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What the New Atheists Don’t See by Theodore Dalrymple
Posted: 16 November 2007 07:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]  
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SaulDeOhio - 16 November 2007 11:55 AM

I do not believe that we have some automatic sense of right and wrong. We learn it.

I don’t know enough about the scientific debate to know whether the sense is inherent, learned, or a blend of both. My point is that each of those three options is testable to a certain degree. There is no evidence for the claim that the sense is the product of a supernatural entity, and we certainly can’t test that claim.

[ Edited: 16 November 2007 07:08 AM by Carstonio]
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Posted: 16 November 2007 07:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]  
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So when you say that something is wrong or evil what you are really saying is that something is wrong or evil to me. You are not saying that your sense of right and wrong is better than the rapist’s, you are just saying that it does not coincide. If the individual brain is the source of morality how dare anybody judge another person or society as being better or worse. You have the same problem that waltercat has with the Divine Command Theory. It would be called the individual command theory. Is something good because the individual approves or does the individual approve because it is good? If the former then there is no ethics only taste. If the latter then the good is something external to the individual.

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Posted: 16 November 2007 07:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]  
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mahahaha - 11 November 2007 11:46 PM

Clearly, I must be bored stiff to be dumb enough to try to argue with a true believer like you.  Screw this.  Time for a beer.

I vote more beer; less frankr; less Christian fundamentalism.

This thread makes my teeth hurt.

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Posted: 16 November 2007 08:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]  
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mahahaha - 16 November 2007 12:54 PM
mahahaha - 11 November 2007 11:46 PM

Clearly, I must be bored stiff to be dumb enough to try to argue with a true believer like you.  Screw this.  Time for a beer.

I vote more beer; less frankr; less Christian fundamentalism.

This thread makes my teeth hurt.

I am all for more beer although I prefer whiskey. What I am against is one who quotes himself making a not very good joke to repeat the same not very good joke. I also am against someone who cannot distinguish Christian fundamentalism from catholicism. (save the they’re all the same joke, predicatble and ignorant and again not very funny)

Here is an idea if you are unable to participate in the thread because of annoying Chrisitians and hurting teeth then go to another thread or use the ignore button. I am hardly dominating the forum.

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Posted: 16 November 2007 08:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]  
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Frank, your “individual command theory” is a straw man. Your post assumes that if right and wrong is not determined by an external entity, then a person’s sense of right and wrong is 100 percent subjective. Or put another way, the assumption is that people would just do whatever the hell they wanted without consideration for others.

If our sense of right and wrong is a product of biology or socialization or both, then obviously what is right and what is wrong wouldn’t be set in stone. But nothing about human existence is set in stone except its finiteness. Right and wrong still exist as concepts even though people do not always agree on what constitutes right and wrong. It’s a mistake to assume that people who do wrong always have a conscious intent to please themselves regardless of the harm caused to others.

[ Edited: 16 November 2007 08:25 AM by Carstonio]
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Posted: 16 November 2007 08:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]  
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frankr - 16 November 2007 01:12 PM

I am hardly dominating the forum.

Saying that arguing with a true believer is like pissing in the wind in not a “joke,” numbnuts, it’s a fact.

Catholicism is equally as idiotic and neo-fundamentalism, as far as the people in this forum are concerned, who are mostly atheist, and even if they are not, universally don’t believe in imaginary beings.  They could give a rat’s ass about nice distinctions between two branches on one faith which claims a monopoly on truth.  It’s the Truth claim that’s the problem.

Christianity as a category is not YET as dangerous as Islam, as a category, but when I think of Blackwater Jesus Freaks running around with guns, it kind of scares me, ya know?

You don’t dominate this forum, I agree, but as a believer in the den of unbelief,  you are , well, a fish out of water, if you get my drift.  The 10 foot tall gorilla.  The troll.

Though, I suppose having a foil like you to mess around with is always fun and games. raspberry

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Posted: 16 November 2007 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]  
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frankr - 16 November 2007 12:44 PM

So when you say that something is wrong or evil what you are really saying is that something is wrong or evil to me. You are not saying that your sense of right and wrong is better than the rapist’s, you are just saying that it does not coincide. If the individual brain is the source of morality how dare anybody judge another person or society as being better or worse.

I don’t think anyone here is saying that, though I do know of some thinkers who do. Most people seem to agree that right and wrong are defined by their consequences. Most would also agree that hurting other people unnecessarily is morally wrong, though they may disagree on what constitutes necessity. I have argued that the basic standard of the good is human life. That which serves the life of a rational being is good, that which destroys it is bad. There is quite a bit of room for individual choice and circumstance, but if you accept life as the standard, the basics of morality are fairly objective.

You have the same problem that waltercat has with the Divine Command Theory. It would be called the individual command theory. Is something good because the individual approves or does the individual approve because it is good? If the former then there is no ethics only taste. If the latter then the good is something external to the individual.

Its not an either/or situation. Its a relationship. Its as if you witnessed a collision between two cars, and claimed that only one of them collided. Both cars had to be involved in the collision for it to have happened. For something to be good in a moral sense, it not only has to actually serve the purpose of living and enjoying life, but we have to actually choose it, to identify it as good.

One example that has been used is a choice of a career. Your parents may think that you should become a doctor, and you want to become a musician. Its entirely possible that they are right, but if they force you into that choice, you will always be wondering if you could have made it as a musician, and you will be very unhappy as a doctor.

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“The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

- George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.

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