Forum
 |  New Posts
 
 
 


Note: This topic is locked. No new replies will be accepted.


Reply
 
Author Comment
 
Reply with quote  #61 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9191
Quote:
@ Robert – in my experience the most common accusation leveled against atheists is that they lack morals.

If they claim that then they are wrong. Both myself and Dr. Craig have specifically pointed this out.

No one can prove/disprove that they have access to moral facts. What they can do is adopt a world-view which is compatible with the concept. I think we have many practical reasons for accetping that moral knowlege is objective,


So please provide an example of an objective morality demonstrably better than Pacioli's chicken entrails example.


Quote:
As a theist, I have good logical reasons for supposing that moral facts are real, I accept that moral knowlege is real objective knowege, the same as I accept that reality is objective.


Please provide those, too.

Quote:
I would put it to you, that when building a world-view and an epsitemology and you are faced with two claims that are roughly equal in terms of their evidential qualities, it makes more sense to adopt the one that affirms objectity of knowlege rather than accepting the one that denies it.



This smacks of a false dichotomy argument: that if I am wrong, you are necessarily correct.  That is not true.  We could both be wrong, so our cases need to be assessed on their own merits.  Your case for the existence of a deity is based on... What is it based on?

Quote:

I have no 'beef' with atheists, I just want Christians know that there are good reasons to accept theism, that athiesm, as a philosophy has less merrit than theism.


Providing those reasons at this point would be apt.  Otherwise you are simply giving people permission to continue believing through an argument from authority.  "Hey, those smart people said there are good reasons, so I'll just trust them to do the thinking for me."  Let the Christians know the reasons, and don't just offer assurances that those reasons exist. 

Quote:

My apologies if I appear insulting, that certainly is not my intention. When debating I tend not to pull many punches.


It is not your language, but that I wasted two days of work, an evening among my family and bunch of jet fuel to debate you when you shrank, and continue to shrink, from every possible facet of dispute that is suggested.  If you don't think I am a lesser being than a Christian, then stop making statements like "atheism, as a philosophy, has less merit than theism," until you can show why that is the case.  You don't even seem to understand that you are putting yourself above me.  If you could show why you do that, and you did a good job of it, I would concede that your philosophy is superior, and would leave me atheism behind.  I would thank you for showing me where I'd gone wrong in my thinking, to boot. 

Quote:

 I do not consider atheists to be second class citizens, many of those I served in uniform with were pretty hardcore atheists. I remember one day where I was discussing pascal's wager on an obsticle course. I would never claim that athiets are second class citizens, they are just as brave as your or I. Where I differ firstly, is in regards to world-view, I don't think the athestic one is as powerful or as consistant as the theistic one.


You must have a reason for why you think this.  Please give it.

Quote:

 Further, I think the Plantinga's shows, with a fair degree of profundity, that the more one accepts naturalism, the less warrant one has for a belief. Further, I think that natural theology makes sound arguments for the existance of God, that a logical person can find persuasive.


Good.  That must mean that you can tell me about it.  Please do.  Or are we back to "you should read Plantinga" territory?

Quote:

 Atheism, as a position, is not something that I oppose, I just think that theism is a better choice.


There you go again.  No matter how you couch it, any statement that you think your ideas or lifestyle are superior to mine is going to result in my calling for a justification of that position. 

Quote:

 I no more dislike you for holding to your position, than you ought to dislike me for holding to mine. As I said at the debate, there would be many things that we would agree upon, just that day, we were on opposite sides of a debate.


I'm sure there are many things we agree on, but I think the evidence that my position regarding ethics is superior to your own is that I can recognise, without needing outside help from doctrine or consultation with apologetics for my position, that the wholesale killing of children is wrong.  You can call me aggressive, and fuel LionIRC's engine with adjectives if you want, but you and Dr Craig are in no danger from me.  I am attacking an idea, not the people who hold it.

While I am on the topic, LionIRC, I have received death threats from Christians for having the temerity to stand up and state that religious oppression in my community should be brought to an end.  Does my "aggressive" rhetoric balance the ledger of good and bad against someone stating that they want to cut my head off with a sword?  You want to see genuine aggression?  Try publicly challenging the ingrained privileges afforded to a vocal and unashamedly prejudiced majority. 


Quote:

As to your questions, I think it is best that we correspond by email.


You called me out for public discourse.  Why shouldn't it remain public? 

Matt
Reply with quote  #62 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9191

The point of the debate was to establish whether either side could present an objective formulation of moral values and duties. It makes no sense to proceed from the assumption that they can, until it is established. What was interesting was that the atheist side at the debate simply said that on atheism there were no objective moral values and duties. So it makes even less sense to proceed from the assumption that they can. No one at the debate disputed that atheists could be good without God, rather, the question we on the theist side asked, was can there be ‘good’ behaviour without God. A question we asserted could only be answered in the negative. Attempts were made by the atheist side to preserve the language associated with moral values and duties. Significant objections were made against that position that I believe were sound.


The debate topic didn't mention anything about objective morality. 

I stand corrected in my statement that objective morality does not exist, as Pacioli has provided an example, but not one I would be proud to adhere to, by any means. 

So I hereby amend my statement to "I do not adhere to an objective morality, but test my actions against ethics informed by the value I hold for human life, and then life more generally."  I can, from that basis, show why I value the lives of my loved ones and friends more than those of other members of my community, why I value my community, my society, my nation, my species, and other organisms in that order.  I can make a case for altruism from that footing, and show why empathy and compassion are important survival traits in a communal species.

Can you make a statement that clear?  Something from which decisions can be made consistently and clearly?  Is the cascade of concern any different for you?

I am beginning to suspect that when you write of goodness, you are referring to people being (allegedly) saved.  Have we been at cross purposes this entire time?

Matt

Reply with quote  #63 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion_IRC
Quote:
Originally Posted by worldslaziestbusker
...I think you are trying to construct a straw man, and you aren’t doing a good job of it..."


Boy. I went out of my way to make it clear that I was NOT trying to do that.

I specifically said...
"...Without wanting to build an atheist strawperson..."
"...I know I'm speaking of a minority here..."
"...minorities everywhere, not just atheism.."

  


Stating that you are not doing X requires that you not be doing X, or the statement is false.  You were making a straw man argument even as you wrote that you weren't.  I wrote this without typing with my fingers on a keyboard.



Quote:
Hmmm...worldslaziestbusker...name sounds familiar. But I get around a bit so I'm sorry if I dont recall every single "interaction".



AFA forum and Ratskep.  You've also asked questions about me at Rational Responders forum.


Quote:

And having my posts referred to as "foolish" at an AvT forum is something I got used to a LONG time ago.


With good reason.


Quote:

If you dont mind me saying, I actually think its a bit passé for you to mention it in here of all places.


Perhaps tautologically redundant, even, but definitely apt. 

Quote:
Lion IRC post ridiculed by counter-apologist atheist.

WOW. Somebody alert the media.



Ridiculous positions and statements warrant ridicule.  Again, if you want less fun made of you, be less unintentionally funny.  Your arguments are weak, you straw man people ad nauseum and you have come second in more debates than I've had rare steaks.  That doesn't mean you are incorrect, but it does make you look like a fool with your pants on the ground.
Reply with quote  #64 
Quote:
Originally Posted by worldslaziestbusker
I stand corrected in my statement that objective morality does not exist, as Pacioli has provided an example, but not one I would be proud to adhere to, by any means.
I warned that people would not like it 

I think it also highlights the problem that any objective or supposedly objective morality is arbitrary, prone to context errors, and maladaptive, whereas life is adaptive, and morality a significant part of that or we would not have seen any advance since various old books celebrated conquest, massacre, slavery, maltreatment of women, exclusionary attitudes and treatment of the natural as moral evil.
Lion_IRC
Reply with quote  #65 
Quote:
Originally Posted by worldslaziestbusker
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion_IRC
Quote:
Originally Posted by worldslaziestbusker
...I think you are trying to construct a straw man, and you aren’t doing a good job of it..."


Boy. I went out of my way to make it clear that I was NOT trying to do that.

I specifically said...
"...Without wanting to build an atheist strawperson..."
"...I know I'm speaking of a minority here..."
"...minorities everywhere, not just atheism.."

  


Stating that you are not doing X requires that you not be doing X, or the statement is false.  You were making a straw man argument even as you wrote that you weren't.  I wrote this without typing with my fingers on a keyboard.

No. It is not a strawman method to speak specifically and deliberately about ...strawmen. I notice that despite your repeated assertions that I'm attacking strawmen, you havent yet denied the actual existence of those strawmen - atheists who feign superior reason and logic but whose dealings with theists show anger, deep aggression, hatred and behavior which betrays emotional rather than intellectual responsiveness. (By the way, did anyone see the article in the December Scientific American about the link between religiosity and superior self-control?) 


Quote:
Originally Posted by worldslaziestbusker
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion_IRC
Lion IRC post ridiculed by counter-apologist atheist.

WOW. Somebody alert the media.

Ridiculous positions and statements warrant ridicule.  Again, if you want less fun made of you, be less unintentionally funny.  Your arguments are weak, you straw man people ad nauseum and you have come second in more debates than I've had rare steaks.  That doesn't mean you are incorrect, but it does make you look like a fool with your pants on the ground.

*sniff*
Tonight I'm gonna cry myself to sleep thanks to worldslaziestbusker's superior "arguments".

Reply with quote  #66 
Quote:
Originally Posted by worldslaziestbusker
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion_IRC

No. It is not a strawman method to speak specifically and deliberately about ...strawmen. I notice that despite your repeated assertions that I'm attacking strawmen, you havent yet denied the actual existence of those strawmen - atheists who feign superior reason and logic but whose dealings with theists show anger, deep aggression, hatred and behavior which betrays emotional rather than intellectual responsiveness. (By the way, did anyone see the article in the December Scientific American about the link between religiosity and superior self-control?)


You are making a straw man out of my emotional state, which is irrelevant to my case.  My argument is about the ethics of WLC and 9191's position.  I could be whispering it, stating it calmly at moderate volumes, or screaming at the top of my lungs with frothy spittle flecks flying about, but the validity of the argument would not be affected one way or another.  Address the argument, if you can, and you will no longer be making a straw man attack.


Database searches for: year = 2011, journal = Scientific American, and topic = religiosity, topic = self control returned no hits.  Could you please provide the article title?  I am interested in reading this.


Keep in mind, though, that self control is a thing, but not the only thing.  Great self control, misapplied, is sometimes pointless, and sometimes harmful.  Getting the ethics sorted out and defining goals that stem from there before you plough ahead on a wave of self control is probably a good idea.  Here's a picture of Thih Quang Duc, protesting the oppression of Buddhists by president Diem and his Catholic cronies.  Tremendous self control (and perhaps some opiates) helped him sit and burn to death, but for very little return.  This image is iconic, but his cause is largely forgotten - most people I've asked about it think he was protesting American involvement in Indochina.  His immolation did little to change the situation of nepotism and religious oppression as it stood.  A good example of self control as a waste.  Self control alone is not something I admire or aspire to.



Quote:

Tonight I'm gonna cry myself to sleep thanks to worldslaziestbusker's superior "arguments".



Don't cry, just pick up your game.  I see my arguments as superior to yours because I address the topic.  Get that far and we can assess your logic and evidence against my own, but until you address the topic CENSORED

Reply with quote  #67 
Quote:
Originally Posted by worldslaziestbusker
Quote:
Originally Posted by worldslaziestbusker
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion_IRC

... (By the way, did anyone see the article in the December Scientific American about the link between religiosity and superior self-control?)



...Database searches for: year = 2011, journal = Scientific American, and topic = religiosity, topic = self control returned no hits.  Could you please provide the article title?  I am interested in reading this...

 

Hi worldslaziestbusker,

 

I was reading a hard copy but I'll see if I can grab a URL link.

 

re. the strawman thing, you dont need to lump yourself in with the segment of atheists to whom I was referring. Alternatively, you can if you want. It's up to you how you see yourself. Either way, my criticism of what I think is unwarranted  "deep aggression" is not Lion attacking a strawman.

 

...if you dont believe me just ask Dorothy and the Tin Man

 

Cheers - Lion (IRC)

Reply with quote  #68 

Sacred Salubriousness
(Scientific American December 19th 2011)
New research on self-control explains the link between religion and health.


"Ever since 2000, when psychologist Michael E. McCullough, now at the University of Miami, and his colleagues published a meta-analysis of more than three dozen studies showing a strong correlation between religiosity and lower mortality, skeptics have been challenged by believers to explain why—as if to say, “See, there is a God, and this is the payoff for believing.”
 

“religiously devout children were rated relatively low in impulsiveness by both parents and teachers.”


 
"Self-control is the subject of Florida State University psychologist Roy Baumeister’s new book, Willpower, co-authored with science writer John Tierney. Self-control is the employment of one’s power to will a behavioral outcome, and research shows that young children who delay gratification (for example, forgoing one marshmallow now for two later) score higher on measures of academic achievement and social adjustment later."

Reply with quote  #69 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion_IRC
Quote:
Originally Posted by worldslaziestbusker
Quote:
Originally Posted by worldslaziestbusker
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion_IRC

... (By the way, did anyone see the article in the December Scientific American about the link between religiosity and superior self-control?)



...Database searches for: year = 2011, journal = Scientific American, and topic = religiosity, topic = self control returned no hits.  Could you please provide the article title?  I am interested in reading this...

 

Hi worldslaziestbusker,

 

I was reading a hard copy but I'll see if I can grab a URL link.

 

re. the strawman thing, you dont need to lump yourself in with the segment of atheists to whom I was referring. Alternatively, you can if you want. It's up to you how you see yourself. Either way, my criticism of what I think is unwarranted  "deep aggression" is not Lion attacking a strawman.

 

...if you dont believe me just ask Dorothy and the Tin Man

 

Cheers - Lion (IRC)




I don't lump myself in with anyone.  I am me, and I am the only person for whose actions I am willing to accept credit and blame.  I wish more people did this, as I am sick of hearing from people trying to justify their own position by pointing to the achievements or failings of others.

If you want to stick to the topic of aggression, perhaps we should start another thread.  If you want to carry it forward here, please address the relative aggression of my calling into question WLC and 9191's ethical position regarding genocide, and a Christian threatening to cut my head off for my heresy.
Which of these is more aggressive?
In which case is the observed action (calling into question ideas: threatening terminal violence) warranted?


I have read Michael Shermer's article and find your assessment of it unsurprisingly biased.  The paper notes that religious people show higher scores on degrees of self control than otherwise equivalent non-religious people, but it does not state that the nature of their beliefs are the cause of that difference.  The paper speaks more of people feeling their actions are being watched and judged, in which case it is fear of authority which is causing the difference.  This can be achieved through religious teachings, wherein people will come to think that their deity, community and congregation are examining their behaviour, but it can also come through heavy handed, totalitarian governance.  Recall that the citizens of Germany were very self controlled under National Socialism.
You have also yet to bring self control out of isolation to a point where the measured difference impresses me.  Again, Germanic self control under National Socialism leaves me with little to be impressed about regarding self control alone.
You are fond of pointing to synonyms to help you make a point.
Self control = discipline.
Is discipline always good?  Is it always better to be more disciplined?

Perhaps you should start new threads for these issues, as you are once again muddying what I think is a solid dialogue regarding the ethics of genocide.  I know old habits die hard, but I'm sure you can leave people to discuss a topic you have no interest in addressing if you really, really try.  You start the threads and link them here.  I'll join you there, promise. 
Reply with quote  #70 
Just in case anyone reads through this thread, I thought I would recommend Steven Pinker's "The Better Angels of Our Nature: The decline of violence in history and its causes" as a long but very compelling read.  This brick of a book took me two months to get through, but it was worth it.  It deals with the ethics discussed in this thread in detail and I would be happy to mail my dog eared, margin scribbled copy to 9191 if he wishes to have a look.
Reply with quote  #71 
Thanks for the idea, WLB. I have grabbed a copy.

If 9191 wishes to read discreetly then he can also pick this up as an e-book for his ipad (if any) from Apple's store.
Reply with quote  #72 

WW1 (4 years)
and WW2 (6 years)

107 million killed/injured (at least)

Fighting Jihad? Nope.
Crusading to re-take the Holy Lands? Nope.
Nominally Christian countries all sticking together? Nope

The decline of violence? Nope

I suggest a different book.



Reply with quote  #73 
Hey Pacioli / WLB,
Ever seen those bible skeptics who challenge the historicity of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt?
If that never happened, who exactly do those bible skeptics think attacked the Canaanites?
Reply with quote  #74 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion_IRC
Hey Pacioli / WLB,
Ever seen those bible skeptics who challenge the historicity of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt?
If that never happened, who exactly do those bible skeptics think attacked the Canaanites?


Hello LionIRC

This discussion didn't get into the historicity of the genocide of the Canaanites, but dealt with the ethics of such genocide.  Whether or not it happened is moot.  WLC and 9191 defended such an atrocity as ethical.  I think that unless their deity can be substantiated, following its alleged orders is unethical, and that even if it does exist, its declaration of what constitutes as right encompassing such genocide removes all meaning from the concept of right and wrong. 

As for your comprehensive rebuttal of Pinker's book: you are incorrect.  While the twentieth century featured many bloody wars, these were not out of the ordinary in terms of human brutality through history.  Adjusted as a per capita death toll, to take into account relative population shifts over time, the 1939-45 conflict ranks behind the An Lushan revolt, the Mongol conquests, the mid-east slave trade, the end of the Ming dynasty, the fall of Rome, Tamerlane, the annihilation of native Americans and the Atlantic slave trade. 
The overall trend has been decline. 
Islamic contributions to conflict have been fairly constant for the past five hundred years and your idea that recent events constitute a spike is spurious.

Humanity as a whole has consistently shown a decrease in its acceptance of violence over time.  Where attending an execution as entertainment was once considered unexeptional, it was later considered controversial, then immoral, then unthinkable.  Today we don't think about it at all, as that level of violence is so far removed from our expectations of behaviour in others. 

Your glib attempt to counter what is, in my eyes, a very thoroughly researched and well written book, is exactly the kind of media driven dog whistle response Professor Pinker set out to counter.  Well done for providing such a sterling example of ignorance.

If you wish to discuss this further, I suggest you read the book.  Your off the cuff response was not surprising, but it was weak. 

PS: any thoughts about picking up the threads you previously wanted to discuss as a new topic?

Reply with quote  #75 
Per capita?

So Cain killing Abel rates as worse than Auschwitz?

I dont rank the value of human life on a per capita sliding scale.

If Steven Pinker does :-(

Did I miss a thread somewhere? Did you want to start a new one?
Please send me a PM. I certainly dont want to be thought of as trying to avoid a topic.

I'm temporarily suspended at rationalskepticism.org so I have a bit of free time.
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:



Important: The Reasonable Faith forums have moved to: www.reasonablefaith.org/forums/






Powered by Website Toolbox - Create a Website Forum Hosting, Guestbook Hosting, or Website Chat Room for your website.