more, as well as giving counsel and guidance as to how to live your morals in a better way.

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Laerod
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Postby Laerod » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:18 am

Alyekra wrote:
Laerod wrote:Well, no. A moral system based on ethical argumentation is simply less arbitrary by definition than following a code that some group of people long dead arbitrarily came up with.


I looked up "ethical argumentation" on wikipedia and it's way above my head, could you explain what it is real quick?

The idea is that instead of basing what is right and what is wrong on old texts, you examine what you ought to do by finding arguments that support doing or not doing something. For instance you don't need a biblical commandment to realize that murder is wrong; there's good reasons to not allow people to kill each other. Meanwhile, the biblical prohibition on cotton-polyester blends is nonsensical and indefensible.

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Alyekra
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Postby Alyekra » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:19 am

Celebel wrote:We, as human beings, whether we are religious or atheists or angnostic, have a conscience- or at least an instinct that lets us know if what we are doing is against the basic unsaid laws. These laws are instilled in ourselves and contain the basic and obvious do's-and-don'ts: i.e. don't kill people, obey your parents, help that little old lady with her groceries. These laws are the foundations for morality, and apart from being found in ever human being, they are also the common points of almost every major religion/lifestyle, whether it be Buddhism, Catholicism, Hinduism, etc. So no matter what religious/non-religious kind of person you are, you can have morals- religion just makes it easier to do so and helps define the lines more, as well as giving counsel and guidance as to how to live your morals in a better way.


So are Psychopaths exempt from morality?
(FOR LEGAL REASONS, THAT'S A JOKE)

65 dkp

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Raeyh
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Postby Raeyh » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:19 am

Alyekra wrote:
Raeyh wrote:You can easily replace God with the government, your parents, society or whatever authority figure you respect.


I hate to invoke Godwin, but does "whatever authority figure you respect" include Hitler?


You sense of morality will be rather twisted.

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Radiatia
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Postby Radiatia » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:21 am

Alyekra wrote:
Radiatia wrote:
As an atheist, I am inclined to agree until such time as I can find a better argument.

Of course, I'm also one of those people who does not believe that 'God' is a force for "good" which then leads me into the unpleasant position of having to define "good" and "evil".


So you believe that your moral system is arbitrary?

I would tell you that you should probably not put your belief into a flawed system, but would I be correct in assuming that you believe that there is a non-arbitrary atheistic moral system, and you're just waiting for someone to find it?


You would be correct in saying I hope there is a non-arbitrary atheistic moral system but have given up all hope in ever finding one ;)

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Lietvos
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Postby Lietvos » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:21 am

Alyekra wrote:So are Psychopaths exempt from morality?


Well ... yes. Morality is self-imposed and so anyone unable or un-willing to adhere to a form of morality is exempt of it. Others might try to press their morality on him. A concept that we call 'law and justice'.
Last edited by Lietvos on Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Alyekra
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Postby Alyekra » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:21 am

Laerod wrote:
Alyekra wrote:
I looked up "ethical argumentation" on wikipedia and it's way above my head, could you explain what it is real quick?

The idea is that instead of basing what is right and what is wrong on old texts, you examine what you ought to do by finding arguments that support doing or not doing something. For instance you don't need a biblical commandment to realize that murder is wrong; there's good reasons to not allow people to kill each other. Meanwhile, the biblical prohibition on cotton-polyester blends is nonsensical and indefensible.


So is it's only stance Anti-Biblical authority, or does it propose it's own standard of morallity?
(FOR LEGAL REASONS, THAT'S A JOKE)

65 dkp

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Ragnarsdomr
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Postby Ragnarsdomr » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:22 am

Laerod wrote:
Alyekra wrote:
I looked up "ethical argumentation" on wikipedia and it's way above my head, could you explain what it is real quick?

The idea is that instead of basing what is right and what is wrong on old texts, you examine what you ought to do by finding arguments that support doing or not doing something. For instance you don't need a biblical commandment to realize that murder is wrong; there's good reasons to not allow people to kill each other. Meanwhile, the biblical prohibition on cotton-polyester blends is nonsensical and indefensible.


The way that prohibition was explained to our class this year by our prof, it was more of a social prohibition in order to keep the uniform of the laiety separate from that of the High Priest, whose clothing did have mixed wool and linen woven in. So, in that case it does make sense, as it creates a separation between the official uniform of a governing position, and the clothing of those who don't belong to that group.

Will try and find online sources to back this up in a minute, if I have time.


I'm clearly remembering that wrong, as Wiki claims that it was a prohibition to differentiate the Hebrews from the other Canaanites in the region, as well as to preserve the use of wool for prayer shawls. My apologies. Either way, there was a function for the ban on wool-linen blends beyond 'loljustbecause'.
Last edited by Ragnarsdomr on Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Conservative Morality wrote:By accepting yourself and who you are. Accept violence. Accept aggression. Accept dominance. Not as a man, but as a human. Accept conflict, and find a place for it in life. Neither deny nor revel in it. Revel in one thing and one thing only: humanity. What higher goal is there, after all? Embrace who you are, what you are, and what you can be. Throw off the shackles of shame, refuse self-loathing, refuse misandry, refuse misogyny, refuse misanthropy, instead, love what you are. Love mankind, love man and woman, and love yourself.

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Alyekra
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Postby Alyekra » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:22 am

Raeyh wrote:
Alyekra wrote:
I hate to invoke Godwin, but does "whatever authority figure you respect" include Hitler?


You sense of morality will be rather twisted.


So you concede that there is a "straight" morality? Because if there was no straight morality you couldn't have a twisted one.
Last edited by Alyekra on Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
(FOR LEGAL REASONS, THAT'S A JOKE)

65 dkp

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Cruciland
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Postby Cruciland » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:22 am

Morality is defined on what YOU think is right and wrong. Morals come from both an innate and learned part of you. When something you dislike happens, and it's bad enough, you might say it's morally wrong to do that. (for example, murder and rape) While a set of morals that is easy to follow is set up in religion, a looser, more anarchistic set exists in atheism and agnosticism...
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NMaa942
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Postby NMaa942 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:23 am

excuse me, what is this thread about?

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Audacious Huxley
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Postby Audacious Huxley » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:24 am

NMaa942 wrote:excuse me, what is this thread about?


Morality good sir.
Yours Truly and Unequivocally, Audacious Barrington Huxley Rightful Heir to the County of Tyrone and Duchy of Nassau, Muse of the Lumpenproletariat and General Rapscallion, Ankh Mautan Superintendent of Tweed, Chairman of the Figtree Club, a Gentleman and a Radical, Loyal Subject of the Lizard King and Interim Scarlett Pimpernel of the Internet.

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Celebel
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Postby Celebel » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:24 am

Lietvos wrote:[quote="Alyekra";p="10046855"
So are Psychopaths exempt from morality?


Well ... yes. Morality is self-imposed and so anyone unable or un-willing to adhere to a form of morality is exempt of it. Others might try to press their morality on him. A concept that we call 'law and justice'.[/quote]


To live in a morally correct way is a self-imposed duty. The Psychopath has to know, even in the teeniest, tiniest way that some of the things he's doing (if he's done anything wrong, for example murder) are wrong and go against his conscience. But, I mean, of course you're free to go and do whatever you want if it's according to your 'morals'. It's your life- if you go to jail/hell/ whatever you believe in, it's your business.

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