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Old 04-20-2014, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,139 posts, read 18,604,845 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDweller View Post
Failing to understand an argument is not the same thing as critiquing the argument.
If you want your argument critiqued, then you must present it in a comprehensible form.
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Old 04-20-2014, 01:42 PM
 
Location: northwest Illinois
2,331 posts, read 2,642,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDweller View Post
I think all religious subforums should have an "Ask-an-__________" Thread. The main point is to ask a very, simple question regarding Atheism, Agnosticism, Rationalism, Deism, Humanism, Freethought, Ignosticism, or any other topic related to Irreligion. Since I don't see one, I am going to make one. This is for people who are interested in earnestly learning more about those subjects and for people who would like to answer questions about those topics. I realize that the irreligious community is a broad group of people, so please identify your viewpoint (i.e. "I am an _____. I do not speak for all _____, but I can answer questions regarding my _____ lifestyle and philosophy&quot.



Very Popular Questions:
  1. How are you moral without religion?
  2. How does your life have purpose without God?
  3. Which came first - the chicken or the egg?
  4. But isn't atheism just another religion?
  5. Where did life come from, if God did not create it?
  6. What do non-theists think of religion? Should it be extinguished?
  7. Is there an afterlife?
  8. Where did the universe come from?
  9. How can non-theists love since all love comes from God?
    Questions copied and pasted from The Secular Student Alliance website.
None of those questions even apply to me, since I really don't care. Religion or anyone's god is not a concern for me since I'm quite happy without any of it. Hell yes I'm an Atheist.
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Old 04-20-2014, 01:48 PM
 
39,213 posts, read 10,895,806 times
Reputation: 5097
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDweller View Post
People don't live in isolation. They live in society. Society has culture. Culture has a set of beliefs, norms, and rituals. Just because a person does not label his or her philosophy of life does not mean that he or she has no cultural values. People are always influenced by the culture in which they live, and that can effectively predict how they will reason ethically and make rational decisions based on the values they hold.
I agree. We live in a culture with a set of social rules and moral codes, much of which appears to be based on evolved instincts, many more of which are based on a worked -out concensus.

On the top of this may be imposed a particular set of laws,imposed from the top, some of which may be based more on the tenets of a religion or a political dogma than on the historic moral concensus.

That should answer your question about how we have morals without Gods. But if it is not clear, supplementary questions are invited.
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Old 04-20-2014, 03:03 PM
 
181 posts, read 177,196 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
If you want your argument critiqued, then you must present it in a comprehensible form.
Comprehension is subjective.
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Old 04-20-2014, 03:15 PM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
11,206 posts, read 11,015,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDweller View Post
Failing to understand an argument is not the same thing as critiquing the argument.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
If you want your argument critiqued, then you must present it in a comprehensible form.
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDweller View Post
Comprehension is subjective.
You have you to present a sensible argument, McDweller.
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Old 04-20-2014, 03:38 PM
 
181 posts, read 177,196 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
I agree. We live in a culture with a set of social rules and moral codes, much of which appears to be based on evolved instincts, many more of which are based on a worked-out consensus.

On the top of this may be imposed a particular set of laws,imposed from the top, some of which may be based more on the tenets of a religion or a political dogma than on the historic moral consensus.

That should answer your question about how we have morals without Gods.
Although science can explain the neurological basis of morality, it cannot explain why something is right and wrong. That is not science. I think people need to recognize that science and reason alone cannot provide the answers for ethical or unethical behaviors. Any discussion on ethical behavior is best done in ethical philosophy, or ethics, and certain ethics are based on certain values. I believe that values are non-rational. You can explain the scientific basis for a certain type of behavior, but choosing "ethical behavior" over "unethical behavior" is a choice based on values and personal judgment.

Your second assertion, that some laws are based on the tenets of a religion or political dogma than on historic moral consensus, makes a distinction between religious/political dogma and "historic moral consensus". You make it seem as if religious/political dogma has no moral consensus. Have you ever considered that religious/political dogma is what a group of people sees as the nature of reality, and under this scope, they share a moral consensus? Why do you make a distinction between religious/political dogma and historic moral consensus?

Your third assertion is a common refutation that without God, people cannot ever be moral. First of all, I do not think that all religions claim that deities are the cause of morality. So, your assertion is really a counter-argument, scoped to a particular religious point of view, which I think is held by Roman Catholics. Second of all, you are making a connection between the existence of deities and the existence of morality, which makes me assume that your assertion is really a counter-argument of a religious belief.
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Old 04-20-2014, 03:39 PM
 
181 posts, read 177,196 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mensaguy View Post
You have you to present a sensible argument, McDweller.
You have to make an attempt to understand my point of view, mensaguy.
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Old 04-20-2014, 04:39 PM
 
39,213 posts, read 10,895,806 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDweller View Post
Although science can explain the neurological basis of morality, it cannot explain why something is right and wrong. That is not science. I think people need to recognize that science and reason alone cannot provide the answers for ethical or unethical behaviors. Any discussion on ethical behavior is best done in ethical philosophy, or ethics, and certain ethics are based on certain values. I believe that values are non-rational. You can explain the scientific basis for a certain type of behavior, but choosing "ethical behavior" over "unethical behavior" is a choice based on values and personal judgment.
I agree that science does not deal with morality. There is a basis is evolved instinct which science could tell us about, but our evolved instincts are not always moral! It is a powerful argument that human morality is based on nothing but a convenient attempt to arrive at a fair deal for everyone. It seems attractive to have a fixed set of rules imposed by a deity who is always right. But in fact there are problems with that.

Flexible human concensus - codes of morality are better.

Quote:
Your second assertion, that some laws are based on the tenets of a religion or political dogma than on historic moral consensus, makes a distinction between religious/political dogma and "historic moral consensus". You make it seem as if religious/political dogma has no moral consensus. Have you ever considered that religious/political dogma is what a group of people sees as the nature of reality, and under this scope, they share a moral consensus? Why do you make a distinction between religious/political dogma and historic moral consensus?
Indeed, I do see religious morality as very much based on human morality. They hi-jack it, use it to impose their own beliefs and values on the basis of a divine authority.

Quote:
Your third assertion is a common refutation that without God, people cannot ever be moral. First of all, I do not think that all religions claim that deities are the cause of morality. So, your assertion is really a counter-argument, scoped to a particular religious point of view, which I think is held by Roman Catholics. Second of all, you are making a connection between the existence of deities and the existence of morality, which makes me assume that your assertion is really a counter-argument of a religious belief.
It is. We frequently get arguments along the lines of without God-belief people can have no morality. This is bunk. We had morality- and I think better morality- apart from religion. I see the religious 'absolute god-given morality' argument as moribund because it actually changes all the time, but they pretend that was how it was all the time. humanist morality accepts that it is relative or flexible and it can get things wrong. It has the advantage that it can be changed to make it better without having to make a church grudgingly go along with it for fear of seeing more church seats without bums on.
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,139 posts, read 18,604,845 times
Reputation: 18738
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDweller View Post
Comprehension is subjective.
That is a self defeating attitude if the goal is communicating.

You launched a very broad thread, one where the OP identified nine distinct questions rather than a focus on a specific question. Your gimmick, "ask a question" suggests that the thread was for people to ask you questions, so you then instantly confused everyone by asking questions. Then you followed all of that with demands for very narrow responses.

So, McDweller, clearly the problem is not that comprehension is subjective, the problem is you did not think all of this through well enough and you launched a blunderbuss thread which was absent sufficient focus.

You need to drop back ten yards and punt. Then figure out exactly what it is you wish to accomplish with this thread. If you know, you have not communicated it successfully.
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:22 PM
 
181 posts, read 177,196 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
You launched a very broad thread, one where the OP identified nine distinct questions rather than a focus on a specific question.
Those were examples.

Quote:
Your gimmick, "ask a question" suggests that the thread was for people to ask you questions,
No, this is a thread designed as a counterpart to the other "Ask-a-__________" threads.

Quote:
so you then instantly confused everyone by asking questions. Then you followed all of that with demands for very narrow responses.
I did not intend to answer questions to begin with.

Quote:
So, McDweller, clearly the problem is not that comprehension is subjective, the problem is you did not think all of this through well enough and you launched a blunderbuss thread which was absent sufficient focus.
That's okay. I don't understand you; you don't understand me.

Quote:
You need to drop back ten yards and punt. Then figure out exactly what it is you wish to accomplish with this thread. If you know, you have not communicated it successfully.
Please note that this thread says "Ask a Irreligious Person", not "Ask the OP." I did not intend that this thread was to ask the OP questions. It was supposed to be an equivalent to the other "Ask-A-__________" threads.
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