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The atheistic explanation for the origin of the universe

#271C_Mat(Topic Creator)Posted 12/3/2012 7:57:46 PM
hunter_gohan posted...
Nothing contradictory, just getting at the heart of the matter. There's nothing actually morally right with punishing people for beliefs, it's just that this being meets your might makes right requirement so anything at all, no matter how depraved and evil, is morally correct if done or ordered by him This is your "objective morality." I'll take my subjective morality over that any day of the week.


Alright, at least we've come to some sort of understanding, then.

No I totally get it. The latter has more power than the former. I just don't think that matters.


OK. (I'm not trying to be coy, I just feel like we've come to some kind of resolution that we disagree on some basic premises, and honestly that's OK with me. At least we understand where each other are coming from.

Just because daughters were the property of their fathers in biblical times doesn't mean that relationship still holds up in most modern families. Parents do not own nor can they enslave, torture, and/or kill their children whenever they feel like it eventhough they created them.


Because Father/child is not a perfect metaphor, I just think it's a better one than Master/slave because of my personal experiences with God's love. But apparently we simply disagree on that point.

Sure in the exact same way I could've accepted that, when the "whipping" time comes, I'd be guilty by Stalin's standards regardless of whether I thought he overstepped his bounds.


Alright, just checking.

I did. You seem to have this belief that someone's motivation behind the act is all that matters in the morality of said act. It doesn't matter if the act is motivated by anger or not if that act is evil.


The reason I keep bringing up the reasons behind an act is that they're relevant and worth considering when determining the morality of an act. There have been times that you compared two similar actions while deliberately leaving the reasons for those actions out.

...Stalin damn, Obama damn. Nothing was hurt or harmed in any possible way save possibly emotionally from the preceding.

If I said "damn hunter_gohan," God would be pretty ticked off at me for saying something cruel against you, even if it didn't cause anyone bodily harm.

In which case we would not have speed limit laws since it's objectively safer to have none along with no traffic signs. Traffic laws are entirely subjective.

Alright, if I make the statement "...most of the US and the population of the world believe in objective moral truths; even our traffic laws are rooted in objective moral truths that most people believe in." and your response is to argue whether we need traffic laws, clearly you've missed something because I don't think anyone else would think I was trying to start a discussion about the necessity of traffic laws.

Question for you, out of curiosity: do you feel that you could believe in God if you chose to?
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http://youtu.be/gmnSnNC8UJk
#272hunter_gohanPosted 12/5/2012 2:57:35 PM
C_Mat posted...
The reason I keep bringing up the reasons behind an act is that they're relevant and worth considering when determining the morality of an act. There have been times that you compared two similar actions while deliberately leaving the reasons for those actions out.


Worth considering sure, but as I said before Hitler literally thought he was saving the world. Does that make the holocaust the morally correct thing?

If I said "damn hunter_gohan," God would be pretty ticked off at me for saying something cruel against you, even if it didn't cause anyone bodily harm.


Being ticked off doesn't mean that thing that ticked you off should be illegal or subject to punishment because of it. Creationists tick me off, that doesn't mean they deserve to be thrown in jail.

Alright, if I make the statement "...most of the US and the population of the world believe in objective moral truths; even our traffic laws are rooted in objective moral truths that most people believe in." and your response is to argue whether we need traffic laws, clearly you've missed something because I don't think anyone else would think I was trying to start a discussion about the necessity of traffic laws.


But the objective moral truth that you say our traffic laws are rooted in is that it's wrong to endanger other people. If this were the case, then we'd have no traffic laws or signs since it has been shown that with no traffic lights or signs the traffic is safer and apparently faster.

"The number of severe traffic accidents has dropped (no deaths since they removed the traffic lights) and people say they get places much faster."

In fact, many of these laws are rooted quite firmly in money.

"Traffic tickets are a multi-billion industry. They have virtually nothing to do with highway safety, but they have everything to do with money."

So basically if you consider love of money an objective moral truth, then sure they're based on an objective moral truth.

Question for you, out of curiosity: do you feel that you could believe in God if you chose to?


Not really no. I could certainly claim and say that I believe in a god, but that wouldn't actually change my beliefs.
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Fundamentalism in a nut shell: Raphael: It's God's will. Castiel: How can you say that?! Raphael: Because it's what I want!
#273C_Mat(Topic Creator)Posted 12/5/2012 8:12:33 PM
hunter_gohan posted...
Worth considering sure, but as I said before Hitler literally thought he was saving the world. Does that make the holocaust the morally correct thing?


I have already answered this. If Hitler was correct, that the Jews were evil fiends and killing them actually would save the world, then yes, his actions were morally correct.

Being ticked off doesn't mean that thing that ticked you off should be illegal or subject to punishment because of it. Creationists tick me off, that doesn't mean they deserve to be thrown in jail.


In God's opinion, whether someone is ticked off or not, if you malevolently curse at another person (or God Himself), you actually should be punished. If you simply disagree with that, you're just entitled to your own opinion.

But the objective moral truth that you say our traffic laws are rooted in is that it's wrong to endanger other people. If this were the case, then we'd have no traffic laws or signs since it has been shown that with no traffic lights or signs the traffic is safer and apparently faster. "The number of severe traffic accidents has dropped (no deaths since they removed the traffic lights) and people say they get places much faster." In fact, many of these laws are rooted quite firmly in money. "Traffic tickets are a multi-billion industry. They have virtually nothing to do with highway safety, but they have everything to do with money." So basically if you consider love of money an objective moral truth, then sure they're based on an objective moral truth.


I'm not going to get into a discussion about whether traffic laws because it has no relevance to anything else in our discussion. The mere fact that you're contending that it's safer not to have traffic laws proves that you agree with the objective moral standard I put forth earlier.

You say it's safer not to have traffic laws. I could argue that it is safer to have traffic laws. Whichever side of the argument you pick is really beside the point. We're both agreeing that it's objectively wrong to endanger other people. The subjective part is our argument about the best way to go about saving them. Don't you see the difference? Again, we're both attempting to reach an moral standard we agree on, the problem is that we simply disagree about the best way to achieve that standard. This is actually a really great example of what I said before, that atheists can say they don't believe in subjective morality, but they don't actually live that way.

To quote CS Lewis: "Quarreling means trying to show that the other man is in the wrong. And there would be no sense in trying to do that unless you and he had some sort of agreement as to what right and wrong are; just as there would be no sense in saying that a footballer had committed a foul unless there was some agreement about the rules of football."

Not really no. I could certainly claim and say that I believe in a god, but that wouldn't actually change my beliefs.


That's what I figured. For me, I couldn't possibly believe that there is no God just because of the regular supernatural experiences I have with Him. Of course, the choice is still there whether I want to obey God or not, but I couldn't simply choose to walk away and not believe in Him anymore. If I decided I didn't want to be a Christian any longer, I'd have to figure out some way to ignore His existence, I guess. Not really any argument here, just curious.

I've heard one apologist say that three hindrances to belief in God are intellectual (I can't make sense of God), social (what would my peers think if I became a Christian?) and personal (disbelieving in the supernatural because of lack of your own supernatural experiences). Which one do you think is the most significant in your life?
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http://youtu.be/gmnSnNC8UJk
#274hunter_gohanPosted 12/6/2012 1:21:45 AM
C_Mat posted...
You say it's safer not to have traffic laws. I could argue that it is safer to have traffic laws. Whichever side of the argument you pick is really beside the point. We're both agreeing that it's objectively wrong to endanger other people.


I subjectively believe that we should model our traffic laws on what would be the safest. There's nothing objective about that. The people who made the laws subjectively believed they should model traffic laws after making money.

The subjective part is our argument about the best way to go about saving them. Don't you see the difference?


This would be the objective part actually. This is where facts and evidence come into play.

Subjective:

3 a : characteristic of or belonging to reality as perceived rather than as independent of mind : phenomenal compare objective 1b
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subjective

Objective:

1b : of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers : having reality independent of the mind <objective reality> <our reveries are significantly and repeatedly shaped by our transactions with the objective world Marvin Reznikoff> compare subjective 3a
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/objective

Even if you think all morality is merely what god say it is that still makes it subjective morality.

Again, we're both attempting to reach an moral standard we agree on, the problem is that we simply disagree about the best way to achieve that standard. This is actually a really great example of what I said before, that atheists can say they don't believe in subjective morality, but they don't actually live that way.


This is actually a perfect example of how subjective morality is self-evidently true. There are no facts or data points you can give me to support why X must be so. The only thing where anything we've said originated from was people's minds. Even if that person is God.

To quote CS Lewis: "Quarreling means trying to show that the other man is in the wrong. And there would be no sense in trying to do that unless you and he had some sort of agreement as to what right and wrong are; just as there would be no sense in saying that a footballer had committed a foul unless there was some agreement about the rules of football."


I can agree with someone that chocolate is the best flavor of ice cream while arguing which particular brand makes the best of the best. That doesn't mean chocolate is objectively the best flavor of ice cream.

I've heard one apologist say that three hindrances to belief in God are intellectual (I can't make sense of God), social (what would my peers think if I became a Christian?) and personal (disbelieving in the supernatural because of lack of your own supernatural experiences). Which one do you think is the most significant in your life?


Lol where do thees people live? The vast majority of everyone I've ever met whose religion was made known to me has been Christian. This is an American site and probably holds true for most people.

Intellectual, though I wouldn't put it like that. There is no evidence that any beings like a god exists.
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Fundamentalism in a nut shell: Raphael: It's God's will. Castiel: How can you say that?! Raphael: Because it's what I want!
#275C_Mat(Topic Creator)Posted 12/6/2012 4:14:18 PM(edited)
hunter_gohan posted...
I subjectively believe that we should model our traffic laws on what would be the safest. The people who made the laws subjectively believed they should model traffic laws after making money.


So you're saying that there's nothing that makes saving people any better than making money, it all comes down to personal preference.

This would be the objective part actually. This is where facts and evidence come into play. Even if you think all morality is merely what god say it is that still makes it subjective morality.


How do facts and evidence say that saving people is better than making money, on an objective morality?

This is actually a perfect example of how subjective morality is self-evidently true. There are no facts or data points you can give me to support why X must be so. The only thing where anything we've said originated from was people's minds. Even if that person is God.


If subjective morality were the default view because there are no facts or evidence that prove objective morality, then how can subjective morality be proven with facts and evidence? More briefly, if subjective morality is self-evidence, where is the evidence for it that you say objective morality is lacking?

My original claim is that you live life as if there is an objective moral standard that we're both expected to keep which is higher than either of our personal opinions.

I can agree with someone that chocolate is the best flavor of ice cream while arguing which particular brand makes the best of the best. That doesn't mean chocolate is objectively the best flavor of ice cream.


True, but in your example, you're still saying that one type of ice cream is better than another type of ice cream. Don't you also say that one type of morality is better than another type of morality? The fact that you're using ice cream to demonstrate moral choices just shows how little value moral choices have on the subjective moral view. Why don't you just re-state the example with an actual real-life situation...

I can agree with someone that stealing from old ladies is wrong while arguing about about which particular things we shouldn't steal. That doesn't mean stealing from old ladies is objectively wrong.

Are you alright with using that logic in the real world? Because with that logic, yes, the decision whether or not to steal from old ladies is as much a matter of opinion as what kind of ice cream you like.

Lol where do thees people live? The vast majority of everyone I've ever met whose religion was made known to me has been Christian. This is an American site and probably holds true for most people.

Intellectual, though I wouldn't put it like that. There is no evidence that any beings like a god exists.


Well, those people who live in the Middle East could fear for their life if they became Christian, so the social barrier exists more strongly in societies that aren't as individualistic as America, like you said. Yet that doesn't mean it doesn't exist here, too, there is a boy in our Youth group at church who is the only Christian in a family of atheists. Ironically, his atheist brother's name is "Christian."

As for your own intellectual problems with Christianity, I hope you'd check out some books by people a lot smarter than I am if you'd seriously like some answers to those questions. The ones I recommend most are Mere Christianity by CS Lewis, or The Reason for God by Tim Keller. There are also a lot of great books that tackle individual questions about God's nature like you were asking me earlier, like When Skeptics Ask by Norman Geisler, or even Internet Q&A pages like this one on William Lane Craig's website (http://www.reasonablefaith.org/question-answer).
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http://youtu.be/gmnSnNC8UJk
#276hunter_gohanPosted 12/6/2012 7:07:24 PM
C_Mat posted...
So you're saying that there's nothing that makes saving people any better than making money, it all comes down to personal preference.


Besides my subjective moral beliefs? No

How do facts and evidence say that saving people is better than making money, on an objective morality?


What? This is about the method of saving people:

C-Mat: "The subjective part is our argument about the best way to go about saving them. Don't you see the difference?"

Once we've agreed that we should model our traffic laws on making traffic as safe as possible we've past the subjective part and reach the objective part where we can conduct studies and gather evidence about which methods produce the best results with our subjectively arrived at aim in mind.

If subjective morality were the default view because there are no facts or evidence that prove objective morality, then how can subjective morality be proven with facts and evidence? More briefly, if subjective morality is self-evidence, where is the evidence for it that you say objective morality is lacking?


Well the big one is that this "objective" morality you put forth is in fact entirely subjective.

Wording gets tricky here. We can agree taste in ice cream is subjective yes? At the same time we can use evidence to see that different people have different tastes in ice cream. Maybe we follow one person and 90% of the ice cream he consumes is chocolate. There is no evidence we can find that will objectively say chocolate is the best ice cream, but we can easily find objective evidence that Bob subjectively favors chocolate ice cream.

Likewise, we can look throughout history and across the globe to see the objective fact that human morality varies through time/location and the only thing anyone has to back up their morality originates entirely within people's minds. IoW it's subjective.

My original claim is that you live life as if there is an objective moral standard that we're both expected to keep which is higher than either of our personal opinions.


And this is why I first brought in traffic. To illustrate that just because something is subjectively decided doesn't mean you can't enforce those subjective criteria. I'm expected to keep at or below 55 mph on such and such road even though the reason for making 55 mph the speed limit for it is entirely subjective.

True, but in your example, you're still saying that one type of ice cream is better than another type of ice cream. Don't you also say that one type of morality is better than another type of morality?


Yes, exactly the same way you say one type of morality is better than another while your morality is still subjective. Here though it is actually possible to convince others logically to switch which moral system they favor; you can't debate someone to change their tastebuds though :p

The fact that you're using ice cream to demonstrate moral choices just shows how little value moral choices have on the subjective moral view. Why don't you just re-state the example with an actual real-life situation...

Chocolate ice cream is only available in fantasy? That situation could very well happen. Hell it probably has. I don't know why you think it isn't a "real-life" situation. I'm merely using ice cream to highlight the fact that just because people agree to X so they can argue Y doesn't necessarily mean X is objective.
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Fundamentalism in a nut shell: Raphael: It's God's will. Castiel: How can you say that?! Raphael: Because it's what I want!
#277hunter_gohanPosted 12/6/2012 7:10:01 PM
I can agree with someone that stealing from old ladies is wrong while arguing about about which particular things we shouldn't steal. That doesn't mean stealing from old ladies is objectively wrong.


No it doesn't. I can do all sorts of experiments to demonstrate to you that gravity has an acceleration of ~9.791 m/s^2 at sea level on Earth. That is objective. What can you do besides philosophy or appealing to someone else's mind(God said X) to demonstrate that stealing from old ladies is wrong? Nothing, it is subjective.

That's why I went with taste in ice cream. We can all, hopefully, agree that is entirely subjective.

Are you alright with using that logic in the real world? Because with that logic, yes, the decision whether or not to steal from old ladies is as much a matter of opinion as what kind of ice cream you like.


Yeah, and?

Well, those people who live in the Middle East could fear for their life if they became Christian, so the social barrier exists more strongly in societies that aren't as individualistic as America, like you said.


Well I mentioned this being an American site since I meant to contain that "most people" to Americans. :p I've seen far too many Christians think that they're persecuted in the US.

Yet that doesn't mean it doesn't exist here, too, there is a boy in our Youth group at church who is the only Christian in a family of atheists. Ironically, his atheist brother's name is "Christian."


True, but that is the minority in the US. Here the social pressure will be towards being a Christian.
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Fundamentalism in a nut shell: Raphael: It's God's will. Castiel: How can you say that?! Raphael: Because it's what I want!
#278hunter_gohanPosted 12/6/2012 7:34:12 PM(edited)
The ones I recommend most are Mere Christianity by CS Lewis, or The Reason for God by Tim Keller.


"Lewis spends most of his defense of the Christian faith on an argument from morality, a point which persuaded him from atheism to Christianity. He bases his case on a moral law, a "rule about right and wrong" commonly known to all human beings, citing the example of Nazism; both Christians and atheists believed that Hitler's actions were morally wrong."

This is objectively false. The Christians who perpetrated those actions saw nothing morally wrong with them. Over time the morals have changed and today most people agree it was morally wrong. That seems to support subjective morality far more than the moral realism he seems to be going for.

"Lewis, arguing that Jesus was claiming to be God, uses logic to advance three possibilities: either he really was God, was deliberately lying, or was not God but thought himself to be (which would make him delusional and likely insane). The book goes on to say that the latter two possibilities are not consistent with Jesus' character and it was most likely that he was being truthful.[5]"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mere_Christianity#The_Case_for_Christianity

Or 4) He never existed. 5) He was a mashup of various messianic figures from the time 6) He never actually said he was god, that was added to the story somewhere along the telephone line.

He basically seems to be saying "Moral realism; therefore, god!" Except ya, what I've basically already stated here:

"Others are critical of moral realism because it postulates the existence of a kind of "moral fact" which is nonmaterial and does not appear to be accessible to the scientific method.[16] Moral truths cannot be observed in the same way as material facts (which are objective), so it seems odd to count them in the same category.[17] "
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_realism#Criticisms

If I use the fact that the number of pirates controls global warming to argue for the FSM, that doesn't mean he actually exists.

Wiki doesn't have nearly as much info on "The Reason for God", but does state it draws from the bible(circular argument for 500 Alex?) and Mere Christianity, and I don't really feel inclined to have my money support Christian Apologism :/

There are also a lot of great books that tackle individual questions about God's nature like you were asking me earlier, like When Skeptics Ask by Norman Geisler, or even Internet Q&A pages like this one on William Lane Craig's website (http://www.reasonablefaith.org/question-answer).


Well at least I wouldn't have to pay for that. He doesn't seem like he has very good arguments though:

"Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
The universe began to exist.
Therefore, the universe has a cause."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kal%C4%81m_cosmological_argument#Contemporary_argument

This leads him to God somehow.

Whatever begins to exist has a cause
That painting began to exist
Therefore, the painting has a cause; therefore, the painter is god?

That lightning bolt began to exist.
Therefore, Zeus!

That volcano began to exist.
Therefore, Vulcan!

Those waves began to exist.
Therefore, Poseidon!
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Fundamentalism in a nut shell: Raphael: It's God's will. Castiel: How can you say that?! Raphael: Because it's what I want!
#279C_Mat(Topic Creator)Posted 12/8/2012 3:02:13 PM
hunter_gohan posted...
Besides my subjective moral beliefs? No


Sorry I haven't been back for a while. I thought it would take a while to respond to all this, but it will actually be pretty easy because you seem at peace with the conclusion that nothing besides your own personal beliefs determines whether you think one action is better or worse than another. I find it outlandish, but if you don't see the obvious problems with that line of thinking, I guess there's no argument to be made. Everything else you said falls back on this problem or accuses me of claiming something I didn't say, so I don't much see the point in responding to the rest, either.

Isn't it interesting that we can both find each other's basis for morality so abhorrent, yet we probably agree on 90% of moral issues? In fact, both being Americans, we probably have more agreement with each other than with the rest of the world.

As for the books, it was just a friendly suggestion, I don't feel like arguing with you about the conclusions the authors came to if you're not personally going to read how they got there. If you're worried about funding apologetics, I understand, but you could find them at a library, or I would personally mail you my own copies if you were willing to read them.
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http://youtu.be/gmnSnNC8UJk