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SA's Morality debate....

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Peter Grant
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« Reply #45 on: June 24, 2010, 18:01:08 PM »

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?

See, there you go attributing blame to distract attention from your lack of any real response.
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Teleological
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« Reply #46 on: June 24, 2010, 18:28:12 PM »

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?

See, there you go attributing blame to distract attention from your lack of any real response.
Goodness me, hope you are not blaming me for the little fun I am having with naturalists and responsibility Shocked Cheesy... Can I blame you if you have any real responses Evil?
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Peter Grant
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« Reply #47 on: June 24, 2010, 21:07:58 PM »

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?

See, there you go attributing blame to distract attention from your lack of any real response.
Goodness me, hope you are not blaming me for the little fun I am having with naturalists and responsibility Shocked Cheesy... Can I blame you if you have any real responses Evil?

No, and if it makes you happy. Does it make any difference who is ultimately responsible? Who is closest to the cause? - now that is a more useful question as it will help us find a solution more quickly. Fix the problem and move on.

Also, if we really had free will operant conditioning wouldn't work at all and blaming someone would be even more pointless.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #48 on: June 24, 2010, 23:57:49 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).
I dunno, hey.  There’s lots of religious freaks who blame Hitler and Stalin and Mao on atheism.  They seem to harbour a special love of conflating atheism with because-I-say-so zealotry, and it’s ironic that they fail to see the very obvious parallels between assorted fanatically-held ideologies and religion.



Arguments from ignorance…
Yes, indeed.  Nice diversionary pseudo-answer to the actual question that was asked – sort of like citing Michael Behe when asking for evidence supporting ID.  Well done, sterling job.  Pity for you nobody’s buying it.  Still, the sheer range of moral topics your list hints at on which various religions and followers of the same religion have disputes about makes the very telling point that religious input is at the very least irrelevant, and more usually deleterious, to a decent moral code.

So, the real question that demands an answer then is what will religious institutions bring to the table, seeing as they’ve invited themselves to it.

Which reminds me of another thing atheists won’t be bringing to that table:  “–ceit” in the flavours of “con–” and “de–”.

'Luthon64
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Mefiante
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« Reply #49 on: June 26, 2010, 11:49:06 AM »

How very apt (#1 of ?):


How very apt (#2 of ?):


And not just apt in this thread only.

'Luthon64
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Peter Grant
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« Reply #50 on: June 26, 2010, 13:16:48 PM »

Nice one Mefi! Grin
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #51 on: June 27, 2010, 09:23:31 AM »

The big difference between secular and religious morality is this. Religious folk are supposed to derive their morality from ancient texts, which are(again supposedly) set in stone. But the secular lot is not shackled to the past and any particular set of morals that happened to be in vogue during the time. Secular morality need not appeal to theological fiddling and interpretational hocus-pocus before deciding that eating pork is OK after all.

So what can those religious innocents bring to the table when it comes to moral debates? Homegrown, flexible, customised, fresh, crisp ideas. Now ain't that refreshing?

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« Reply #52 on: June 27, 2010, 22:43:57 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).
I dunno, hey.  There’s lots of religious freaks who blame Hitler and Stalin and Mao on atheism.  They seem to harbour a special love of conflating atheism with because-I-say-so zealotry, and it’s ironic that they fail to see the very obvious parallels between assorted fanatically-held ideologies and religion.
I think you found the right word. Ideology... Secular ideologies and religious ideologies have been responsible for atrocities in the past.

Still, the sheer range of moral topics your list hints at on which various religions and followers of the same religion have disputes about makes the very telling point that religious input is at the very least irrelevant, and more usually deleterious, to a decent moral code.
Wow, you believe such a thing as a decent moral code exists despite no scientific evidence that it does? Explain...

So, the real question that demands an answer then is what will religious institutions bring to the table, seeing as they’ve invited themselves to it.
Ideology? What do atheists have... nothing but a negative proposition unless they prop it up with other ideologies say... materialism? How about naturalism?

Which reminds me of another thing atheists won’t be bringing to that table:  “–ceit” in the flavours of “con–” and “de–”.

'Luthon64
You keep forgetting they won't be bringing anything to the table.
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« Reply #53 on: June 28, 2010, 15:45:40 PM »

Juxtaposing atheism against religion is asymmetrical.   In rather comparing atheism to theism, it is clearer that neither is a religion or a philosophy.   If one argues that atheism needs to be “propped up” by philosophies, one has to concede that theism needs to be “propped up” by religions and philosophies as well.   The only distinction one can draw is that the two outlooks have different points of departure: the one arguing from the stance that there are no such things as gods, the other accepting the existence of one or more such deities.   In a political context, this amounts to the distinction between a secular state and a theocracy.

The South African bill of rights guarantees, inter alia:
·   equality before the law;
·   equality on the basis of race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth;
·   human dignity;
·   the right to life;
·   freedom and security of person;
·   the prohibition of slavery, servitude and forced labour;
·   freedom of belief, religion and opinion;
·   freedom of expression;
·   the right to vote.
There are many more.
The point to note here is that all these rights have evolved from a secular point of departure.   In fact, nearly the entire legal system has a secular origin.   By contrast, it would be extremely difficult to conceive how most (if any) of these rights would survive in a theocracy.   

To claim that a morality with atheism as its point of departure could “bring nothing to the table” would equate to discarding all the above rights enshrined in the constitution as immoral.   That would be absurd.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #54 on: June 28, 2010, 16:02:38 PM »

You keep forgetting [atheists] won't be bringing anything to the table.
Thanks for reminding me of a few other things they won’t be bringing to the table:  Flagrant distortions and unabashed evasions like the ones we keep seeing in this and other threads.

'Luthon64
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« Reply #55 on: July 04, 2010, 17:46:36 PM »

You keep forgetting [atheists] won't be bringing anything to the table.
Thanks for reminding me of a few other things they won’t be bringing to the table:  Flagrant distortions and unabashed evasions like the ones we keep seeing in this and other threads.

'Luthon64
Oh, I am not too sure about that, they are quite fond of that and what is worse they don't admit it or fail to recognise when their fellow friends shamelessly do the very things they despise. It appears they can not bring anything besides human nature.

Juxtaposing atheism against religion is asymmetrical. In rather comparing atheism to theism,..
Indeed.

... it is clearer that neither is a religion or a philosophy.
Oh I don't know that, Aristotelian-scholastic philosophy and traditional logic fits quite well with classical theism.

  If one argues that atheism needs to be “propped up” by philosophies, one has to concede that theism needs to be “propped up” by religions and philosophies as well.
Aristotelian-Scholastic philosophy and traditional logic. What is there for atheism?

The only distinction one can draw is that the two outlooks have different points of departure: the one arguing from the stance that there are no such things as gods, the other accepting the existence of one or more such deities.   In a political context, this amounts to the distinction between a secular state and a theocracy.
The South African bill of rights guarantees, inter alia:
·   equality before the law;
·   equality on the basis of race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth;
·   human dignity;
·   the right to life;
·   freedom and security of person;
·   the prohibition of slavery, servitude and forced labour;
·   freedom of belief, religion and opinion;
·   freedom of expression;
·   the right to vote.
There are many more.
The point to note here is that all these rights have evolved from a secular point of departure.   In fact, nearly the entire legal system has a secular origin.   By contrast, it would be extremely difficult to conceive how most (if any) of these rights would survive in a theocracy.
I think you are confusing a secular state with something else. A secular state does not depart from the stance that there are no such things as gods. A secular state is "officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion". A secular state also tries to treat citizens equally and the bill of right just flow from that principle. I don't see how any of the above are even remotely incompatible with theism.

To claim that a morality with atheism as its point of departure could “bring nothing to the table” would equate to discarding all the above rights enshrined in the constitution as immoral.   That would be absurd.
That is just faulty logic as a result of conflating atheism with a secular state. As pointed out, a secular state does not depart from the stance that there are no such things as gods. Atheism on its own does not bring anything to the table if it is not propped up by other philosophies such as naturalism or materialism. Bare theism can also be argued to not bring anything to the table, but it is "propped up" if you want by religious ideologies as well as philosophies such as Scholasticism or other forms of peripatetic philosophies and even Platonism and neo-platonism, realism etc..
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« Reply #56 on: July 04, 2010, 19:39:23 PM »

My point is that neither theism nor atheism are, by itself, philosophies or religions.   They are departure points from which different approaches to morality evolve.   The fact that certain philosophical doctrines may "fit quite well" with either I do not disown.   Where there is a difference, is that a theistic point of departure will include philosophy as well as religion.   Religion has repeatedly in history been proved to be intolerant of civil freedoms, especially freedom of religion itself.   The secular state is substantially more in line with an atheistic point of departure.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #57 on: July 04, 2010, 20:23:43 PM »

Oh, I am not too sure about that, they are quite fond of that and what is worse they don't admit it or fail to recognise when their fellow friends shamelessly do the very things they despise. It appears they can not bring anything besides human nature.
Thanks for reminding me of yet another thing we atheists won’t be bringing to the table:  A host of tu quoque fallacies that are supposed to draw attention away from our own pitiful failings.

'Luthon64
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« Reply #58 on: July 04, 2010, 21:26:55 PM »

My point is that neither theism nor atheism are, by itself, philosophies or religions.   They are departure points from which different approaches to morality evolve.   The fact that certain philosophical doctrines may "fit quite well" with either I do not disown.   Where there is a difference, is that a theistic point of departure will include philosophy as well as religion.   Religion has repeatedly in history been proved to be intolerant of civil freedoms, especially freedom of religion itself.   The secular state is substantially more in line with an atheistic point of departure.
A secular state does not support theism or atheism nor does it discriminate against theism or atheism. And like I said, a secular state does not depart from the stance that there are no such things as gods so it it not in line with an atheistic view. If anything, it is more in line with an agnostic line of departure.
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« Reply #59 on: July 05, 2010, 03:31:32 AM »

A secular state does not support theism or atheism nor does it discriminate against theism or atheism. And like I said, a secular state does not depart from the stance that there are no such things as gods so it it not in line with an atheistic view. If anything, it is more in line with an agnostic line of departure.
My point was not whether it "supports" theism or atheism nor whether it "discriminates" against it, but which would rather give rise to one.   In afact, a bill of rights has very much to do with humanism, which has a very strong link to atheism.   However, let's accept your view that it is more in line with an agnostic line of departure.   How do you then justify your claim that only theism can bring anything meaningful to the table in a moral debate?
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