U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-26-2013, 03:36 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,284,580 times
Reputation: 2973

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Okay, but still unexplained is why in the absence of a threat of negative consequences, you see some things as right and some things as wrong. You are a good person because being a bad person.....???? What? If not negative consequences, then what?
It might be unexplained to you but I see no contradiction here or anything requiring explaining.

I want to live in a society where myself, my loved ones, and those around me are looked after when they require help. Therefore I myself work towards such a society by affording the same type of help to others.

I do not get up and give my seat to an old lady on a bus just because she requires one. I do it ALSO because that is the kind of society I want to live in and I want to know that when my now 70 year old mother goes to take a bus that the same action is performed for her.

We label actions conducive to the kind of society we want to live in as "good" and those that are not as "bad". I am not sure therefore what you feel needs explaining exactly??
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-26-2013, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,099 posts, read 18,595,226 times
Reputation: 18730
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
It might be unexplained to you but I see no contradiction here or anything requiring explaining.

I want to live in a society where myself, my loved ones, and those around me are looked after when they require help. Therefore I myself work towards such a society by affording the same type of help to others.

I do not get up and give my seat to an old lady on a bus just because she requires one. I do it ALSO because that is the kind of society I want to live in and I want to know that when my now 70 year old mother goes to take a bus that the same action is performed for her.

We label actions conducive to the kind of society we want to live in as "good" and those that are not as "bad". I am not sure therefore what you feel needs explaining exactly??
How would you complete...."I do good things because if I didn't........"
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-26-2013, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,092,754 times
Reputation: 6081
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
How would you complete...."I do good things because if I didn't........"
Sheesh. How many ways does he have to explain it?

I do good things because if I didn't I'd feel I wasn't contributing to the sustainable benefit of society and encouraging others to do good things, and eventually, I'd be living in a society I wouldn't choose to be a part of -- one in which there is even more suffering and lack than there already is.

Not everything we do has to have a direct one-to-one correspondence to our personal (dis)benefit. Since we are self-aware sentient creatures we can abstract it several levels further than that.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-26-2013, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,099 posts, read 18,595,226 times
Reputation: 18730
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Sheesh. How many ways does he have to explain it?

I do good things because if I didn't I'd feel I wasn't contributing to the sustainable benefit of society and encouraging others to do good things, and eventually, I'd be living in a society I wouldn't choose to be a part of -- one in which there is even more suffering and lack than there already is.

.
There you go, the negative aspect which is found as part of all morality. If you didn't, you fear the consequences which you describe as the creation of a society in which you would not wish to live.

If nothing was bad, then we would not be able to distinguish any particular thing as good because everything would be good. We need the concept of bad to tell us what is good. We need the fear of the bad to motivate us to bring about good.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-26-2013, 07:57 AM
 
12,237 posts, read 9,905,449 times
Reputation: 15859
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
How would you complete...."I do good things because if I didn't........"
They wouldn't get done. Is there any more needed than that?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-26-2013, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,099 posts, read 18,595,226 times
Reputation: 18730
Quote:
Originally Posted by somebodynew View Post
They wouldn't get done. Is there any more needed than that?
Then you fear those things not getting done.

In order for us to have the concept of morality, we have to have the concept of immorality, otherwise things would not be moral or immoral, they would just be things.

Every impulse toward good is also an impulse to avoid bad.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-26-2013, 08:23 AM
 
12,237 posts, read 9,905,449 times
Reputation: 15859
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Then you fear those things not getting done.
Why assume fear? The human condition allows for a lot of motivations.

Quote:
In order for us to have the concept of morality, we have to have the concept of immorality, otherwise things would not be moral or immoral, they would just be things.

Every impulse toward good is also an impulse to avoid bad.
Is the converse, every impulse toward bad is an impulse to avoid good? Or does bad have a special place of value in its own right?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-26-2013, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,092,754 times
Reputation: 6081
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
There you go, the negative aspect which is found as part of all morality. If you didn't, you fear the consequences which you describe as the creation of a society in which you would not wish to live.

If nothing was bad, then we would not be able to distinguish any particular thing as good because everything would be good. We need the concept of bad to tell us what is good. We need the fear of the bad to motivate us to bring about good.
I think fear is too strong a word. Anxiety doesn't enter into 90% of my decisions to do the Right Thing, any more than fear enters into your decision which restaurant to visit for dinner. It is simple preference and pragmatic weighing of benefits ... to the extent it enters into conscious consideration at all, given that much of morality for any one of us has long been enshrined in habit.

As for this "good has no meaning apart from bad", that is hogwash. Appreciation and awareness of good can be enhanced by bad, I suppose. You can only engage, after all, with what you know. For example, having had two pretty darn good parents, I would never know what bad parenting burdens a person with, had I not been well acquainted throughout my life with a number of people who are thusly burdened. On the other hand, had I never met those persons, I would still enjoy the benefits of good parenting. The most you could say is that I would not appreciate my good fortune as much or I might be prone to assume that everyone else has the same benefits and not be empathetic with their anxieties and compulsions and distorted thinking. But I would still feel loved, centered within myself, and worthy.

I'd love a world in which people don't know how lucky they are to be so happy! After all, happiness should not depend upon luck!

I think that the notion that bad and good need each other is merely a failure of imagination caused by the fact that they have coexisted so much for so long. The truth however is that if we did not have bad distracting and draining us we would just spend more time enjoying and experiencing good. We would find other challenges to occupy our time. The discovery of knowledge, invention of new things, conquering of new frontiers. We would optimize the good rather than fight the bad. I can envision such a world, and I don't need suffering and misery to enable me to do that.

Last night I watched a news item about a guy who engages in solo sailboat racing, particularly in a grueling 90 day nonstop around the world race, largely in Antarctic waters, that requires things like sleeping in 20 minute snatches every 3 hours round the clock. He won this race, and credits his obsession with this kind of activity as a sort of cathartic engagement of his own demons surrounding the death of his mother in childhood from cancer and an at times overly-demanding father. His own psychiatrist endorses this notion (winning contests like this being largely determined mentally, all other things being equal, he has a shrink to prep and condition him before every contest). My reaction to this is, well, why don't all children with cranky perfectionist fathers and dead mothers engage in epic sports? Maybe because they aren't all that athletic and driven? Maybe because of a host of other factors? And why do some well adjusted people with normal upbringings win epic sports battles?

I think we all just use what we have, including making lemonade from lemons. This doesn't mean that we NEED the lemons. But it's easy, and romantic, to watch a documentary like this and marvel at the human spirit's ability to overcome and then imagine that just because it's laudable and good that people overcome, that obstacles are an inherently necessary ingredient to success and fulfillment. I call BS on that one. Character is not built by adversity, it is built by hard work towards one's goals. That work may happen to be engendered by adversity, but it could just as well be engaged in totally by choice.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-26-2013, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Greenbelt, MD
8,969 posts, read 6,506,763 times
Reputation: 44377
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjrose View Post
This is the thing. I help my neighbors, I volunteer in my community, I give to charity groups, I try to be a good person in general. I do these things NOT because there is some afterlife reward, but because it is the right thing to do. I don't need the threat of hell to make me behave like a good person, I do it because I AM a good person.
Outstanding posts on this thread, especially this.

Not saying they are all like this but overall church going Christians are the worst people I have ever dealt with in life by far. I've experienced many instances of lying and backstabbing their fellow human beings. It's a fact that being a believer does not make you a better person. Those tied to the judicial system is proof positive of that alone.

Last edited by John13; 09-26-2013 at 10:46 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-26-2013, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Greenbelt, MD
8,969 posts, read 6,506,763 times
Reputation: 44377
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Hepburn View Post
If there is a fish on the window I don't do business there.
I don't know one atheist that isn't honest.
Be happy you never met my ex. That's first hand knowledge and experience of a dishonest atheist.

She's not the only one but in my experince the percentage of dishonest Christians is far greater, especially the ones who attend church.

Again, not saying they are all like that.

Last edited by John13; 09-26-2013 at 11:12 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top