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SA's Morality debate....

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Mefiante
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« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2010, 09:43:43 AM »

So what will atheist organizations bring to the table besides negativity and a deconstructive attitude?
Cookies.  Unpoisoned ones.  And a handbrake on because-I-say-so zealotry.

'Luthon64
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Teleological
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« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2010, 10:05:35 AM »

So what will atheist organizations bring to the table besides negativity and a deconstructive attitude?
Cookies.  Unpoisoned ones.  And a handbrake on because-I-say-so zealotry.

'Luthon64
Haha, nothing special there, religious institutions can do that as well...
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Brian
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« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2010, 12:54:19 PM »

I am curious, what would an atheist organization bring to the table with regards to morality?
Relativism with no objective morals?
Naturalism with no ultimate responsibility and free will?
Materialism with no mental phenomena?
Humanism? How exactly would this be different from other religiously motivated humanisms?
Scientism or logical positivism? With science being the only measure of truth even though science can't prove it?... Scientism being either self-defeating or trivially true...
Rationalism? Knocking down responsibility, mental phenomena and objective morality and then claim to be a rationalist is not going to convince many people really. In fact it will look a little silly. If you deny relativism, materialism, naturalism, scientism what is left for atheism really? It become a negative outlook towards a particular belief. What is positive about it?

So what will atheist organizations bring to the table besides negativity and a deconstructive attitude?

None of these yet all of these except the negativity etc. The latter seems to suggest that atheists are unable to be constructive and positive.I reject this. Our claim to fame is the capacity to think objectively and if a moral is proposed by xtians and it is good, we support that, not on the basis of religion but of rationality.
The notion that the country's morals could be prescribed on our behalf by xtians and woo woohs is obnoxious. We have a loooong history of prescription by the unholy alliance between church and state and don't need it again. The lable 'atheist' would be the wrong label to use or any of the other -isms quoted by you; we need freedom from religion; the right to be heard; we need reality, reason and representation. It is our independence from the -isms, yes even atheism that differentiates us.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2010, 14:09:42 PM »

Haha, nothing special there, religious institutions can do that as well...
No, evidently they can’t.  History, even recent history, has shown that so consistently so often that it takes a blind because-I-say-so zealot to deny it.  Oh, and I forgot to mention something atheists won’t bring to the table:  An army of straw men.

'Luthon64
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« Reply #34 on: June 23, 2010, 18:11:33 PM »

Naturalism with no ultimate responsibility and free will?

Directing blame never solves anything and free will would make it pointless to even try.
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Teleological
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« Reply #35 on: June 24, 2010, 08:48:18 AM »

Naturalism with no ultimate responsibility and free will?

Directing blame never solves anything and free will would make it pointless to even try.
Err, I think you quoted the wrong person... were you ultimately responsible for this mistake Cheesy?
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Teleological
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« Reply #36 on: June 24, 2010, 09:37:10 AM »

I am curious, what would an atheist organization bring to the table with regards to morality?
Relativism with no objective morals?
Naturalism with no ultimate responsibility and free will?
Materialism with no mental phenomena?
Humanism? How exactly would this be different from other religiously motivated humanisms?
Scientism or logical positivism? With science being the only measure of truth even though science can't prove it?... Scientism being either self-defeating or trivially true...
Rationalism? Knocking down responsibility, mental phenomena and objective morality and then claim to be a rationalist is not going to convince many people really. In fact it will look a little silly. If you deny relativism, materialism, naturalism, scientism what is left for atheism really? It become a negative outlook towards a particular belief. What is positive about it?

So what will atheist organizations bring to the table besides negativity and a deconstructive attitude?

None of these yet all of these except the negativity etc.

I think you lost me there...

The latter seems to suggest that atheists are unable to be constructive and positive.I reject this.
Well, you can reject it, but at the end of the day, that is what atheism is. A negative proposition towards the belief in God(s). Nothing more nothing less. Usually what an atheist then tries to do is cling onto rationalism, humanism, naturalsim, scepticism, scientism, materialism or some other -ism to try and prop up the view.

Our claim to fame is the capacity to think objectively and if a moral is proposed by xtians and it is good, we support that, not on the basis of religion but of rationality.
I don't think atheists' claim to fame is the capacity to think objectively on the basis of rationality. Atheists' claim to fame (if you want to call it that) is that they do not believe in God(s). That is it. Of course you can say rationalists' claim to fame is that they can think objectively on the basis of rationality.

The notion that the country's morals could be prescribed on our behalf by xtians and woo woohs is obnoxious. We have a loooong history of prescription by the unholy alliance between church and state and don't need it again. The lable 'atheist' would be the wrong label to use or any of the other -isms quoted by you; we need freedom from religion; the right to be heard; we need reality, reason and representation.
Err, you have freedom from religion, nobody is forcing you to be religious.

It is our independence from the -isms, yes even atheism that differentiates us.
Including independence from rationalism Grin?
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Teleological
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« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2010, 09:44:56 AM »

Haha, nothing special there, religious institutions can do that as well...
No, evidently they can’t.  History, even recent history, has shown that so consistently so often that it takes a blind because-I-say-so zealot to deny it.
What?
Cookies? Unpoisoned ones... Ever been to a church bazaar? Lots of cookies there...
A handbrake on because-I-say-so zealotry?  Ever heard of theologians, and philosophers of religion speaking out against because-I-say-so zealotry? "It takes a blind because-I-say-so zealot to deny it" Tongue.

 Oh, and I forgot to mention something atheists won’t bring to the table:  An army of straw men.

'Luthon64
That is because they are not bringing anything to the table in the first place...
Sure, religious institutions have been responsible for some pretty horrible things in the past. But they have also been responsible for a lot of good things (charities for one) and "It takes a blind because-I-say-so zealot to deny it" Tongue (Hitchens comes to mind).
Atheism on the other hand cannot be blamed for anything, nothing good, noting bad, just a negative proposition towards the belief in God(s).
« Last Edit: June 24, 2010, 10:22:11 AM by Teleological » Logged
Mefiante
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« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2010, 10:28:41 AM »

Where please are these vocal “theologians, and philosophers of religion speaking out against because-I-say-so zealotry?”  Where please are they significantly out-denouncing secular humanists?  Because they have yet to surface in any convincing way or number, and saying they’re there is not the same thing as them actually being there.  I await your next evasion with keen interest.

And another thing atheists will not be bringing to the table is a self-important pretence of having all the answers and the pedagogical puffery that goes with it.

'Luthon64
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« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2010, 10:35:47 AM »

Atheism on the other hand cannot be blamed for anything, nothing good, noting bad, just a negative proposition towards the belief in God(s).

here's a different if somewhat old take on negative and positive atheism (Joseph Lewis): http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/lewis/lewis00.htm

Here are some quotes from the talk if you don't want to read the whole thing:

"It (atheism) believes that love of humanity is a higher ideal than a love of God. We cannot help God, but we can help mankind. "Hands that help are better far than lips that pray." Praying to God is humiliating; worshipping God is degrading."

"If Atheism is sometimes called a "negative" philosophy, it is because the conditions of life make a negative philosophy best suited to meet the exigencies of existence, and only in that sense can it be called "negative." Some ministers of religion ignorantly call Atheism a "negative" philosophy because Atheism must first destroy the monumental ignorance and the degrading superstition with which religion, throughout the ages, has so shamelessly stultified the brain of man"

"What hypocrisy it is on the part of ministers of religion to call Atheism a negative philosophy, when their own Ten Commandments are a series of "Thou shalt nots."

"And the efforts of those today who are compromising with religion and making apologies for its past crimes, are only prolonging its existence and making more difficult the task to eradicate this blot from civilization. They are interfering with the removal of the worst obstacle that has ever blocked the intellectual progress of Man. A rose may smell as sweet by any other name, and religion will be just as obnoxious under any other title."

what can we bring to the table? The morality of honesty.




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« Reply #40 on: June 24, 2010, 12:53:41 PM »

Any claim that we enjoy freedom of religion becomes false as soon as we have a government that is not neutral on issues of conviction.   Bias will inevitably favour certain interests at the expense of others.   What we see developing is a situation where the presidency has the ear of certain interest groups, while others are excluded, based on the false premiss that religion is the origin of all that is moral.   Freedom of religion is inherently anathema to religion; the Bible (for instance) prescribes killing adherents of opposing religions.   Religious wars bear testimony to this.   “Heretics” have been executed and tortured through the ages, and this practice is still rife in theocracies, particularly in the Muslim world.   In South Africa “witches” are being killed.   I do not foresee government sanctioning such excesses, but it does not detract from the fact that we see a tendency towards religious bias in the presidency and, should it progress, it must inevitably undermine freedom of conviction and become oppressive, irrespective of what the constitution says.
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Teleological
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« Reply #41 on: June 24, 2010, 13:20:37 PM »

Where please are these vocal “theologians, and philosophers of religion speaking out against because-I-say-so zealotry?”  Where please are they significantly out-denouncing secular humanists?

Arguments from ignorance or "because I don't want to read what those pesky theologians and philosophers say, they are not speaking out against because-I-say-so zealotry?"?
Mind you, many, if not the majority of, secular humanists seem to be just another form of because-I-say-so zealotry. A little more consistency from them denouncing the failings of secular states with regards to crimes like rape and sodomy in secular institutions like schools
Anyway,
Dangerousidea.blogspot Against mormonism, Armanism, Calvinism, YEC etc.
Ed Feser Against Intelligent Design
Heck, go to any Catholic blog, website or commenter and you will see them going against YEC and in many places ID. Denouncing the "lower than average school rape rate" in Catholic institutions is everywhere, from religious to the secular humanists. Again, only a blind because-I-say-so zealot will deny it or ignore it.
Quintessence of Dust Against ID and religious fundamentalism.
Not to mention philosophy of religion and theology journals... etc.

No doubt there are secular humanists that do not fall in the trap of because-I-say-so zealotry, unfortunately this is drowned out by by the vast majority of secular zealots.

And another thing atheists will not be bringing to the table is a self-important pretence of having all the answers and the pedagogical puffery that goes with it.

'Luthon64

Again, that is because they are not bringing anything to the table in the first place.
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Teleological
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« Reply #42 on: June 24, 2010, 13:26:00 PM »

Atheism on the other hand cannot be blamed for anything, nothing good, noting bad, just a negative proposition towards the belief in God(s).

here's a different if somewhat old take on negative and positive atheism (Joseph Lewis): http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/lewis/lewis00.htm

Here are some quotes from the talk if you don't want to read the whole thing:

"It (atheism) believes that love of humanity is a higher ideal than a love of God. We cannot help God, but we can help mankind. "Hands that help are better far than lips that pray." Praying to God is humiliating; worshipping God is degrading."

"If Atheism is sometimes called a "negative" philosophy, it is because the conditions of life make a negative philosophy best suited to meet the exigencies of existence, and only in that sense can it be called "negative." Some ministers of religion ignorantly call Atheism a "negative" philosophy because Atheism must first destroy the monumental ignorance and the degrading superstition with which religion, throughout the ages, has so shamelessly stultified the brain of man"

"What hypocrisy it is on the part of ministers of religion to call Atheism a negative philosophy, when their own Ten Commandments are a series of "Thou shalt nots."

"And the efforts of those today who are compromising with religion and making apologies for its past crimes, are only prolonging its existence and making more difficult the task to eradicate this blot from civilization. They are interfering with the removal of the worst obstacle that has ever blocked the intellectual progress of Man. A rose may smell as sweet by any other name, and religion will be just as obnoxious under any other title."

what can we bring to the table? The morality of honesty.

Yes well...he tried to prop up atheism with other -isms:
Love of humanity... humanism
Intellectual progress... rationalism or intellectualism if you will.

Even you are trying to prop it up by saying you are bringing 'The morality of honesty". Sorry, honest people bring honesty. Atheists bring "non-belief in God(s). Nothing more nothing less.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2010, 14:53:18 PM by Teleological » Logged
Brian
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« Reply #43 on: June 24, 2010, 14:04:25 PM »

Teleological you're right of course...the fundamental problem I have is that religionists don't bring honesty to the table despite their fallacious claims to the moral high ground and when our morality is being discussed I do not trust them to represent me and neither do I trust the politicians to do so but that's the reality.

I also think that religious folk are allocated undue respect and power when these issues are being debated...how silly is it for example to listen to a catholic priest pontificating on married life and rearing children not because he may be a psychologist but a religious 'expert' on the matter. I do not suggest that his views be ignored (they may be valid); it is the presumption of the almost 'holy insight into the mysteries of man' that I object to.
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Teleological
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« Reply #44 on: June 24, 2010, 14:21:40 PM »

Teleological you're right of course...the fundamental problem I have is that religionists don't bring honesty to the table despite their fallacious claims to the moral high ground and when our morality is being discussed I do not trust them to represent me and neither do I trust the politicians to do so but that's the reality.

I also think that religious folk are allocated undue respect and power when these issues are being debated...how silly is it for example to listen to a catholic priest pontificating on married life and rearing children not because he may be a psychologist but a religious 'expert' on the matter. I do not suggest that his views be ignored (they may be valid); it is the presumption of the almost 'holy insight into the mysteries of man' that I object to.
Nobody is forcing you to take it seriously. Just like people do not take bad generalisations about religious people seriously.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2010, 14:36:03 PM by Teleological » Logged
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