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Study on how religious/conservatives and liberals judge moral decisions

#41C_MatPosted 6/28/2013 8:31:21 AM
rick alverado posted...
There is nothing wrong with admitting that someone else has done a better job of explaining something. And even if there was, what exactly have I lost? An Internet debate? However will I go on?


Sorry for thinking you cared about supporting your own argument. Apparently failing at that doesn't mean anything to you.

black spider posted...
Yeah, when you don't understand something then it's because the other person isn't making sense. It's never because you've screwed up, is it? It's never because you haven't done your homework. It's always the other person's fault. Because you're so unfathomably smart and clever, right?

Of course you're not. You don't give a rat's ass about the truth, so why would you be?

Except, you know, he's clearly pointing to me solidly refuting the inane nonsense you tried to use as an argument. And yet you're pretending that I didn't make any refutation and that you've therefore "won", even though your nonsense is clearly refuted. How laughably hollow and childish is that? How utterly stupid is that? But that's just yet another instance of you preferring to "win" by some self-invented rules rather than actually getting to the truth.

And I'm guessing, despite your complete fiasco in this topic, that you're still going to pretend that you totally understand secular morality. Even though you don't comprehend why someone using secular morality wouldn't be a fan of government-organized mass-murder. Yeah, you're totally not dishonest, are you? You totally don't lie and close your eyes to reality whenever it's convenient, do you?


You need help.
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http://youtu.be/gmnSnNC8UJk
#42black spiderPosted 6/28/2013 9:07:14 AM
This is brilliant. I clean out the mistimed response a minute or so before you manage to respond to it. God dammit. It seems a bit pointless to comment, since it isn't hard to guess what I'm going to say.

1) I don't really care much if you're polite or rude, as long as you don't lie about it.

2) Your conduct in that "fear of death" topic was absolutely dishonest by design. You were trolling the hell out of me and I took the bait, but I took the bait because you misrepresented what the science actually said. You didn't do that by accident. That's intentional dishonesty and there's no getting around that.

Anyways, the only new thing to comment on...

think it's funny how you say it turned me from "someone who cared about right and wrong." Where do you get that I cared about right and wrong before? To be clear, I was an existential/moral nihilist. I've always seen that to be the natural conclusion of an entirely naturalistic world view. Morals are just, you know, behavioral systems optimized by the rules of game theory working over gene selectionism.

Well, right or wrong, true or not true, whatever you wish to label it. I've been around for a few years and I seem to recall you getting into a fair few serious discussions that you put quite some effort into. My memory is fairly s*** when it comes to this sort of thing, so I doubt I'd have that recollection if you hadn't impressed me in some way.

And yes, morals are indeed just behavioral systems. But that applies to both secular and religious morals, doesn't it? They're really the same thing with different colors. What exactly are you changing by assuming some superior being? It doesn't seem to me that there's the tiniest bit more or less worth in some action because you assume that you're someone's pet ant rather than a headless chicken running around aimlessly. But that's just my take on it, obviously. If you find meaning in being the servant of God then that's what it is. It's nice to have a deeper meaning in your life and I don't really care to spoil that for anyone.
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You want to try your hand at proving why genocide is inherently bad? - OrangeWizard
#43black spiderPosted 6/28/2013 9:22:46 AM(edited)
C_Mat posted...
You need help.

What a clever and insightful comeback. I don't know how I'm going to ever recover from this.

Sorry for thinking you cared about supporting your own argument.

But you don't, do you? It's not like your argument isn't entirely refuted and yet you've claimed to have "won" because Rick didn't care to copy/paste what I wrote and pass it off as his own response.

How laughable is that? Actually, it's so funny that I'm actually grinning like an idiot right now, just thinking about it. I suppose I should thank your for that, since I'm otherwise having a fairly crappy day, trying to force Access to eat text-string served through VBA and using it in a search without trowing SQL-burps whenever it comes across a single-quote character.

I'm sure I'll get a good idea for getting it to work some time soon, but every time I feel like I'm getting tuned in on ways to get around that issue, someone keeps phoning me and breaking my train of thought into tiny, useless pieces.

And yet I'm smiling. Yeah, you definitely deserve a thank you for the effort, even if it probably wasn't intentional. So thank you, C_Mat.
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You want to try your hand at proving why genocide is inherently bad? - OrangeWizard
#44C_MatPosted 6/28/2013 9:48:39 AM
Good luck, databases and coding can be a huge pain.
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http://youtu.be/gmnSnNC8UJk
#45Julian_CaesarPosted 6/30/2013 7:20:15 PM
black spider:

Regardless of how the question was presented, C_Mat is partly right. You didn't actually answer how "secular morality" addresses the issue of elderly, demented citizens and whether or not they have a right to life when they are a drain on society. You basically waved your hand and said "well duh because right to life is a fundamental property of secular society."

Am I missing some context where you two have had this discussion in the past, to no avail? If so then I'll shut up. But I myself am curious as to which "secular morality" you're referring to, and what philosophical/ethical basis that morality has. I'm inherently skeptical of anything called "secular morality" because the idea of "secular state" means different things depending on which kind of state you believe in. For example, a fascist "secular state" and a libertarian "secular state" would probably have different ideas of what "secular morality" means. What specific kind of state are you proposing that would be upheld/furthered by the "secular morality" which says everyone has a fundamental right to life?
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Every day the rest of your life is changed forever.
#46kts123Posted 7/5/2013 2:20:52 PM(edited)
2) Your conduct in that "fear of death" topic was absolutely dishonest by design. You were trolling the hell out of me and I took the bait, but I took the bait because you misrepresented what the science actually said. You didn't do that by accident. That's intentional dishonesty and there's no getting around that


Show me where I was dishonest.

I never misrepresented the science, at least not intentionally. The concept is was fairly simple: Stress augments certainty of currently held beliefs. If you're stressed out, you're more likely to make statements like "Science is the only reliable path to knowledge." Which shows that secular beliefs are subject to the same mental workings as any other belief. My mockery comes from that many New Atheists are under the impression they are intellectually superior to religious folk, and are somehow magically immune to problematic reasoning. The study shows that, at least one major insult New Atheists use "Religion is just a security blanket" is applicable to any belief -- including New Atheism itself. To be more accurate, it just shows that this is typical human behavior. I mean, it didn't take long after the invention of the Internet for people to start hitting on eachother via the tubes. The medium may be new but the behaviors are the same. So, obviously, the same mental faculties at work in a christian are the same ones in an atheist. New ideas, same brains. One may have been formed differently, but the instinctive human behaviors are still there.

That's what I found so humorous about the study. As for the details, the questions were fairly straight forward. They were literally asked questions like "Is science is the only reliable path to knowledge?" under stress and not under stress. Those under stress were significantly more likely to answer "yes."

The study being cited in this thread is on morality. The authors are forced to infer what they believe represents various moral concepts based on their experiences, and embody it in the form of a questionnaire. All the way around, that is much more slippery to pin down in question form, and even more slippery to get people to respond how we expect. And that information is completely missing, unlike the other article which detailed how the study was performed and what questions were asked. Though, to be entirely straightforward, I do even take the other study with a grain of salt. But I'm even more skeptical of this study, because the entire setup is behind a paywall.

And yes, morals are indeed just behavioral systems. But that applies to both secular and religious morals, doesn't it? They're really the same thing with different colors. What exactly are you changing by assuming some superior being? It doesn't seem to me that there's the tiniest bit more or less worth in some action because you assume that you're someone's pet ant rather than a headless chicken running around aimlessly. But that's just my take on it, obviously. If you find meaning in being the servant of God then that's what it is. It's nice to have a deeper meaning in your life and I don't really care to spoil that for anyone.


Scripture shows that love is God. Even more, it shows that various concepts are actually God made reflections of Spiritual matters. Morality may be visible within the brain, but Scripture shows that the physical was made to reflect something non-physical. So no, being a pet doesn't make meaning, but Scripture shows the very idea of meaning was put in place by God for us to understand something non-physical. It's akin to looking at a picture of a forest, and thinking to yourself: This is just ink and paper, forests do not actually exist. Well, yes and no. It is just ink and paper, but it's in the image of something very very real. Morality and meaning as we know it are images of the true things. One day, we will see Love face to face.
#47black spiderPosted 7/5/2013 4:28:43 PM
Sorry for the delay in me answering your posts. I didn't see them until now.

And on another note, thank you for the kind words, C_Mat. Databases really can be a pain. Turns out that what I needed was a Replace function that JET SQL (and therefore the record source of MS Access forms) don't seem to have. Therefore I couldn't make my search form ignore symbols in the database entry itself, which is decidedly annoying. At this point, I'm really only seeing one solution, and it's a damned clumsy one, but I can generate a column for search values where all the symbols are removed and then use that for comparison with the search term from the form. And as clumsy as it is, at least it works.

One alternative that might also work is using a query that replaces symbols in that particular column, but I suspect that I'd then be working with a cloned set of records, which means any value updates in the search results would have to be hand written into the actual database. And that's just not very elegant either, is it?

But database woes aside...

Julian_Caesar posted...
Regardless of how the question was presented, C_Mat is partly right. You didn't actually answer how "secular morality" addresses the issue of elderly, demented citizens and whether or not they have a right to life when they are a drain on society. You basically waved your hand and said "well duh because right to life is a fundamental property of secular society."


Sure I did. Rick argued that "the benefit of society" was a good secular approach to morality. C_Mat argued that it would benefit society to kill all those useless old wankers who simply drain resources away from society. I pointed out that doing away with the fundamental principle of a right to life is hardly of any benefit to society, and that's where we'd be if we started killing old people, just because they're sort of useless from a productivity perspective.

Therefore the approach suggested by C_Mat would be wrong. Not because it's "immoral" (which C_Mat implied because he cannot comprehend how anyone can function without objectively defined right and wrong), but because it flat-out contradicts one of the basic principles we're using to figure out what is and isn't moral.

I didn't go into detail because going into detail was besides the point. He assumed some form of reasoning with respect to secular morality that was completely silly and I demonstrated as much for him. And he then went on to ignore that completely and pretend that he had "won" the argument, in turn making me grumpy.

Now, if you'd like to discuss the specifics of what to do with elderly people and why it should be done then that's fine with me. We can totally do that if you want. But that was never really C_Mat's point, was it?
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You want to try your hand at proving why genocide is inherently bad? - OrangeWizard
#48black spiderPosted 7/5/2013 4:58:45 PM
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#49black spiderPosted 7/5/2013 5:04:45 PM
The study being cited in this thread is on morality. The authors are forced to infer what they believe represents various moral concepts based on their experiences, and embody it in the form of a questionnaire. All the way around, that is much more slippery to pin down in question form, and even more slippery to get people to respond how we expect. And that information is completely missing, unlike the other article which detailed how the study was performed and what questions were asked.


I agree completely. But I haven't read the full text so I can't really begin to offer a serious critique of the methodology being used here. If I had read the full text and if someone had made the same hugely aggressive claims about this study that you did about the stress-related one, then I hope that I'd be as aggressive here as I was in that other topic. But I don't have the full text and so I really don't know what they did and didn't do.

Scripture shows that love is God.

Scripture shows that God flooded the whole world because he'd grown disgusted with the behavior of the humans he practically abandoned and instead of sending them a shepherd, he decided to wash his hands and start over. If you feel that's love then I'm sorry for your friends and family. But that's just me being an atheist dick, I suppose. :-)

Generally speaking, it's my recollection of scripture that everything good is God because God is the source of everything good. If you had problems finding worth in anything, and being a nihilist you probably did, then surely you're not automatically convinced by such a shallow claim for glory.

Scripture shows the very idea of meaning was put in place by God for us to understand something non-physical. It's akin to looking at a picture of a forest, and thinking to yourself: This is just ink and paper, forests do not actually exist. Well, yes and no. It is just ink and paper, but it's in the image of something very very real. Morality and meaning as we know it are images of the true things.

How about skepticism? How about rationalism? Were they also concepts put in place by God for us to understand things that aren't obvious? Was atheism put in place by God?

What you're really saying is that something you've never found the answer to was obviously put in place by some supposedly intelligent entity that you can't prove. And because the scripture said that there's no meaning without God and you were absolutely sure, before you found God, that there were no meaning, then Scripture got it spot on and this leads to God.

Except it doesn't, does it? Meaning comes from whatever your want. You find meaning in Christianity whereas I don't. Neither of us are wrong, but from this we can conclude that God doesn't have a monopoly on "meaning", which is contrary to what you're suggesting.

You can then claim that God offers a deeper meaning than rejection of God, but that's only the case if God actually exists and you don't know that he does. What you're saying is then effectively that IF God exists then there's a deeper meaning of life, which is to serve at his feet and offer worship. Well, IF the flying spaghetti monster exists then there's a deeper meaning of life, which is to eat lots and lots of pasta bolognese. IF God exists then I'm surely going to hell for being a blasphemer. IF God is in fact Allah of the Quran then we'll both go to hell for not being Muslims.

If there's a deeper meaning in life then there is, but we don't know that to be true. The Bible makes a claim, as do other holy scriptures, but claims are cheap without corroborating evidence. The only thing we know for certain about the meaning of life is that we really don't know what the truth is, so why is your God-based meaning better than my secular meaning? What makes it any less artificial?
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You want to try your hand at proving why genocide is inherently bad? - OrangeWizard
#50Julian_CaesarPosted 7/5/2013 7:13:02 PM
black spider posted...
Sure I did. Rick argued that "the benefit of society" was a good secular approach to morality. C_Mat argued that it would benefit society to kill all those useless old wankers who simply drain resources away from society. I pointed out that doing away with the fundamental principle of a right to life is hardly of any benefit to society, and that's where we'd be if we started killing old people, just because they're sort of useless from a productivity perspective.


While I wholeheartedly agree with you, my reasons for doing so are religious. From a secular point of view, what exactly is the benefit of a "fundamental right to life?" How does it benefit the modern society to have an immense investment in resources (in the form of healthcare) going to a demographic that provides decreasing return on resources? Of course I'm speaking in purely economic terms, because I'm still not sure what you mean by "secular morality." So I'm going with lowest (and cruelest) common denominator to start off with.

Now, if you'd like to discuss the specifics of what to do with elderly people and why it should be done then that's fine with me. We can totally do that if you want. But that was never really C_Mat's point, was it?


I can't say for sure, although it's true that the ethics of death/elderly are much more closely linked to the ethics of birth/fetuses than we usually realize. I myself am asking you not because I want you to think like me, but because I'm probing for consistency one way or the other. And in truth I'm not sure at the moment whether it's more consistent with a pro-abortion stance to be for or against assisted suicide and/or the "right to die."


P.S.--lol I can't believe "wank" is autoflagged :P
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Every day the rest of your life is changed forever.