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Thread: Does the world still need a moral code?

  1. #1 Does the world still need a moral code? 
    ox
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    This is the safest and best period in history for humans to be alive, and this is mainly due to the decline in religion. So argues Steven Pinker and Richard Dawkins. The ancient moral codes of religion have now been transcended by the scientific understanding of human nature and modern legal systems. This has been helped by the debunking of religions, the recent dramatic shift in the moral Zeitgeist, information technology, and the empowerment of women.
    When you consider the moral codes of ancient tribes which have found their way into holy books, do not for example condemn slavery or discrimination. Directives to not covet thy neighbours' possessions (even his ox) seem quite ridiculous now in a world of plenty. A moral code which even now allows rape victims to be stoned to death while allowing their perpetrators to walk free is utterly sickening to any right-minded person. The Pakistan Taliban recently shot a 14 year old girl in the head for the crime of campaigning for girls' education.
    When rioting broke out in English cities in 2011 because the police had shot dead a man, it was astonishing to see within a few days the culprits shown on big screens in town centres after CCTV footage had been recovered. Hundreds of arrests followed and severe prison sentences were handed down.
    I have seen what really frightens the Church. It is not only science but also the empowerment of women. If you go back sufficiently far you will find that the universities with a religious agenda did not allow women, and so deny half the population the chance of advanced learning. Even today the mainstream church resents women holding positions of power and many islamic instutions deny women the chance to even enter the mosque.
    A quaint old fossil who lives under the name of Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury even suggested in a gesture of religious goodwill that Islamic law should be allowed in England. The one thing that I wouldn't object to is to see the muslim clerics who have plotted to kill thousands, be subjected to their own moral code of being thrown into a pit and stoned, but I have to acknowledge the superiority of the modern legal system, in whatever country, over the ancient moral code.


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    As usual, Ox, you have launched another of your obsessive anti-theistic tirades, without actually making a point. Yes, you need a moral code. Everybody has a moral code, whether it is based on religion or not. How do you think you do not have a moral code?


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    Common sense should prevail. The Golden Rule is not bad. Treat others as you would like them to treat you. This simple statement is unlikely to be misinterpreted. It was found in ancient texts before it was interpolated into the Bible. So there is no need for the 10 Commandments which were probably obsolete even by the time they were written. The first commandment was particularly unfortunate - You shall have no other gods beside me. This is where the ancient decalogue led to monotheism. Now I ask you, how many people have been killed on behalf of monotheism compared to polytheism? The next three commandments deal with relatively trivial matters regarding blasphemy, superstition and parenting. Only 2 are relevant - the ones that prohibit murder and theft. The rest are also trivial to include 9 and 10 which both deal with coveting. What a pity they don't mention slavery or rape. According to the Bible it was God who issued these directives and as he hasn't communicated any amendments do we have to assume they are still valid? Any right-minded person will condemn them to the garbage bin of history.
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    [QUOTE=ox;363768]The Golden Rule is not bad. Treat others as you would like them to treat you. This simple statement is unlikely to be misinterpreted.[QUOTE]

    It seems to me you have already misinterpreted it! who told you the golden rule means that?

    The Golden rule: Whoever owns the Gold makes the rules.



    P.S religious sects own the Gold mostly I suspect.
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    Yes you are right. I should have thought of that. America calls the shots because it has the most gold (I assume). It is also the second most populous religious country in the world after India. So I guess it needs a moral code to help protect the interests of its own super rich, even if they don't abide by it themselves!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Yes you are right. I should have thought of that. America calls the shots because it has the most gold (I assume). It is also the second most populous religious country in the world after India. So I guess it needs a moral code to help protect the interests of its own super rich, even if they don't abide by it themselves!
    America is the west's lattest project.
    The west was won through Judeo religious enterprise.
    Whether this is true, or why I said, I do not know. It's just casual observation.

    I heard something about Indian housewives possessing more gold between them than the federal reserve... though I have no idea if this is true.
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    The Golden Rule is not bad.
    Treat others as you would like them to treat you
    The problem is the golden rule gets attached to conditionals, such as "should we use government forced rape of women with a medical instrument before they have an abortion?" Now the application of the golden rule becomes: "Well, sure if I wanted an abortion that should happen to me." (Of course it's said by a man---but no matter.) "Common sense" depends on culture, and only works when intuitive thinking happens to coincide with reality--a hit or miss affair.

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    And yes we need moral codes to live together-- regardless of the source.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Common sense should prevail.
    Nutters often say that when proposing a hypothesis for which they have no evidence.
    The Golden Rule is not bad. Treat others as you would like them to treat you. This simple statement is unlikely to be misinterpreted.
    The golden rule is very nearly useless for resolving any sort of ethical dilemma. If the only thing we needed were the golden rule, there would be no need for laws, lawyers, judges, etc. and the laws would never have to change.
    It was found in ancient texts before it was interpolated into the Bible. So there is no need for the 10 Commandments which were probably obsolete even by the time they were written.
    That is a non-sequitur. Why would the ancient texts preclude writing other texts? Why do you think it was obsolete?
    The first commandment was particularly unfortunate - You shall have no other gods beside me. This is where the ancient decalogue led to monotheism. Now I ask you, how many people have been killed on behalf of monotheism compared to polytheism?
    Plenty of people have been killed on behalf of polytheism. The Aztecs had sacrificial altars where they slaughtered vast numbers of people. African tribes in Dahomey were reported to have conducted ceremonies in which they sacrificed large numbers of slaves to supply their ancestors in the spirit world.
    The next three commandments deal with relatively trivial matters regarding blasphemy, superstition and parenting. Only 2 are relevant - the ones that prohibit murder and theft.
    How do you know the others are irrelevant?
    The rest are also trivial to include 9 and 10 which both deal with coveting. What a pity they don't mention slavery or rape. According to the Bible it was God who issued these directives and as he hasn't communicated any amendments do we have to assume they are still valid? Any right-minded person will condemn them to the garbage bin of history.
    Based on what objective criteria do you condemn anyone else's moral code?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Based on what objective criteria do you condemn anyone else's moral code?
    You mean I shouldn't condemn:
    'put the adulterer and adulteress to death' (Leviticus).
    'kill those who serve other gods' (Deuteronomy).
    'kill those who work on the Sabbath' (Exodus).
    'stone him that gathers sticks on the Sabbath' (Numbers).
    There's a few more commandments for you in addition to the famous 10. Ten is a sacred number in the Cabala. Why should we bother with ancient numerology?
    There should be no absolute morality today. Instead we need one that is reasoned and discussed. References from holy books should not be forced upon people. For example, we have no belief in slavery today. Instead we believe in human rights, equality and an ethical economic system. That is the moral Zeitgeist for now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Based on what objective criteria do you condemn anyone else's moral code?
    You mean I shouldn't condemn:
    'put the adulterer and adulteress to death' (Leviticus).
    'kill those who serve other gods' (Deuteronomy).
    'kill those who work on the Sabbath' (Exodus).
    'stone him that gathers sticks on the Sabbath' (Numbers).
    There's a few more commandments for you in addition to the famous 10. Ten is a sacred number in the Cabala. Why should we bother with ancient numerology?
    There should be no absolute morality today. Instead we need one that is reasoned and discussed. References from holy books should not be forced upon people. For example, we have no belief in slavery today. Instead we believe in human rights, equality and an ethical economic system. That is the moral Zeitgeist for now.
    Condemn as you will. I asked you for objective criteria and you have supplied none. Your argument is an appeal to incredulity.

    Putting adulterers to death makes perfect sense, from a certain perspective. If a man expends resources to raise his children, he should be able to know they are his own children. This is plain old evolutionary common sense. You do believe in evolution, don't you?

    "Kill those who serve other gods." That just ensures that all members of the society adhere to the same moral principles. It makes for a smoothly functioning society.

    You are the only one putting some significance on the number ten.

    There is no such thing as a "reasoned and discussed" morality. You can use reasoning and discussion to achieve a certain goal, but you have to start out with a goal to begin with. As an example, science and reason can be used to determine the dosage of poison that "ought" to be used to kill sombody. However, one has to decide whether one "ought" to kill the person in the first place on some other criteria.
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    "reasoned and discussed"
    I fully agree. And it is the only sort of morals that can be codified into laws for most Western Nations, including the US. The key is the premise behind that reasoning--for Western nations, it's about minimizing suffering while respecting individual liberties. Where I disagree with you OX is the implication that religion is a source for poor morals. In many places, religious-based and Western secular reasoning overlap--you I'd some of them already, we can't kill, nor should we lie for contracts or legal commitments, nor steal from others etc. I lost my faith in part because much of it's morals didn't seem based on any premise other than appeals to authority and threats of enternal damnation (in makebelieve land). On the other hand, there's been many secular "reasoned" laws without individual liberty as their heart that have done great harm--being killed for not being a communist during the Russia's 1930's or Chinese 1950s, a She'it in Kosova, or a Kurd in Iraqi's 1990s. For my view, I've spent my life defend liberty so long as it doesnt' harm others--the moral codes that can't be reasoned based on that premise aren't worth following and shouldn't be.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; November 5th, 2012 at 06:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Putting adulterers to death makes perfect sense, from a certain perspective. You do believe in evolution, don't you?
    "Kill those who serve other gods." That just ensures that all members of the society adhere to the same moral principles. It makes for a smoothly functioning society.
    You are the only one putting some significance on the number ten.
    I'm not sure if we're living on the same planet.
    Putting adulterers to death does not make sense. It could be regarded as a criminal act but that should be a private matter. And yes I do believe in evolution and I would go as far as to say that the one truth we can rely on is Natural Selection.
    I seem to remember that 3000 Jews were slaughtered because they were understood to have worshipped an animal. Where's the harm in that? They may have been deluded, but that's all. Personally I like animals.
    As for the significance of the number 10 it was a holy number in the Jewish Cabala and related to the 10 Sephira on the Tree of Life. When these are linked there are 22 strands, the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet. So there had to be 10 Commandments, but they struggled to find a 10th, as 9 and 10 are much the same. Both relate to coveting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Putting adulterers to death makes perfect sense, from a certain perspective. If a man expends resources to raise his children, he should be able to know they are his own children. This is plain old evolutionary common sense. You do believe in evolution, don't you?
    No it doesn't. If a man's wife has slept with a fitter an stronger man, that's natural selection in progress.
    It's the husbands own fault for A, trying to impose monogamy unto his wife (which is anti natural selection) B, Not being fit enough to breed with his wife in the first place C, Being stupid enough to expending his energy on the raising on a child with a dishonest woman.

    To kill the aldutaror means that the wife should be killed along with her toyboy, it follows on from this logic that the child should be killed too?

    QUOTE=ox;364310]"Kill those who serve other gods." That just ensures that all members of the society adhere to the same moral principles. It makes for a smoothly functioning society.[/QUOTE]

    It just ensures all members of society are complete nutcases.

    Should we all die unless we worship lucifer? I geuss we better, otherwise heaven forbid, there might be some good people around and that will do no good for the homogenisation of moral principles within society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Putting adulterers to death makes perfect sense, from a certain perspective. If a man expends resources to raise his children, he should be able to know they are his own children. This is plain old evolutionary common sense. You do believe in evolution, don't you?
    No it doesn't. If a man's wife has slept with a fitter an stronger man, that's natural selection in progress.
    It's the husbands own fault for A, trying to impose monogamy unto his wife (which is anti natural selection) B, Not being fit enough to breed with his wife in the first place C, Being stupid enough to expending his energy on the raising on a child with a dishonest woman.
    Why do you assume the interloper is fitter and stronger? Why do you think monogamy is anti natural selection? It is a very excellent system which allows the male to participate in the nurturing of his own children and therefore help to propagate his own genes. You say he is stupid for expending his energy on a dishonest woman, but he is smart if he has a way to keep her honest. That's what the moral code, which specifies death to adulterers, does for him. It allows him to go off on hunting trips or war parties without worrying so much about his wife. He doesn't have to guard her like some buck deer guarding his harem of does.
    To kill the aldutaror means that the wife should be killed along with her toyboy, it follows on from this logic that the child should be killed too?
    Lions and other cats kill the offspring of the other males. That is a direct result of natural selection.
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    "Kill those who serve other gods." That just ensures that all members of the society adhere to the same moral principles. It makes for a smoothly functioning society.
    It just ensures all members of society are complete nutcases.

    Should we all die unless we worship lucifer? I geuss we better, otherwise heaven forbid, there might be some good people around and that will do no good for the homogenisation of moral principles within society.
    Now, you are just applying your own moral code to the situation. You are not looking at it objectively they way I am.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Putting adulterers to death makes perfect sense, from a certain perspective. You do believe in evolution, don't you?
    "Kill those who serve other gods." That just ensures that all members of the society adhere to the same moral principles. It makes for a smoothly functioning society.
    You are the only one putting some significance on the number ten.
    I'm not sure if we're living on the same planet.
    Putting adulterers to death does not make sense. It could be regarded as a criminal act but that should be a private matter.
    That doesn't make sense. A criminal act is a public matter. That's why it is against the law.
    And yes I do believe in evolution and I would go as far as to say that the one truth we can rely on is Natural Selection.
    Then try and make your case using natural selection arguments, instead of just preaching your values, which you claim not to have.
    I seem to remember that 3000 Jews were slaughtered because they were understood to have worshipped an animal. Where's the harm in that? They may have been deluded, but that's all. Personally I like animals.
    As for the significance of the number 10 it was a holy number in the Jewish Cabala and related to the 10 Sephira on the Tree of Life. When these are linked there are 22 strands, the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet. So there had to be 10 Commandments, but they struggled to find a 10th, as 9 and 10 are much the same. Both relate to coveting.
    None of this pertains to the topic at hand. Who cares if there are 10 or some other number of commandments, and how does that refute any arguments of mine? I don't care whether you like animals or not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Why do you assume the interloper is fitter and stronger?
    Because the woman selected him as her mate. Natural selection in progress.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Why do you think monogamy is anti natural selection?
    Because it disallows the female the opportunity to swap to a stronger or better mate if one comes along. It also ensures the married man has mating rights even if he loses his strength, or his mind.

    It's mating rights ensured by a contract, not by the ongoing mechanisms of natural selection. Thats how it seems to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    It is a very excellent system which allows the male to participate in the nurturing of his own children and therefore help to propagate his own genes.
    Males can participate in the raising of children regardless.
    In small social groups there is still a moral code. When the males go off to hunt, if a young male who wants to impregnate one of the woman tries it own, the woman are parfectly evolved to fight him off and make their own choices.

    If this happens, I would expect the alpha male would give the would be young stud a good hiding and see him out of town. Theres no need for a writen law to allow for this. It would happen naturally. Though I doubt people in with a 'natural' moral code would feel the need to muder, just get rid of the threat or reoccurence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Lions and other cats kill the offspring of the other males. That is a direct result of natural selection.
    Natural selection gave them the teeth to do it, it gives them the instinct to do it, it gives them a small brain and a harsh environment.

    As soon as the alpha Lion is past his best, a fitter one will have his day. The male lion doesn't have a legal contract to ensure he can continue to spread his seed after his peak fitness.

    I'm not against a moral code but i'm sensing a contradiction between a legally binding moral code and the natural mechanisms of selection which you're claiming the moral code ensures.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Should we all die unless we worship lucifer? I geuss we better, otherwise heaven forbid, there might be some good people around and that will do no good for the homogenisation of moral principles within society.
    Now, you are just applying your own moral code to the situation. You are not looking at it objectively they way I am.[/QUOTE]

    I have a moral code and beleive in a moral code... this is not an application of my moral code. I am applying my interpretation of lucifers moral code to the argument in order to look at your statement from another view point.

    It's sounds like you're applying your chosen moral code rather than discussing objectively, which I have no problem with. Just don't project that onto me if your doing it yourself. I simply offered an alternative idea to this:

    [QUOTE=Harold14370;364567]
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    "Kill those who serve other gods." That just ensures that all members of the society adhere to the same moral principles. It makes for a smoothly functioning society.
    Therefor making the conversation more balanced and objective I would hope.

    Another problem I have with your opinion is that although you might be correct, it might mean a society functions smoothly... the fact is that society went global and there isn't a lot of chance that all members of it will conform to this moral code... thats if a society where all members conformed ever existed! So it can no longer be said that a code like this will help ensure the smooth functioning of the global society IMO.

    Besides that I just find it barbaric which is a personal opinion, and I don't beleive a universal moral code such as this needs to be written and obeyed.

    I apreciate now that your position above may be as a result of a previous position held by ox... My position was a result of your position. Lets not get weighed down pretending we are being objective and everybody else isn't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Why do you assume the interloper is fitter and stronger?
    Because the woman selected him as her mate. Natural selection in progress.
    The husband kills the adulterer, or maintains exclusive breeding rights by the threat to kill the adulterer. That's natural selection in progress too, isn't it?


    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Why do you think monogamy is anti natural selection?
    Because it disallows the female the opportunity to swap to a stronger or better mate if one comes along. It also ensures the married man has mating rights even if he loses his strength, or his mind.

    It's mating rights ensured by a contract, not by the ongoing mechanisms of natural selection. Thats how it seems to me.
    You have a simplistic view of natural selection. Monogamy has evolved in a number of species. It would not have evolved if it were anti natural selection. That is a contradiction in terms. Whether it is enforced by a social contract or otherwise, it works the same.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    It is a very excellent system which allows the male to participate in the nurturing of his own children and therefore help to propagate his own genes.
    Males can participate in the raising of children regardless.
    In small social groups there is still a moral code. When the males go off to hunt, if a young male who wants to impregnate one of the woman tries it own, the woman are parfectly evolved to fight him off and make their own choices.
    Why should she fight off another male, if her husband will still provide for her and her children regardless?
    If this happens, I would expect the alpha male would give the would be young stud a good hiding and see him out of town. Theres no need for a writen law to allow for this. It would happen naturally. Though I doubt people in with a 'natural' moral code would feel the need to muder, just get rid of the threat or reoccurence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Lions and other cats kill the offspring of the other males. That is a direct result of natural selection.
    Natural selection gave them the teeth to do it, it gives them the instinct to do it, it gives them a small brain and a harsh environment.
    Lions have teeth, humans have the capability for speech and communication, and the ability to create ordered societies. Each uses those capabilities accordingly. What is your point?
    As soon as the alpha Lion is past his best, a fitter one will have his day. The male lion doesn't have a legal contract to ensure he can continue to spread his seed after his peak fitness.

    I'm not against a moral code but i'm sensing a contradiction between a legally binding moral code and the natural mechanisms of selection which you're claiming the moral code ensures.
    There is no contradiction. Human social organization is perfectly natural. It's what makes us human.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Should we all die unless we worship lucifer? I geuss we better, otherwise heaven forbid, there might be some good people around and that will do no good for the homogenisation of moral principles within society.
    Now, you are just applying your own moral code to the situation. You are not looking at it objectively they way I am.
    I have a moral code and beleive in a moral code... this is not an application of my moral code. I am applying my interpretation of lucifers moral code to the argument in order to look at your statement from another view point.

    It's sounds like you're applying your chosen moral code rather than discussing objectively, which I have no problem with. Just don't project that onto me if your doing it yourself. I simply offered an alternative idea to this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    "Kill those who serve other gods." That just ensures that all members of the society adhere to the same moral principles. It makes for a smoothly functioning society.
    Therefor making the conversation more balanced and objective I would hope.

    Another problem I have with your opinion is that although you might be correct, it might mean a society functions smoothly... the fact is that society went global and there isn't a lot of chance that all members of it will conform to this moral code... thats if a society where all members conformed ever existed! So it can no longer be said that a code like this will help ensure the smooth functioning of the global society IMO.

    Besides that I just find it barbaric which is a personal opinion, and I don't beleive a universal moral code such as this needs to be written and obeyed.
    You find it barbaric. You have revealed your bias, which really shouldn't have a place in a scientific discussion.
    I apreciate now that your position above may be as a result of a previous position held by ox... My position was a result of your position. Lets not get weighed down pretending we are being objective and everybody else isn't.
    I'm not pretending. I haven't stated what my moral code is at all, nor does it factor into my arguments.
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    Q4U's arguments are sound. Harold as usual is just trying to find a contrary stance.
    I suspect a moral code was only developed when primitive man first became aware of what we now call natural selection. The fact that nature was seen to be 'red in tooth and claw' should not then apply to humans. The moral code represented a form of artificial selection by interfering with the lengthy and cruel processes of natural selection. But we now know that genes don't care what happens to us as individuals. Where's the moral code of genes?
    Here's a trivia question for you:
    Which of these has killed the most people?
    a) Adolf Hitler
    b) Josef Stalin
    c) Mao Tse-tung
    d) Monotheism
    The answer is of course monotheism which has killed more than the others added together. Surprisingly perhaps, Hitler killed the least. When you take into account monotheism's license to rape and enslave then why should we take any notice of its moral code? The wars of the twentieth century effectively proved that there is no moral code to obey. We need to obey modern legal systems. If we object then we might at least have the power of protest.
    If a religious apologist points out the evils of Nazism, then point out that the SS was founded on the same principles as the Jesuits, or that Catholicism and Fascism were a mutual admiration society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    The husband kills the adulterer, or maintains exclusive breeding rights by the threat to kill the adulterer. That's natural selection in progress too, isn't it?
    Well since anything and everything is natural then yes, you could say it is. But IMO it would be a far healthier and more noble system of natural selection if the man kills the adulterers on his own, one on one, therefor proving his independent fitness. When you have a whole society 'artificially' dictating that he is the fittest (becuase he brought a ring and paid for a marriage ceremony)... then it isn't the same selection proccess that we see in any other animal organisms.

    Natural yes, isn't everything!... Nobel? righteous? it doesn't seem so to me. The problem with the way you think it should be done, and the way in which it differs from the rest of the natural world... is that the husbands fitness is not necesarily decided by his biological fitness, nor necesarily by his intelligence, it's not even necesarily decided by his hierachy in his rather large social group. It is merely decided by the fact that at one point he got a female to pair up with him. he may no longer be fit to be with the female, she may have met a better mate, but the law ensures he is the 'fittest' because he conformed to societal ritual.

    That may be natural... I don't think it is as healthy from the perspective of passing on the best genes to the future generation. Conformism doesn't seem to me like it should be the factor which decides fitness for breeding. If I was a power mad leader of society, then maybe it would. But i'm not and it doesn't.

    You have a simplistic view of natural selection. Monogamy has evolved in a number of species. It would not have evolved if it were anti natural selection. That is a contradiction in terms. Whether it is enforced by a social contract or otherwise, it works the same.[/QUOTE]

    How many species are monogamous? I've heard of swans and magpies.

    Our closest relatives are not monogamous.

    Maybe for swans, part of what makes them fit to reproduce and contribute towards the species is there ability to look out for their mate... if they fail to do this, if they lack that intelligence, the mate might be caught by a natural predator. Therefor the remaining swan might not be fit for mating, nature has dictated that they will never mate again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Why should she fight off another male, if her husband will still provide for her and her children regardless?
    Becuase she has an urge to mate with the fittest. For her young to be the fittest.

    If she has a natural capacity to be promiscuous then maybe that's evolutions way of ensuring a variety in the offspring. Maybe thats why none of our closest relatives are monogamous.

    qfy: "Besides that I just find it barbaric which is a personal opinion, and I don't beleive a universal moral code such as this needs to be written and obeyed."
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    You find it barbaric. You have revealed your bias, which really shouldn't have a place in a scientific discussion.
    I was mistaken... it is barbaric, thats not a personal opinion, it's an observation, which belongs in a scientific discussion.

    The last part of the sentence is not a belief, it's a conclusion.

    A moral code such as this is not the best way to ensure only healthy genes are passed on to the next generation.

    'natural selection' is about passing on the fittest genes to the next generation so that the species as a whole has the best chance of survival long term. It is not about building artificial environments and mechanisms... Thats called farming, that's called domestication. If you want to believe a labrador without a man has as much chance of survival as a wolf thats up to you, if you want to think a dairy cow has as much chance of survival without a farmer as a wilderbeast that's your choice. If you think a domesticated pig has as much chance as a wild boar thats up to you.

    The fact is that man's intervention in breeding programs wheather it be other animals or of humans, results in domestication of the species which then depends on the artificial man made environment for it's own survival.

    Theres 'natural selection' which man doesn't interfere with, which treats mother earth and it's habitats as the environments that we need to survive in.
    Then there 'natural selection' man style, which creates an artificial niche and domesticated variants of a species which are very rarely as strong or healthy as the wild varients and very unlikely to be able to survive without the artificial niche created by the farmers who seek to exploit and benefit from the new varient that they have created.
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    I say everything and anything is natural... but that is incorrect and I have been mistaken.

    If everything was natural... then there would be no such thing as artificial.

    Artificial means the art of man... man's work.

    Therefor in a deep sense, and to give the word 'natural' a meaning... it must follow that much of the work of man is not nature, and is not natural but is artificial.

    Natural: Normal, conforming to the ordinary course of nature, not exceptional or miraculous or irregular.

    So doesn't this mean that man is not a natural species? It is an exceptional, irregular, even miraculous phenomena that is able to create artificiality.

    One thing that is certainly not ordinary and is an exception in the natural world, irregular even.. is marriage and also written law, which dictates the course of revenge upon he who breaks it. Most certainly not natural, according to my dictionary definition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Q4U's arguments are sound. Harold as usual is just trying to find a contrary stance.
    I suspect a moral code was only developed when primitive man first became aware of what we now call natural selection.
    Do you mean there was no moral code until after Charles Darwin? What the hell are you trying to say?
    The fact that nature was seen to be 'red in tooth and claw' should not then apply to humans. The moral code represented a form of artificial selection by interfering with the lengthy and cruel processes of natural selection. But we now know that genes don't care what happens to us as individuals. Where's the moral code of genes?
    What???
    Here's a trivia question for you:
    Which of these has killed the most people?
    a) Adolf Hitler
    b) Josef Stalin
    c) Mao Tse-tung
    d) Monotheism
    The answer is of course monotheism which has killed more than the others added together.
    What is wrong with killing people?
    Surprisingly perhaps, Hitler killed the least. When you take into account monotheism's license to rape and enslave then why should we take any notice of its moral code? The wars of the twentieth century effectively proved that there is no moral code to obey. We need to obey modern legal systems. If we object then we might at least have the power of protest.
    If a religious apologist points out the evils of Nazism, then point out that the SS was founded on the same principles as the Jesuits, or that Catholicism and Fascism were a mutual admiration society.
    Who says the SS was founded no the principles of the Jesuits? What is wrong with that? Why is Nazism evil? I thought you said we didn't need a moral code. Then where does your concept of evil come from?
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    QFY - you have written too much nonsense to refute point by point. You seem to be saying it's wrong or unnatural for humans to make laws or rules about monotheism. The guys should battle it out, mano a mano like wild animals to see who gets the mating rights. Couldn't you apply the same thing to something like theft? No need to have laws against theft. It goes against nature to have a bunch of people get together and gang up on a thief. Just let the thief and the theft victim battle it out for themselves, right? That's the only thing that's natural.

    A marriage is a contract between a man and a woman. The man provides food, shelter, etc., and gets an opportunity to raise and nurture his own children. The woman has to maintain fidelity, or the man is not assured of this. He could be nurturing some other person's child. If you break the contract, everybody loses. The man has no reason to stick around. He just impregnates as many females as possible and bugs out. So, societies that enforce the contract will be healthier and survive better than those which do not. Thats natural selection at work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    QFY - you have written too much nonsense to refute point by point.
    Awww.
    Your morals are simply beyond reproach and your manners are too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    QFY - you have written too much nonsense to refute point by point.
    Awww.
    Your morals are simply beyond reproach and your manners are too.
    What morals? I haven't said anything about my morals. I am only participating in a scientific discussion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    What morals? I haven't said anything about my morals. I am only participating in a scientific discussion.
    You have taken many positions during this discussion. Including moral positions such as:

    ""Kill those who serve other gods." That just ensures that all members of the society adhere to the same moral principles. It makes for a smoothly functioning society."

    "Putting adulterers to death makes perfect sense, from a certain perspective. If a man expends resources to raise his children, he should be able to know they are his own children. This is plain old evolutionary common sense."

    " monogamy is a very excellent system which allows the male to participate in the nurturing of his own children and therefore help to propagate his own genes."

    You like to say you're having a scientific discusion, and haven't mentioned morals, but you've made your moral position quite clear. I think you're really in it for the intellectual one upmanship, oporating from a competetive angle.
    Participants in a scientific disscusion aim to get to the bottom of a subject, not to insult each other, score points and put words into the 'oponents' mouth.
    Amaroq likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    What morals? I haven't said anything about my morals. I am only participating in a scientific discussion.
    You have taken many positions during this discussion. Including moral positions such as:

    ""Kill those who serve other gods." That just ensures that all members of the society adhere to the same moral principles. It makes for a smoothly functioning society."

    "Putting adulterers to death makes perfect sense, from a certain perspective. If a man expends resources to raise his children, he should be able to know they are his own children. This is plain old evolutionary common sense."

    " monogamy is a very excellent system which allows the male to participate in the nurturing of his own children and therefore help to propagate his own genes."

    You like to say you're having a scientific discusion, and haven't mentioned morals, but you've made your moral position quite clear. I think you're really in it for the intellectual one upmanship, oporating from a competetive angle.
    Participants in a scientific disscusion aim to get to the bottom of a subject, not to insult each other, score points and put words into the 'oponents' mouth.
    You are incorrect, sir. I did not advocate those positions at all. I am only explaining how they could or did contribute to the survival of the society which adhere or adhered to those particular moral standards. In order to refute my argument, you should not state your beliefs about whether they are barbaric, evil, natural, unnatural, etc. Instead, you should explain why those moral standards did not or do not serve the survival of the society or members thereof.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    You are incorrect, sir. I did not advocate those positions at all. I am only explaining how they could or did contribute to the survival of the society which adhere or adhered to those particular moral standards. In order to refute my argument, you should not state your beliefs about whether they are barbaric, evil, natural, unnatural, etc. Instead, you should explain why those moral standards did not or do not serve the survival of the society or members thereof.
    You held those positions, if only for the sake of argument

    I explained why those aformentioned beleifs that you declared do not serve the best interest of the earth or the species. Instead of claiming i'm stating beleifs, putting words into my mouth and insulting me, you should've refuted my argument.

    I don't think one can call it natural selection if it is artificial. There is a distinction to be made between natural and artificial isn't there?

    Alsasians being bred from wolves is natural selection is it? or would you say it was artificial selection?
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    You are incorrect, sir. I did not advocate those positions at all. I am only explaining how they could or did contribute to the survival of the society which adhere or adhered to those particular moral standards. In order to refute my argument, you should not state your beliefs about whether they are barbaric, evil, natural, unnatural, etc. Instead, you should explain why those moral standards did not or do not serve the survival of the society or members thereof.
    You held those positions, if only for the sake of argument

    I explained why those aformentioned beleifs that you declared do not serve the best interest of the earth or the species. Instead of claiming i'm stating beleifs, putting words into my mouth and insulting me, you should've refuted my argument.
    I don't think you did that, but let's put that aside for the moment. Would you agree that in biblical times, the biblical moral code did serve to help propagate the lineages of the people who adhered to the moral code? Though you may think the biblical code is obsolete now?
    I don't think one can call it natural selection if it is artificial. There is a distinction to be made between natural and artificial isn't there?

    Alsasians being bred from wolves is natural selection is it? or would you say it was artificial selection?
    Why are you making an issue about artificial versus natural? An organism either survives and propagates or it does not. Is artificial selection a bad thing in your mind? What if someone feeds a starving person and allows him to survive. Would you consider that to be artificial, and if so, is it "anti-natural selection"? Is that a bad thing?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Would you agree that in biblical times, the biblical moral code did serve to help propagate the lineages of the people who adhered to the moral code? Though you may think the biblical code is obsolete now?
    I'm not sure if there is any basis to draw that conclusion.
    I think the moral code may have served to help propagate the societal order, hence why we have such an advanced civilisation. Thats not to say it helped all individual lineages, if fact I would suspect it has turned out to harm many.
    All experiences and practises have an influence in the propagation of a lineage... whether it's a help or not is debatable.

    I wouldn't say it is obsolete now, many people still follow it (though i'm not sure how often aldulterers are killed). Even if nobody followed that code, the impact it has had in the past can never become obsolete, it is a permanent mark in the evolutionary tree of all whose lineage passed through it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Why are you making an issue about artificial versus natural? An organism either survives and propagates or it does not. Is artificial selection a bad thing in your mind? What if someone feeds a starving person and allows him to survive. Would you consider that to be artificial, and if so, is it "anti-natural selection"? Is that a bad thing?
    Because we have had a long conversation about 'natural selection' and the meaning of the word natural. I had a realisation that if natural includes everything as I had previously thought, then artificial doesn't exist. But artificial does exist so I have realised a very important distinction between what is natural selection and what is artificial selection.

    You're not going to get me into a discussion on what is good and what is bad. A simple question like 'is it bad', takes a lot of discussion and consideration to answer.

    Feeding a stariving person is more artificial cultural interference than artificial natural selection. A man starving is not a natural situation, it is an artificial situation.

    To artificially return something artificially created to naturalness... in my opinion, is a good thing. But to take some natural living thing and make it artificial... in my opinion, is a bad thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Because we have had a long conversation about 'natural selection' and the meaning of the word natural. I had a realisation that if natural includes everything as I had previously thought, then artificial doesn't exist. But artificial does exist so I have realised a very important distinction between what is natural selection and what is artificial selection.

    You're not going to get me into a discussion on what is good and what is bad. A simple question like 'is it bad', takes a lot of discussion and consideration to answer.
    Well, the whole premise of the thread is that we don't need a moral code, and we can use logic and science to determine what is good and bad. So, that's what I want you to do in the case of feeding a starving person. I want you to defend your answer, considering your previous position in favor of natural selection as opposed to artificial selection.


    Feeding a stariving person is more artificial cultural interference than artificial natural selection. A man starving is not a natural situation, it is an artificial situation.

    To artificially return something artificially created to naturalness... in my opinion, is a good thing. But to take some natural living thing and make it artificial... in my opinion, is a bad thing.

    Artificial cultural interference, not artificial natural selection? You are just making stuff up.

    We cannot study natural selection as it applies to humans without also considering culture. Culture includes technology as well as systems of social organization which humans use to survive and propagate the species. Call it interference if you want. Without it, humans are weak, slow critters who do not have a chance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Well, the whole premise of the thread is that we don't need a moral code, and we can use logic and science to determine what is good and bad. So, that's what I want you to do in the case of feeding a starving person. I want you to defend your answer, considering your previous position in favor of natural selection as opposed to artificial selection.
    I don't know what answer you want me to defend, but I did give you my opinion on whether I would feed a starving person. That I thought artificial cultural interference to nurture life which is affected by artificial 'dispositions' such as starvation, is a good thing absolutely, and that doesn't contradict an anti 'kill adulterers' stance.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Artificial cultural interference? You are just making stuff up?
    Yes I beleive I might be coining the term, but wouldn't be at all suprised if it had been said before. If you want to switch the hypothetical situation from one of a contract and it's impacts on natural selection, to one of helping a starving man or somebody who is suffering some kind of pathology, then I don't see a problem with acknowledging that we have switched from a matter of natural selection to a situation which doesn't necesarilly bear any relevance to natural selection through selective breeding.

    Helping people survive is probably a good survival stratergy for yourself in many ways.
    I can't really see what trap you trying to lead me into, as it's two different issues. I'm Yes on helping the poor - No on killing aldulterers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Well, the whole premise of the thread is that we don't need a moral code, and we can use logic and science to determine what is good and bad. So, that's what I want you to do in the case of feeding a starving person. I want you to defend your answer, considering your previous position in favor of natural selection as opposed to artificial selection.
    I don't know what answer you want me to defend, but I did give you my opinion on whether I would feed a starving person. That I thought artificial cultural interference to nurture life which is affected by artificial 'dispositions' such as starvation, is a good thing absolutely, and that doesn't contradict an anti 'kill adulterers' stance.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Artificial cultural interference? You are just making stuff up?
    Yes I beleive I might be coining the term, but wouldn't be at all suprised if it had been said before. If you want to switch the hypothetical situation from one of a contract and it's impacts on natural selection, to one of helping a starving man or somebody who is suffering some kind of pathology, then I don't see a problem with acknowledging that we have switched from a matter of natural selection to a situation which doesn't necesarilly bear any relevance to natural selection through selective breeding.

    Helping people survive is probably a good survival stratergy for yourself in many ways.
    I can't really see what trap you trying to lead me into, as it's two different issues. I'm Yes on helping the poor - No on killing aldulterers.
    Actually, you didn't answer the question about feeding a starving person, you said you would not get into a discussion of what is good or bad. The idea that starvation is not natural is plainly ridiculous. All animals, including humans, have adaptations to avoid starvation, both physiological and behavioral. We store food. We put on fat in times of plenty. We lose muscle mass and slow our metabolism to conserve energy when food is scarce. There is nothing more natural than starvation.

    Yes, I know you are in favor of helping the poor, and against killing adulterers. However, you have not articulated any scientific reason for your position. What happens is that you use your moral code (which Ox says does not exist) to jump to a predetermined conclusion. Then you come up with a pseudoscientific argument to justify the conclusion to which you have already jumped.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Yes, I know you are in favor of helping the poor, and against killing adulterers. However, you have not articulated any scientific reason for your position. What happens is that you use your moral code (which Ox says does not exist) to jump to a predetermined conclusion. Then you come up with a pseudoscientific argument to justify the conclusion to which you have already jumped.
    Just to set the record straight on this, I am saying that only God's moral code does not exist. It does apparently begin with the bit about not worshipping any other gods other than well, God. By so saying, he implies that there are other gods. What selfish God is this? I reserve the right to worship who or what I choose, provided that no harm is done. Fortunately we live in an age when pagans aren't slaughtered any more for their ritual beliefs. Law and order sees to that. I quote Steven Pinker to further clarify this idea.
    Religious explanations are not worth knowing because they pile equally baffling enigmas on top of the original ones. What gave God a mind, free will, knowledge, certainty about right and wrong? How does he infuse them into a universe that seems to run just fine according to physical laws? If the world unfolds according to a wise and merciful plan, why does it contain so much suffering?
    I hear that last point all the time. Why is there so much suffering in the world? It has been argued that God lives in one domain and humans in another, but we still have to obey God's laws. There is an alternative explanation and it is evolution by natural selection which is generally denied by theists. Or if they do grudgingly acknowledge that it happens it almost certainly means that they do not understand it properly. It really means that we only live long enough to get our genes into the next generation and to nurture them a bit. As I said before there is no moral code within our genes. There might be some altruism, but even that is purely for the benefit of the genes' survival.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Actually, you didn't answer the question about feeding a starving person, you said you would not get into a discussion of what is good or bad.
    Ofcourse I did, I said it is good. Wheres it leading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    The idea that starvation is not natural is plainly ridiculous.
    What natural situation is going to result in an organism as intelligent and able as a man not having food to survive on? barring cataclysmic natural destruction which results in all men starving and nobody having any food to share.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    All animals, including humans, have adaptations to avoid starvation, both physiological and behavioral. We store food. We put on fat in times of plenty. We lose muscle mass and slow our metabolism to conserve energy when food is scarce. There is nothing more natural than starvation.
    You seem to be contradicting yourself, we have mechanisms to avoid starvation, that means starvation is not the norm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Yes, I know you are in favor of helping the poor, and against killing adulterers. However, you have not articulated any scientific reason for your position.
    Yes I gave my opinion after you asked for it. However, I also gave applied logic to offer reasons for my arguments based on the science of the subjects. We know how natural selection works, we know that a marrital contract could be called an artificial mechanism. We know killing aldulterers isn't plain old evolutionary common sense. It's not the best thing for variety among the species, nor for health of the species purely from a breeding perspective. It harbours animosity, creates fear, represses instinctive urges, it overides natures mechanisms of evolution and natural selection.
    I don't know what else you expect, i'm not going to source endless scientific data to valid what I say, I don't know where it is and can't afford it, but if I got enough funding I could organise the rellevant scientific pursuits to provide the data.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    What happens is that you use your moral code (which Ox says does not exist) to jump to a predetermined conclusion.
    I never heard ox say my moral code is non existent. But what he said ia irrelevant. I used my logic to come to a conclusion based on my understanding of the science of natural selection.
    What you have done is trumpeted somebody else's predetermined conclusions which led to a specific moral code which you follow.
    Instead of insulting me with nonesense, accusing me of not using scientific reasoning, and generally being a hypocritical, irritating and difficult person to hold a discussion with, you should show you're own scientific reasoning and stop completely ignoring mine.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Then you come up with a pseudoscientific argument to justify the conclusion to which you have already jumped.
    What do you know about when or why my conclusions were drawn? It was you who jumped to a conclusion, my understanding of the sience of the matter lead me to conclude your conclusions were wrong... I am not justifying an argument. I'm telling you why you are incorrect. What are you talking about 'speusdoscientific'? you're speudo-logical, speudo-intelletual and speudo-reasonable. In fact I think it's fair to say you can be quite ignorant of reason.

    I think it's time you give us your scientific reasoning for your position.

    ""Kill those who serve other gods." That just ensures that all members of the society adhere to the same moral principles. It makes for a smoothly functioning society."

    Show us evidence that this 'just' ensures all members of society adhere to the same moral principles. Bearing in mind we live in a global society full of people who like to think for themselves and follow obscure religious and spiritual paths.
    Show us the evidence of how this makes for a smoothly functioning society... it functions smoothly were I live but not many false idol worshippers are killed.


    Show us the science of how killing aldulturers (and spawn of) benefits the species as a whole. I presented some reasoned arguments against it, which you ignore and later call speudo science purely becuase it is against your predetermined moral code... but we still haven't heard about why it's so good to kill adulterers except your unreasoned claims such as 'it allows the man to serve society knowing that his wife won't to shag his best mate whilst he's out'. Show us the evidence of how this legal contract and lack of trust between a courting couple replaced by a religious and or legal contract, is the best thing for the species. Don't forget to present all sides of your very impartial and subjective scientific reasoning on the matter.
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    I think your confused between a religious moral code thats written, and God's moral code, Ox.

    The religious moral code that harold is defending is no more God's moral code than any other moral code you can think of.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Yes, I know you are in favor of helping the poor, and against killing adulterers. However, you have not articulated any scientific reason for your position. What happens is that you use your moral code (which Ox says does not exist) to jump to a predetermined conclusion. Then you come up with a pseudoscientific argument to justify the conclusion to which you have already jumped.
    Just to set the record straight on this, I am saying that only God's moral code does not exist. It does apparently begin with the bit about not worshipping any other gods other than well, God. By so saying, he implies that there are other gods. What selfish God is this? I reserve the right to worship who or what I choose, provided that no harm is done. Fortunately we live in an age when pagans aren't slaughtered any more for their ritual beliefs. Law and order sees to that. I quote Steven Pinker to further clarify this idea.
    Religious explanations are not worth knowing because they pile equally baffling enigmas on top of the original ones. What gave God a mind, free will, knowledge, certainty about right and wrong? How does he infuse them into a universe that seems to run just fine according to physical laws? If the world unfolds according to a wise and merciful plan, why does it contain so much suffering?
    I hear that last point all the time. Why is there so much suffering in the world? It has been argued that God lives in one domain and humans in another, but we still have to obey God's laws. There is an alternative explanation and it is evolution by natural selection which is generally denied by theists. Or if they do grudgingly acknowledge that it happens it almost certainly means that they do not understand it properly. It really means that we only live long enough to get our genes into the next generation and to nurture them a bit. As I said before there is no moral code within our genes. There might be some altruism, but even that is purely for the benefit of the genes' survival.
    Ox, you have a one track mind. You keep spouting the same litany, even if it has nothing to do with the discussion that is taking place on the thread. I don't care if there is a God, 10 gods, or if God is selfish, wise, merciful, cruel, whatever. The discussion is about the moral code recorded in the Bible, and whether or not it confers any benefits to the survival or propagation of the adherents of the moral code.

    You keep trying to turn it into a theological discussion, even if nobody else is arguing from a theological point of view.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Actually, you didn't answer the question about feeding a starving person, you said you would not get into a discussion of what is good or bad.
    Ofcourse I did, I said it is good. Wheres it leading?
    There is no point in arguing about it. Anybody can scroll up and see exactly what you wrote.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    The idea that starvation is not natural is plainly ridiculous.
    What natural situation is going to result in an organism as intelligent and able as a man not having food to survive on? barring cataclysmic natural destruction which results in all men starving and nobody having any food to share.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    All animals, including humans, have adaptations to avoid starvation, both physiological and behavioral. We store food. We put on fat in times of plenty. We lose muscle mass and slow our metabolism to conserve energy when food is scarce. There is nothing more natural than starvation.
    You seem to be contradicting yourself, we have mechanisms to avoid starvation, that means starvation is not the norm.
    The fact that we have adaptions for starvation conditions indicates that man has evolved under conditions where starvation occurred and exerted some selection pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Yes, I know you are in favor of helping the poor, and against killing adulterers. However, you have not articulated any scientific reason for your position.
    Yes I gave my opinion after you asked for it. However, I also gave applied logic to offer reasons for my arguments based on the science of the subjects. We know how natural selection works, we know that a marrital contract could be called an artificial mechanism. We know killing aldulterers isn't plain old evolutionary common sense. It's not the best thing for variety among the species, nor for health of the species purely from a breeding perspective. It harbours animosity, creates fear, represses instinctive urges, it overides natures mechanisms of evolution and natural selection.
    I don't know what else you expect, i'm not going to source endless scientific data to valid what I say, I don't know where it is and can't afford it, but if I got enough funding I could organise the rellevant scientific pursuits to provide the data.
    In other words, you have no evidence to support your position but you are sure it is true anyway. That is faith, on the level of a theist's faith.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    What happens is that you use your moral code (which Ox says does not exist) to jump to a predetermined conclusion.
    I never heard ox say my moral code is non existent. But what he said ia irrelevant. I used my logic to come to a conclusion based on my understanding of the science of natural selection.
    What you have done is trumpeted somebody else's predetermined conclusions which led to a specific moral code which you follow.
    Where did I say I follow a moral code?

    Instead of insulting me with nonesense, accusing me of not using scientific reasoning, and generally being a hypocritical, irritating and difficult person to hold a discussion with, you should show you're own scientific reasoning and stop completely ignoring mine.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Then you come up with a pseudoscientific argument to justify the conclusion to which you have already jumped.
    What do you know about when or why my conclusions were drawn? It was you who jumped to a conclusion, my understanding of the sience of the matter lead me to conclude your conclusions were wrong... I am not justifying an argument. I'm telling you why you are incorrect. What are you talking about 'speusdoscientific'? you're speudo-logical, speudo-intelletual and speudo-reasonable. In fact I think it's fair to say you can be quite ignorant of reason.

    I think it's time you give us your scientific reasoning for your position.

    ""Kill those who serve other gods." That just ensures that all members of the society adhere to the same moral principles. It makes for a smoothly functioning society."

    Show us evidence that this 'just' ensures all members of society adhere to the same moral principles. Bearing in mind we live in a global society full of people who like to think for themselves and follow obscure religious and spiritual paths.
    Show us the evidence of how this makes for a smoothly functioning society... it functions smoothly were I live but not many false idol worshippers are killed.
    Show us the science of how killing aldulturers (and spawn of) benefits the species as a whole. I presented some reasoned arguments against it, which you ignore and later call speudo science purely becuase it is against your predetermined moral code... but we still haven't heard about why it's so good to kill adulterers except your unreasoned claims such as 'it allows the man to serve society knowing that his wife won't to shag his best mate whilst he's out'. Show us the evidence of how this legal contract and lack of trust between a courting couple replaced by a religious and or legal contract, is the best thing for the species. Don't forget to present all sides of your very impartial and subjective scientific reasoning on the matter.
    I gave a plausible reason why the moral code of the Bible could be beneficial to the society. You and Ox are the only ones making positive moral assertions. The burden of proof is on you.
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    'The burden of proof is on you'
    'I gave plausible reasoning... you gave personal opinions'
    'You gave no evidence'
    'Your making positive moral assertions"
    BLAH BLAH BLAH

    The desperate resorts of somebody who couldn't trump the logical reasoning with which somebody challenged one of his assertions.

    I have my opinions drawn from my observations and am willing to share them. If at any stage you express any reasoning that leads me to question my opinion, then I will question my opinion... That is not at all on par with blind faith. You gave your positives moral assertions, but you fail to realise that's what you did:
    ""Kill those who serve other gods." It makes for a smoothly functioning society"
    In return I gave my opinion, that's how I always thought conversations and discussions worked. For you to avoid the discussion and reasoning being presented and accuse others of having 'predetermined opinions' makes you a hypocrit, but it also ruins the conversation and we don't get anywhere. It turns it into a battle, and none of us benefit from that. I probably get a little kick out of being right, but I think I usually get a better kick out of learning something new. I don't get the chance to be right with you, because anything I say that is right you ignore and move on to a hypocritical attack.

    "Putting adulterers to death makes perfect sense, from a certain perspective. If a man expends resources to raise his children, he should be able to know they are his own children. This is plain old evolutionary common sense. You do believe in evolution, don't you?"

    The above is a positive moral assertion you gave, it can be taken from this that you follow this moral code, otherwise why would you be sharing these opinions that support the code.

    You stated that a certain moral code is 'just' beneficial to those who follow it... I pointed out with clear understandable arguments based on basic fundamentals of how life works, that your comment was not necesarily true, and realistically... not true at all. For you to then accuse me of giving positive moral assertions is projection of your own insecurity onto others, it's what a hypocrit does.

    My position is unchanged as you have presented no satisfactory arguments to any of my arguments against your original position.


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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    "Putting adulterers to death makes perfect sense, from a certain perspective. If a man expends resources to raise his children, he should be able to know they are his own children. This is plain old evolutionary common sense. You do believe in evolution, don't you?"

    The above is a positive moral assertion you gave, it can be taken from this that you follow this moral code, otherwise why would you be sharing these opinions that support the code.
    No, it says from a certain perspective. I didn't claim it was my perspective, or the only valid perspective. Ox made the claim that it was obviously wrong. You agreed with him, so prove it. I didn't start a thread to run down someone else's moral code. Ox did.
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    Suppose you find a moral code. The best one.
    Does it mean practically, the society who accept that, will act on that?

    There is a question which I do not know the answer of it:
    "Is it possible a weaker moral code in theory be more efficient in practical sense?"
    A possible answer would be "no" in long time and "yes" in a short time.What is your suggestion?

    I wish to say in above that answering your question is much complex than it seems in the first glance
    specially in practical cases.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    No, it says from a certain perspective. I didn't claim it was my perspective, or the only valid perspective. Ox made the claim that it was obviously wrong. You agreed with him, so prove it. I didn't start a thread to run down someone else's moral code. Ox did.
    I noted that it say's certain perspective. For you to 'see' that perspective, means it is at least one of your perspectives... the one you choose to share.

    I didn't agree or disagree with ox... I just disagreed with your perspective on the moral code making perfect sense from an evolutionary angle.

    Prove it sounds like something a child would say... c'mon really? I ain't likely to be proving anything anytime soon. I offered you my reasoning for disagreeing with you. That's all I'm prepared to do. I certainly have no burden of proof on my conscience.

    Anyway, your perspective (the perspective that you shared) was an interesting thought and it's been good to consider some of the pros and cons related to monogamy and moral codes and their related revenge policies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    No, it says from a certain perspective. I didn't claim it was my perspective, or the only valid perspective. Ox made the claim that it was obviously wrong. You agreed with him, so prove it. I didn't start a thread to run down someone else's moral code. Ox did.
    I noted that it say's certain perspective. For you to 'see' that perspective, means it is at least one of your perspectives... the one you choose to share.
    It's called having an open mind. You consider things from different points of view, not necessarily your own. You try to find flaws in it, poke holes in it, etc. If you cannot disprove it, you have to consider it as having some possible validity.
    I ain't likely to be proving anything anytime soon.
    Now you're getting the idea.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    I noted that it say's certain perspective. For you to 'see' that perspective, means it is at least one of your perspectives... the one you choose to share.
    Rubbish. I could say, "from the perspective of a serial killer, it make sense to kill as many people as possible". Does that make me a serial killer? Does that mean I agree with the idea? Of course not.

    Please engage brain before using keyboard.

    Prove it sounds like something a child would say
    Or someone on, say, a science forum.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    It's called having an open mind. You consider things from different points of view, not necessarily your own. You try to find flaws in it, poke holes in it, etc. If you cannot disprove it, you have to consider it as having some possible validity.
    Hmmm... open mind Harold? it seems borderline to me. I know there was an ellement of playing devils advocate in your position. That never escaped me.
    It's important that all sides of an argument are presented.

    The issue I had harold was when you make derrogatory comments about me sharing an opinion or expressing a moral position, when all I am doing is the equal and opposite of what you are doing.

    You're presenting one side, im presenting another... for arguments sake sure. No need for us to stoop to criticising each other's objectiveness.

    Don't get me wrong... I did consider the validity of your argument. I do consider it to have some validity, I hope you also see the validity of my argument.

    I still stand by my argument, from a certain perspective, it doesn't make perfect evolutionary sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Rubbish. I could say, "from the perspective of a serial killer, it make sense to kill as many people as possible". Does that make me a serial killer? Does that mean I agree with the idea? Of course not.

    Please engage brain before using keyboard.
    In my experience Strange, Harold is well equiped to speak for himself.

    Your hypothetical is irritating, not becuase it's in anyway right or a strong argument... just irritatingly short sighted and shallow.

    If you said 'from a certain perspective killing people makes perfect sense' then you are expressing that perspective (view point). Does that make you a serial killer? potentially. Does it mean you agree with the idea? that is the very strong suggestion yes.

    If you say 'from the perspective of a serial killer' then you are clearly stating that it is the perspective of a serial killer, rather than yourself.

    Please engage your brain and don't use simmilies which are fundamentally disimilar.


    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Prove it sounds like something a child would say
    Or someone on, say, a science forum.[/QUOTE]

    I've heard lots of requests for evidence but rarely has anybody expected any proof from me or anybody else on the science forum. In fact I got the strong impression that proof is a very hard thing to find for anything. Which is why theories are so common.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    If you said 'from a certain perspective killing people makes perfect sense' then you are expressing that perspective (view point). Does that make you a serial killer? potentially. Does it mean you agree with the idea? that is the very strong suggestion yes.
    Nonsense. If that is the way you think, no wonder we often find ourselves at cross-purposes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    If you said 'from a certain perspective killing people makes perfect sense' then you are expressing that perspective (view point). Does that make you a serial killer? potentially. Does it mean you agree with the idea? that is the very strong suggestion yes.

    If you say 'from the perspective of a serial killer' then you are clearly stating that it is the perspective of a serial killer, rather than yourself.
    Are we speaking the same language? If someone says "from a certain perspective" I think there is a suggestion that it is likely not their own perspective, otherwise they would say "from my perspective" or simply leave out the qualifying phrase.
    I've heard lots of requests for evidence but rarely has anybody expected any proof from me or anybody else on the science forum. In fact I got the strong impression that proof is a very hard thing to find for anything. Which is why theories are so common.
    Yes, but Ox did not say he was proposing a hypothesis. He said he only needed common sense and the golden rule for a moral code, and stated with certainty that killing adulterers is wrong. He didn't say it was just his opinion, or that it was any sort of a hypothesis or theory. You jumped in to the discussion on his side, so you must have agreed with that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    If someone says "from a certain perspective" I think there is a suggestion that it is likely not their own perspective, otherwise they would say "from my perspective" or simply leave out the qualifying phrase.
    Well I think it's the qulifying quote which 'shows' that this 'perspective' or 'view point'... is clear to see by the person who is sharing the perspective. If I share with you a perspective or view point, you can assume I 'see' that perspective and view point. If i'm trying to say it's somebody else's perspective but I think it wrong, then i'll make sure I disassociate myself with that perspective...

    Anyway, if you quote posts I make to strange and strange quote posts I sent to you... then i'm gonna get lost.

    What are we discussing here Harold? I'm just telling strange that he's using a disimilar simillie to express an argument which is ofcourse very worng.
    Hi Starnge.
    Anyway... What the hell are we talking about again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Yes, but Ox did not say he was proposing a hypothesis. He said he only needed common sense and the golden rule for a moral code, and stated with certainty that killing adulterers is wrong. He didn't say it was just his opinion, or that it was any sort of a hypothesis or theory. You jumped in to the discussion on his side, so you must have agreed with that.
    That's where you are mistaken Mr Harold.

    I already made clear I didn't take ox's side.

    I jumped in against your comment, not for ox's comments. Some of what ox said I agree with, some I disagree with, some I am confused about. The important things is that I argued against your comment rather than 'siding' with or supporting ox. It's is presumptuous and unecesary to associate my argument with Ox's... what ever they were.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    If you said 'from a certain perspective killing people makes perfect sense' then you are expressing that perspective (view point).
    Nonsense. If that is the way you think, no wonder we often find ourselves at cross-purposes.
    Cross purposes?

    What, you mean we both have the purpose of winning an argument against the other?

    No, we do indeed think differently and tend to contradict each other at every opportunity. I suspect much of it is that there is nothing to say unless it's pointing out a percieved fault or error or mistake in the others comment... or playing devils advocate.

    But also, we just see things differently... which makes for more interesting discussions.

    A perspective is a view... it is a point from which one can see something. 'From a certain perspective, A) is correct', means that if you go to that certain point and view A) from that certain perspective... then it will be seen to be correct.

    So saying 'from a certain perspective A is correct' to me, implies... 'I can see how that is the case that A is correct'.

    To me, for all intents and purposes... that means, 'hey everybody, I can see that A is correct'.

    Anyway this point is trivial... Harold expressed a perspective, a view point. He might have expressed any other view point. It's not of any importance. I only even mentioned it in defence, against comments that I was expressing opinions and declaring moral positions.
    I have no problem with anybody sharing a perspective from a certain view point... If they have that perspective and are able to describe it.

    Last edited by question for you; December 20th, 2012 at 02:58 PM. Reason: shpelling miztakes
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    If I share with you a perspective or view point, you can assume I 'see' that perspective and view point. If i'm trying to say it's somebody else's perspective but I think it wrong, then i'll make sure I disassociate myself with that perspective...
    This is a problem I have with the way people approach discussions on the science forum. They seem to feel that it is necessary to make it very clear what their opinion is about any subject. I don't care what your opinion is. I want to know what your logical arguments are. I think you should make every effort to leave your opinion out of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    If I share with you a perspective or view point, you can assume I 'see' that perspective and view point. If i'm trying to say it's somebody else's perspective but I think it wrong, then i'll make sure I disassociate myself with that perspective...
    This is a problem I have with the way people approach discussions on the science forum. They seem to feel that it is necessary to make it very clear what their opinion is about any subject. I don't care what your opinion is. I want to know what your logical arguments are. I think you should make every effort to leave your opinion out of it.
    I don't see the difference between an opinion and a logical argument ... please explain.

    Whenever I express an opinion I tend to always back it up with the reasons and logical arguments that led me to that opinion.

    When you express a perspective on the matter of the moral code... you justified your opinion with he logic that leads you to beleive that perspective is valid.

    Logical arguments and opinions are two parts of the same coin surely?
    Last edited by question for you; December 20th, 2012 at 02:12 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    I don't see the difference between an opinion and a logical argument is... please explain.
    Wow.

    That's it. Just wow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    I don't see the difference between an opinion and a logical argument is... please explain.
    Wow.

    That's it. Just wow.
    Why don't you sod off, stop kissing Harolds butthole and stop insulting me wiith your petty snipes?

    Opinions and logical reasoning goes hand in hand.

    It was Harold who expressed the opinion and now he expresses another... that he hates people expressing opinions.

    It's hypocritical, self righteous rubbish and by kissing his backside and stroking his ego, all you do is encourage it.
    Last edited by question for you; December 20th, 2012 at 02:55 PM.
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    "we don't need a moral code, and we can use logic and science to determine what is good and bad"

    We experience feelings and we divide them into "good" and "bad" ones. We dont look to the outside word here, we dont use a written moral code: its obvious to us what feelings should be avoided and what feelings should be strived for! I suppose this is what is meant by saying that morality is subjective.


    When we look outside ourselves, at other peoples acts, we also get feelings and we classify other peoples actions as good bad or neutral. This is still subjective but normally we notice that other people tend to have similar feelings as ourselves so we can agree on what acts are good,bad or neutral. And in principle an objective Moral Code can be postulated.

    But we are sometimes different from the majority...we may feel good when other people would feel bad and then we must make a choice: Either accept the objective code and oppose our feelings, or the opposite. In this sense the objective code perhaps has some use... but I suspect most people with "defective" feelings really dont try to change, they hide their true feelings and act out their wishes whenever theres no danger of retaliation.

    So the basic use of the objective code is not to influence individuals on how to behave... its use is as the basis to control and govern the society...Law and Order.

    And there has been lots of abuse, invoking gods and emperors as the origin of morality, when its real origin is in our "feelings" and how we decide to act on them.

    I have some difficulty in seeing how science and logic enters the picture... we have no science nor logic of feelings, and we cant inspect feelings (other than our own) so I guess all we can strive for is not to be unscientific and unlogical about it. The idea that science or logic on their own could tell what is good or bad seems unfounded.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    And there has been lots of abuse, invoking gods and emperors as the origin of morality, when its real origin is in our "feelings" and how we decide to act on them.
    Good point, and those that blindly follow religion should always examine their conscience rather than their holy scripture.
    I see that in recent days the Anglican communion which numbers 85 million people have allowed their ruling body to reject the ordination of women bishops. Like I said before the Church is terrified by the empowerment of women. But I ask you, in the light of history, who would you most trust for a moral code - men or women? Personally I am sick of the rantings of the religious who all too often mean 'do as I say and not as I do'. When their holy text is examined in finer detail it sometimes means just the reverse. For example the most famous moral of all to 'Love thy neighbour' really means to love only thy Jewish neighbour. It makes me wonder what really goes on. The Palestinian - Jewish conflict could be avoided altogether if both sides were to relent from monotheism and accept the fact that Palestinians and Jews are chromosonal brothers. I know it won't happen because they both reject science in favour of their ancient, unholy and even ungodly religions.
    Take a few Islamic morals:
    No Sex without marriage. Prostitution is prohibited.
    (Have they heard about this in parts of Indonesia? And what's really wrong with a bit of extra-marital sex and prostitution?)
    Killing, intentionally and with no legal authority, is forbidden.
    (Legal authority ?!? What!)
    Intoxicants (such as Alcohol and drugs) and gambling are prohibited.
    (This does not work in practice in Muslim countries)
    Islam has made it obligatory on Muslims to cover their private parts, which everyone naturally feels a sense of shame at exposing especially on beaches, and Islam prohibits women to wear clothes which fail to cover the whole body (except face and hands) and which are transparent (revealing what is underneath). It is likewise prohibited to wear tightly fitting clothes which delineate the parts of the body. Face and hands remain uncovered.
    (Yes, that is at least true. Highly inbred populations should avoid exposure)
    Treating wives and children tenderly and kindly.
    (Common sense)
    Cruelty in treating animals is prohibited.
    (Muslim slaughter of animals by throat cutting is not cruel?)
    Prohibited is the cutting of trees without justification and the spoiling water rivers and springs and contaminating the air we are breathing unless for necessities of life.
    (How I long for the traffic free city of Kuala Lumpur (!), and for all the pristine and oldest jungle in the world that has been cut down in Malaysia to be replaced by palm oil plantations)
    Terrifying innocents and civilians is prohibited.
    (Except against your enemies, apparently)
    Hate against other cultures and/or religions is prohibited.
    (Gulp!)
    Last edited by ox; November 22nd, 2012 at 09:39 AM. Reason: spelling
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Take a few Islamic morals:
    I think there is a spelling mistake there, it should have said: "take few offensive caricatures"
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    And there has been lots of abuse, invoking gods and emperors as the origin of morality, when its real origin is in our "feelings" and how we decide to act on them.
    Good point, and those that blindly follow religion should always examine their conscience rather than their holy scripture.
    I see that in recent days the Anglican communion which numbers 85 million people have allowed their ruling body to reject the ordination of women bishops. Like I said before the Church is terrified by the empowerment of women. But I ask you, in the light of history, who would you most trust for a moral code - men or women? Personally I am sick of the rantings of the religious who all too often mean 'do as I say and not as I do'. When their holy text is examined in finer detail it sometimes means just the reverse. For example the most famous moral of all to 'Love thy neighbour' really means to love only thy Jewish neighbour. It makes me wonder what really goes on. The Palestinian - Jewish conflict could be avoided altogether if both sides were to relent from monotheism and accept the fact that Palestinians and Jews are chromosonal brothers. I know it won't happen because they both reject science in favour of their ancient, unholy and even ungodly religions.
    Take a few Islamic morals:
    No Sex without marriage. Prostitution is prohibited.
    (Have they heard about this in parts of Indonesia? And what's really wrong with a bit of extra-marital sex and prostitution?)
    Killing, intentionally and with no legal authority, is forbidden.
    (Legal authority ?!? What!)
    Intoxicants (such as Alcohol and drugs) and gambling are prohibited.
    (This does not work in practice in Muslim countries)
    Islam has made it obligatory on Muslims to cover their private parts, which everyone naturally feels a sense of shame at exposing especially on beaches, and Islam prohibits women to wear clothes which fail to cover the whole body (except face and hands) and which are transparent (revealing what is underneath). It is likewise prohibited to wear tightly fitting clothes which delineate the parts of the body. Face and hands remain uncovered.
    (Yes, that is at least true. Highly inbred populations should avoid exposure)
    Treating wives and children tenderly and kindly.
    (Common sense)
    Cruelty in treating animals is prohibited.
    (Muslim slaughter of animals by throat cutting is not cruel?)
    Prohibited is the cutting of trees without justification and the spoiling water rivers and springs and contaminating the air we are breathing unless for necessities of life.
    (How I long for the traffic free city of Kuala Lumpur (!), and for all the pristine and oldest jungle in the world that has been cut down in Malaysia to be replaced by palm oil plantations)
    Terrifying innocents and civilians is prohibited.
    (Except against your enemies, apparently)
    Hate against other cultures and/or religions is prohibited.
    (Gulp!)
    You forgot to mention that their holy book says followers should treat their slaves kindly.
    Im not sure what that means... permitting slaves to wash themselves after theyve been abused?
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    the whole premise of the thread is that we don't need a moral code, and we can use logic and science to determine what is good and bad.
    In other words, we don't need a moral code, and we can use logic and science to define a moral code.

    That's the whole point of ethics. Defining values. What's good and evil. Or in other words, good and bad. And what you should and shouldn't do. (What virtues you should practice and what vices you shouldn't.)

    The most important question to ask about morality, is, well. The question posed by the title. Do we humans need a moral code. If so, why?

    We're born tabula rasa. That is, without possessing knowledge. This includes a knowledge of values. So intellectually and morally, we're born blank. We gain knowledge and values by learning them. Humans have to be long-ranged creatures in order to live. We have to plan for the future and enact our plans. Such as farmers planting crops or even earlier ancestors organizing a hunt. Or in modern day, keeping track of your finances so you can pay your bills on time. But we can't predict the future. Which means we can't just live in the moment, hoping to be able to dynamically deal with whatever the next day or hour or minute throws at us. (Like Pragmatists would have us believe.) We need a set of guiding principles that we can trust to lead us to success when we consistently act on them, whatever the future throws at us. And that's what an objectively-defined morality can do for us.

    The common criticism of this is that sticking to one set of principles leaves you too inflexible to deal with change. Sure, if your principles are the concrete-bound commandments of a religion. But if you form proper generalizations about human nature, you can construct a set of moral principles that are broad enough to be universally good for every human to practice and still apply in changing situations. Broad principles such as "You should think rationally. You should be productive. You should take pride in yourself. You should not fake reality. (The proper principle of honesty, as opposed to the "thou shalt never lie" one. I can elaborate on that if needed.) You should have integrity between your ideas and your actions. You should have a sense of justice and be willing to pass moral judgment. And you should never initiate force against others." Those are broad enough to personalize and apply in changing situations. Such as, you can choose what type of productive work you want to do as long as you're creating value. One guy might be an architect, another might be an artist, and support themselves by trading their values for money in our division-of-labor society. Maybe back in the day, the only way to apply this principle and survive was to be a farmer. But the principle still applied then and it still does now. Human life, human flourishing even, will always depend on rational thought and the production of values. It will always be good for you to see value in yourself. It will always be good for you to not lie in order to prop up someone else's irrational fantasy, or deceive them to gain a value. It will always be good for you to act on your ideas if they are good ones. It will always be good for you to pass judgment on others, whether that be praising those you deem good or condemning those you deem evil. And it will always be bad for you to initiate force against others.

    As to the debate on whether religious morality served to help ancient people live. I think you guys are falling into the trap of thinking that ancient people had a good reason for everything. They were in their infancy, philosophically speaking. It was the best they could come up with at the time. Moral codes where it was okay to murder people or beat people or rape people just because you didn't like something they did, are still objectively bad. But back then it was all they had to go on. We know better now. It's the same sort of error all these nutcases are making when they make a big deal about the Mayan calendar ending. "Oh my, the Mayans must have known something we didn't when they ended their calendar after a certain number of days. It couldn't just be that they just happened to make it that long for their own inane reasons."

    By the way, I just rattled off Ayn Rand's moral principles up there. The basic principles of her Rational Egoism. The standard of value in her ethics is the life of the individual, and every principle she offered, she could say "And this is how it benefits your life if you practice this principle."

    I once heard a criticism that her Objectivist ethics is still subjective because it rests on the individual preferring to live. In a way it does. But even if you prefer death, it is still objectively healthy for your life for you to practice rational egoism. If you prefer death though, there's no argument that can make you practice a healthy morality.

    If you want it straight from the horse's mouth, you can google search for an essay Rand wrote, called "The Objectivist Ethics". The first link on the search results should be a page on the Ayn Rand Institute where you can read that essay for free. In it, she asks those fundamental questions, "Do we even need a morality" and "If so, why?" She provides a much more in-depth (and I warn you, informationally dense) argument than I possibly could.

    I would say the world does still need a morality. More than ever. And rational egoism is just the kind we need. The opposite, altruism, is the root of pretty much everything going wrong in the world today. We have to do [X Horrible Thing] to you and you should let us do it to you in order to serve [Y Greater Good].
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    As usual, Ox, you have launched another of your obsessive anti-theistic tirades, without actually making a point. Yes, you need a moral code. Everybody has a moral code, whether it is based on religion or not. How do you think you do not have a moral code?
    I don't necessarily share the same world view as Ox, but I certainly do not have a moral code. I live my life by motivation of self preservation. There are behaviors that I resist partaking in simply because the consequences of those actions could lead to the revocation of my privilege to live. I certainly cannot defend myself against the whole of society and if the masses determine that I have done something that warrants the revocation of my life, I would be defenseless to do anything about it.

    So I conduct myself in a way that, hopefully, would not bring down the wrath of society on me. I also experience small pleasures in life that I would prefer not to lose. Maintaining my ability to experience these small pleasures, again, depends on my ability to not piss off the majority of the people that live near me.

    I behave in a way that I predict will provide the results I hope for. That is not morality. That is simply self preservation and observation of cause and effect. If at any point I decide that the predicted consequences are acceptable, then others may perceive me to be a real problem.
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    The opposite, altruism, is the root of pretty much everything going wrong in the world today.

    We have to do [X Horrible Thing] to you and you should let us do it to you in order to serve [Y Greater Good].
    Whose definition of altruism involves that second sentence?

    Even when you bring in the usual parental or medical thing of 'you have to put up with nasty taste/ discomfort/ staying in bed/ get down off the roof' to stay safe or get healthy, you don't get to "serve the greater good". You only get to delayed gratification, an unbroken skull, a healed sprain of the ankle for the individual concerned.

    If you really meant utilitarianism, that's still a long way from its standard formulation. The greatest good for the greatest number only involves having a horrible thing happen to you if 1) you're a criminal who must be punished for the good of the community, 2) your personal desires are both so unusual and so necessary to you that you cannot benefit at all from the greatest good for the greatest number. (The fact that you might not gain as much benefit as others might from some social or political action doesn't mean you haven't benefited at all.)
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    I've been reading through the thread and parts of it are unavailable to me for direct reading however, by reading quoted material that has been responded to, I think I may be starting to understand Harold's POV. Often I thought he was coming off as anti atheist but I think what I see him trying to combat is the presumption of many posters, atheists and theists alike, that they have a say in what is right or wrong. The following is how I am coming to understand Harold's position. Harold by all means please correct me if I am wrong.

    What is right or wrong cannot be scientifically proven. So to say that religious support for killing adulterers, or unbelievers is wrong, is to assert a subjective assessment against the religious edict without any scientific support, even though it is often presented as if it is a proven fact. The fact that a majority of societies of today agree with the assessment is simply an argumentum ad populum. And that in nature the very things we commonly declare as wrong happen as a normal process of evolution. Evolution being a concept many scientifically minded individuals promote but don't seem to fully understand. While they will acknowledge the results of evolution they ignore the means of evolution, especially when those means are observed among humans.

    Because individuals have their own evolutionary goals, their means of achieving evolutionary success may differ. Logically, IMO, if a male perceives his female to be mating with another male putting him at risk of providing resources to young that are not his own, killing the female would be counter productive. However killing the young and the male which produced them would ensure that he is not supporting foreign young, that he still has the potential to mate with that female, and that there is one less male competitor. Killing the female of a species makes little sense to me in regards to the goal of males to pass on their own genetic material. Evolution shows no evidence of altruistic methods. Evolution involves the selfish desires of individuals to pass on their own genetic code in competition of others.

    And so, without being consciously aware, religions developed. Perhaps it was noticed over time that it would be easier for an individual to live long enough to pass down genetic material if similar individuals would group together and help defend each other against competing groups. But this requires cooperation and cooperation requires rules.

    I will stop there. No need to go too far if I am way off target. So I ask you Harold, am I starting to understand your position?
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    I've been reading through the thread and parts of it are unavailable to me for direct reading however, by reading quoted material that has been responded to, I think I may be starting to understand Harold's POV. Often I thought he was coming off as anti atheist but I think what I see him trying to combat is the presumption of many posters, atheists and theists alike, that they have a say in what is right or wrong. The following is how I am coming to understand Harold's position. Harold by all means please correct me if I am wrong.

    What is right or wrong cannot be scientifically proven. So to say that religious support for killing adulterers, or unbelievers is wrong, is to assert a subjective assessment against the religious edict without any scientific support, even though it is often presented as if it is a proven fact. The fact that a majority of societies of today agree with the assessment is simply an argumentum ad populum.
    Correct.
    And that in nature the very things we commonly declare as wrong happen as a normal process of evolution. Evolution being a concept many scientifically minded individuals promote but don't seem to fully understand. While they will acknowledge the results of evolution they ignore the means of evolution, especially when those means are observed among humans.

    Because individuals have their own evolutionary goals, their means of achieving evolutionary success may differ. Logically, IMO, if a male perceives his female to be mating with another male putting him at risk of providing resources to young that are not his own, killing the female would be counter productive. However killing the young and the male which produced them would ensure that he is not supporting foreign young, that he still has the potential to mate with that female, and that there is one less male competitor. Killing the female of a species makes little sense to me in regards to the goal of males to pass on their own genetic material.
    Perhaps not, but the actual executions might be a rare occurrence, while the threat of execution could be a deterrent to unfaithfulness. This might have been very important in a society where the men would be off on hunting or war expeditions and not able to keep an eye on their women.
    Evolution shows no evidence of altruistic methods. Evolution involves the selfish desires of individuals to pass on their own genetic code in competition of others.
    I disagree with that. Evolution can often favor altruism, such as when bees die stinging an animal that attacks the hive. In doing so they save the queen, with whom they share many genes.
    Religious beliefs could serve to facilitate altruism in some cases. If a warrior thinks he will be rewarded in an afterlife, he might be more willing to risk his life to save the tribe. This way, his genes are propagated by surviving close relatives. Whereas without the cadre of warriors, the whole tribe might be lost.

    And so, without being consciously aware, religions developed. Perhaps it was noticed over time that it would be easier for an individual to live long enough to pass down genetic material if similar individuals would group together and help defend each other against competing groups. But this requires cooperation and cooperation requires rules.

    I will stop there. No need to go too far if I am way off target. So I ask you Harold, am I starting to understand your position?
    Close. Actually, you probably stated it a lot better than I did. But I don't believe you when you say you do not have a moral code.
    Last edited by Harold14370; December 20th, 2012 at 06:30 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    I've been reading through the thread and parts of it are unavailable to me for direct reading however, by reading quoted material that has been responded to, I think I may be starting to understand Harold's POV. Often I thought he was coming off as anti atheist but I think what I see him trying to combat is the presumption of many posters, atheists and theists alike, that they have a say in what is right or wrong. The following is how I am coming to understand Harold's position. Harold by all means please correct me if I am wrong.

    What is right or wrong cannot be scientifically proven. So to say that religious support for killing adulterers, or unbelievers is wrong, is to assert a subjective assessment against the religious edict without any scientific support, even though it is often presented as if it is a proven fact. The fact that a majority of societies of today agree with the assessment is simply an argumentum ad populum.
    Correct.
    Ah... ok, at least off to a good start. If I manage to understand your pov by the end of this, then everyone should be able to. After all, me being aspie, I am not supposed to be able communicate or understand other people as well as NTs.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy
    And that in nature the very things we commonly declare as wrong happen as a normal process of evolution. Evolution being a concept many scientifically minded individuals promote but don't seem to fully understand. While they will acknowledge the results of evolution they ignore the means of evolution, especially when those means are observed among humans.

    Because individuals have their own evolutionary goals, their means of achieving evolutionary success may differ. Logically, IMO, if a male perceives his female to be mating with another male putting him at risk of providing resources to young that are not his own, killing the female would be counter productive. However killing the young and the male which produced them would ensure that he is not supporting foreign young, that he still has the potential to mate with that female, and that there is one less male competitor. Killing the female of a species makes little sense to me in regards to the goal of males to pass on their own genetic material.
    Perhaps not, but the actual executions might be a rare occurrence, while the threat of execution could be a deterrent to unfaithfulness. This might have been very important in a society where the men would be off on hunting or war expeditions and not able to keep an eye on their women.
    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy
    Evolution shows no evidence of altruistic methods. Evolution involves the selfish desires of individuals to pass on their own genetic code in competition of others.
    I disagree with that. Evolution can often favor altruism, such as when bees die stinging an animal that attacks the hive. In doing so they save the queen, with whom they share many genes.
    Religious beliefs could serve to facilitate altruism in some cases. If a warrior thinks he will be rewarded in an afterlife, he might be more willing to risk his life to save the tribe. This way, his genes are propagated by surviving close relatives. Whereas without the cadre of warriors, the whole tribe might be lost.
    Well, I may have jumped to conclusions as far as your interpretations and perspectives on evolution are concerned. But it certainly does help to understand why you get frustrated with the atheist vs theist perspective on a science forum. That was my main goal to understand. As I said, previously I had assumed you were a die hard theist trying to silence atheists, but then I see you challenging theists just as hard in this thread so you don't fit the pattern I previously applied to you. So I had to turn my head to a funny angle and consider a third possible perspective. I'm glad I did because it certainly changes the way I will respond in future threads and force me to view the entire genre of issues between theist and atheists a bit different. Well actually, I have a history of taking your position in regards to not projecting one culture's morality on another. But that was on another forum site and I was beat down by the mods there for it and told I was a horrible person for not condemning Muslims, iow calling them horrible people, when they burned a guy alive for burning the Qur'an. I never said I agreed with their actions but simply tried to explain how the world is perceived from their eyes and why they felt so passionate about someone burning their holy book. Needless to say, I was painted as a person supporting such actions very quickly so I dropped that line of debate and just stayed out of theology and the bashing there of threads. So to see a mod here taking that same position, well, it confused me. But I am coming to fully understand the difference between the mods here and the mods on that other forum. I will revert back to my true logical perspectives on these issues from now on rather than trying to avoid offending the sensitivities of people who wish to project their moral code,as if it is the only one, onto others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy
    And so, without being consciously aware, religions developed. Perhaps it was noticed over time that it would be easier for an individual to live long enough to pass down genetic material if similar individuals would group together and help defend each other against competing groups. But this requires cooperation and cooperation requires rules.

    I will stop there. No need to go too far if I am way off target. So I ask you Harold, am I starting to understand your position?
    Close. Actually, you probably stated it a lot better than I did. But I don't believe you when you say you do not have a moral code.
    That may very well be a matter of semantics. I tend to take a legalistic view of words and interpret them as the dictionary suggests rather than common use and connotation. I don't always pick up on underlying meanings and because of that, I often misunderstand people. I blame them for not knowing the meanings of the words they use and expecting me to psychicly know how they are misusing them lol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    That may very well be a matter of semantics. I tend to take a legalistic view of words and interpret them as the dictionary suggests rather than common use and connotation. I don't always pick up on underlying meanings and because of that, I often misunderstand people. I blame them for not knowing the meanings of the words they use and expecting me to psychicly know how they are misusing them lol.
    You're right. We may be using a different definition of moral code. While you may mean a written code, like the bible or quran, and you really don't have that, I mean an internalized morality. You think of certain actions as morally good or bad, even if you have not coldy calculated the consequences. You probably wouldn't steal something from somebody, even if you knew you could get away with it. I think that is a moral code.
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    Sorry. I'll be the first to admit that there's much more elaboration I can do on the post I made. But I can start with saying that I'm using Ayn Rand's definition of altruism. A moral code where you're morally obligated to sacrifice to serve others. Sacrifice meaning, giving up something of value in exchange for something of lesser or no value. The sentence I spoke at the end was just a political application of altruism.

    Every social system is rooted in a moral code. Laissez-Faire Capitalism is rooted in rational egoism. If it's right for you to rationally pursue your own self-interest, with the moral principles involved in that, then if there's other people around, you still need to be able to practice your moral principles without them interfering and stopping you from doing so. You need to be allowed to think, produce, etc. And that's where the concept of individual rights come in. What America's founding fathers did is identify the conditions needed for the individual to pursue their own self interest, even if they didn't make this explicit. Obviously your life belongs to you (the right to life). To live, you need to be free to think and act on your judgment (liberty). To live you need to be able to keep the product of your labor and use it how you deem best (property). And you need to be free to set and pursue goals (pursuit of happiness). Laissez-Faire Capitalism with a limited government is the social system that upholds those rights, thus it's the social system that's best for human beings to live in because it allows them to pursue their self-interest without hurting each other.

    You can see how morality is connected to society in the above paragraph. Rights are the concept that forms the bridge between egoist morality and capitalist social structure.

    Altruism is the idea that the purpose of your life is, not to serve yourself, but to serve others. And the various applications of altruism to politics are your various types of statism. Socialism, communism, theocracy. All systems set up to make people serve something other than themselves. The concept that bridges altruist morality and statist social structure, is duty. You don't get a choice in the matter. If you did get a choice of whether to be altruist, that would be Western, egoist influence, because being free to earn your own moral value is an individualist idea. Under a truly altruistic society, you're morally obligated to serve. And it's thus okay for society to demand that you serve it or whatever greater goods it has in mind. And if the collective deems that it would benefit from sacrificing your life to itself, it's justified in doing so. And this has happened in every society that tried full-on socialism, communism, and theocracy. There's always tons of people slaughtered for the sake of the greater good.

    One thing to be careful of is to make sure you don't confuse altruism with benevolence. Benevolence is simply being a nice person and wanting to help someone simply because you're generous, you see value in them, etc. Which I think is actually an egoist thing to do. Altruism, when practiced consistently, leads to wishing you didn't have to give to others all the time, seeing others as a threat because now you have to give to them, or developing an entitlement mentality and getting pissed off at anyone who doesn't give to you like they're supposed to.
    Last edited by Amaroq; December 20th, 2012 at 02:17 PM. Reason: Separation of paragraphs was lost when I posted it. Apparently javascript must be enabled to preserve line breaks.
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    S.G., I don't agree with you. Are you talking about Ethics or Morals? Is there a clear distinction between the two? Either way, you do have a moral code. You live by what you feel is right or wrong. That's what a moral code is. Granted, you view it more properly- that's it's not a defined absolute and that it's a lifestyle choice- but you choose to live by that code nonetheless. And you choose this partly because of how you feel about things.
    Whether it's karma or consequence, you choose your actions and how you deal with other people- all based on that moral code.

    Haroldbunchanumbers, I don't agree with you, either. You push your moral code on others, while complaining that you do so because they push their moral code on others. That's nonsense.
    Maybe S.G. has revealed your intentions are good, but your method of communication about it needs serious work, I think.
    You are too quick to jump to conclusions without reading all the arguments. Too touchy about the idea of a battle of wills. When a detailed response is called for, you say too little. When it's best you say nothing and observe- you say too much (Amazingly while saying too little, still).

    So, I have said my words that I wanted to say. I feel better now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    I feel better now.
    I'm glad you got that off your chest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    I feel better now.
    I'm glad you got that off your chest.
    I know, right?
    C'mere, You! Let's hug.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    I feel better now.
    I'm glad you got that off your chest.
    I know, right?
    C'mere, You! Let's hug.
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    Just for the record... having been involved in this thread back in the day. I was completely unaware that the thread involved Harold arguing with theists or any theist beleifs.
    Ox was arguing against some of the written moral codes found in a specific religious book, Harrold was arguing against some of Ox's statements and supporting the moral code's validity and worth, from a certain perspective. I was arguing against one or two of Harrolds ideas, trying to give reasoning as two why I thought the codes were not necesarily the best thing from an natural evolution perspective. Strange was just going through a little period of winding up QFY. We all had a nice debate and then seemed to get to a natural point at which we had probably said all we wanted to say on the matter.

    By the way... where is strange these days? I hope he is ok. I don't know if he is having a break from TSF or has had enough of our jousting and is ignoring me? I did lose patience a little bit in another thread. If your reading this Strange I hope there are no hard feelings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Just for the record... having been involved in this thread back in the day. I was completely unaware that the thread involved Harold arguing with theists or any theist beleifs.
    Maybe it was another thread, but if anybody tries to argue that there is scientific evidence for a God, then I would take exception to that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Just for the record... having been involved in this thread back in the day. I was completely unaware that the thread involved Harold arguing with theists or any theist beleifs.
    Maybe it was another thread, but if anybody tries to argue that there is scientific evidence for a God, then I would take exception to that.
    hmm yes, I certainly didn't notice anybody arguing the validity of 'theists' or theism on this thread. You yourself argued on behalf of a moral code preached by monotheists... So if anybody was displaying a theist streak it was you.

    But still, you didn't say anything to support theistic beleif, just the validity of one or two of their moral codes, 'from a certain perspective'.

    I was slightly puzzled to see a comment which claimed you were 'challenging theists' in this thread.

    I just wanted to point out that to the best of my recollection, that was not the case.

    As you say, perhaps there was some mix up over threads for the poster of that comment.


    As for you Harold... I'm sure you would challenge anybody who said something that doesn't seem correct regardless of whether they hold up a lable saying 'Theist' or 'Atheist' or 'Imtheist' (for whatever reason). I doubt that you would let a person's self appointed 'lable' which they beleive adequately describes their way of thinking to others, interfere with how you treat them or their comments.

    Harold is an intelligent bloke, he will challenge his own ideas and beleifs just like he challenges those of others.

    P.S... If anybody ever presents scientific evidence of 'God'... then will will all have to sit up and take notice! That would be an exceptional claim and if true, exceptional scientific evidenced that would change our world mahoosively.

    Though If I was trying to be a smartass... I would tell you that 'god' is a word in the english dictionary. That word exists in every single english dictionary and you can all go and attempt to falsify my claim. But you will fail, my claim is true and the evidence is there to be scrutinised all you like.

    Therefor I have without any shadow of a doubt presented solid scientific evidence and indeed PROOF that 'God' is a real tangible thing. A thing that can be defined as an english word. As real as anyother english word.

    Don't bother taking exception to my claim, until you find a dictionary in which 'god' does not exist. A 'God' exists (in every english dictionary). If you find evidence that I am wrong, then I want to see the pages where 'God' belongs but is not. Cutting God out or hiding God with marker pen will not count.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    ...
    ... if anybody tries to argue that there is scientific evidence for a God, then I would take exception to that.
    May I ask why? Why dont you just prove him wrong?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    ...
    ... if anybody tries to argue that there is scientific evidence for a God, then I would take exception to that.
    May I ask why? Why dont you just prove him wrong?
    I'm not sure what you are asking. Prove there is no God, or prove there is no scientific evidence? How does one prove a negative?
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    Scientific evidence would be a positive right...<br><br>So the process of disproving or discounting that positive claim is called falsification.<br><br>Falsification of a positive claim/theory is the same as disproving it isn't it?<br><br>Therefore to falsify a positive assertation, is to prove a negative assertaion of the same subject?<br><br>I'm getting a little confused by all this 'you can't prove a negative' bussiness... as you can see!<br><br>Also, I interpret 'take exception' to be an ambiguos term which could mean a variety of things... I supose literally it means: I would treat this as an exeption to the norm.<br><br>Or maybe more accurately in the context that Harold used it, it might mean: "I would treat this evidence in an exceptional way compared with the way I treat other evidence"... which might mean "I would dismiss it out of hand" or alternatively "I would give this evidence far more carefull scrutiny than any other evidence of any other nature".<br><br><br>I guess the true meaning of the statement lies with Harold.<br><br>To speculate further... I bet what Harold really means is: "I would have a look at this evidence, but bearing in mind I very much doubt it could ever exist, I am sure it will be false evidence and I will feel the need to challenge it".<br><br>Anyway... I don't get this 'you can't prove a negative' statement.<br><br>I do not exist... is a negative claim isn't it? much like 'god does not exist'. I can prove that it is false that I do not exist, I can also prove I do exist. Therefor I can prove a negative claim and a positive claim, as they both mean the same thing.<br><br>I can not prove the negative 'that god does not exists' and better or worse than I can prove the positive 'that God does exist'.<br><br>No disrespect intended Harold, and i'm aware I might not be grasping the issue fully, but I just don't understand this 'you can't prove a negative' argument.<br><br>Perhaps you can't, but if so, can you prove a positive? <br><br>I have also been told that proof is an elusive thing and something which science doesn't expect to be able to provide very often... especially not on such a fundamental question relating to ultimate reality.
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    Gooness gracious me... I have no clue what happened to my last post.

    I hold the Gremlins personally responsible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    ...
    ... if anybody tries to argue that there is scientific evidence for a God, then I would take exception to that.
    May I ask why? Why dont you just prove him wrong?
    I'm not sure what you are asking. Prove there is no God, or prove there is no scientific evidence? How does one prove a negative?
    Sorry Harold, I tried to alleviate some thread derision and misunderstanding, apparently I failed. Everyone loves you when they can interpret your words to be on their side of an issue. Prove that you haven't taken their side, or anyone's side, and they will turn all Smeagle on you and act like you took their precious.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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    A scientific hypothesis can be falsified. Postulation of a God can't be falsified, because God does not need to follow any physical laws - he purportedly made them and could work a miracle. It is not a scientific hypothesis.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    Sorry Harold, I tried to alleviate some thread derision and misunderstanding, apparently I failed.
    I do appreciate your efforts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    A scientific hypothesis can be falsified. Postulation of a God can't be falsified, because God does not need to follow any physical laws - he purportedly made them and could work a miracle. It is not a scientific hypothesis.
    Ah ok I see what you're saying here.

    But 'scientific evidence' of God could be falsified right? Or is this an irrelevancy due to some kind of consideration which means 'evidence of God' is an imposibility?



    Another thought which randomly comes to mind following a recent post on this thread... 'let sleeping Dogs lie'.

    How anybody can rejuvinate a thread which is over a month old in which all poster seem to have had their say and finished up... With a comment abstracting an Atheist vs Theist ellement which does not exist in the thread, or at least if it does, it exists in the opposite form from that which has been supposed... and a comment formed from reading at the most 3/4 of the content of the thread (which is ofcourse a contribution founded on willful ignorance)... How anybody thinks that is going to aleviate misunderstanding is beyond me, absolutely beyond my comprehension.

    It really does beg beleif.


    P.S Harold...I want you to know I understand your arguments throughout this thread. I felt at the time that any derision from me regarding you, such as: 'Harold is being a self righteous, hypocrite' regarding your opinion on those who keep sharing opinions.... was understood by you to not be that 'off', just a blunt observation that a man is able to take on the chin as a result of the fact that there was truth in it. I assumed you took it as a fair comment as you didn't have anything to say about it.

    I actually suspected that when you made that post... you were being incredibly humourous, deliberately. Any bluntness in my post to strange was brought on by strange irritating me, as he likes to do occassionally... and I hope it didn't offend you too much. In truth I gained a lot of respect for you towards the end of our conversation. I already had respect for your intelligence but by the end of the discussion I gained the notion that you are a man who can have a constructive argument, present logical reasoning and then show acceptence of the reasoning of others by not perpetuating an argument once answers have been provided. I like that.

    Don't get me wrong though... I can well understand how my comment to strange regarding your opinion on 'people expressing opinions'.. doesn't paint me in the pretiest light. Which is why it got a rare 'like' from strange I assume.
    In fact... if I didn't like QFY and I had been involved in unpleasant exchanges with him... and I found this thread in which his behaviour might be construed as 'derisive' or lacking 'unstanding', especially in the case of my only being able to read the QFY comments that others have quoted... then I would certainly want to highlight the thread in order to remind the forum QFY can be an ass at times. Oh, no, no I wouldn't actually... becuase that would be kinda pathetic, sad and blatant.

    Just had to get that off my chest, I don't feel much better for it though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    ...
    ... if anybody tries to argue that there is scientific evidence for a God, then I would take exception to that.
    May I ask why? Why dont you just prove him wrong?
    I'm not sure what you are asking. Prove there is no God, or prove there is no scientific evidence? How does one prove a negative?
    Good question! I wasnt clear enough. I guess Im trying to be careful and not say too much that CAN be wrongly interpreted...
    What I meant was approximately: Somebody presents a proof to you... why bother thinking about why he is doing that...Just show that the proof is not valid. Pat him on the head and advice him to check in advance the next proof he wants you to look at? Tell him you are pressed for time reading lots of lousy proofs and,alas, have no time to instruct him in the finer points of the art of proving things?

    Hopefully that explains my question. Your cautious answer/question tells me you are not in general drawing hasty conclusions.
    I feel encouraged enough to continue: "Prove there is no God, or prove there is no scientific evidence?"
    I feel you left something out. Perhaps " ...for a God". I wont believe (unless u declare it to be so) you thought I asked you to show scientific evidence for there being no scientific evidence. Please reformulate.

    Next: While Im visiting id better state my momentary view on the topic:
    NO! What the world needs is examples of good moral.
    Acts that shows that at least some people freely without demanding any appreciation voluntarily does the right thing.
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    Harold was talking about evidence and you are talking about proof. Why? Do you understand they are quite different?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    ...
    ... if anybody tries to argue that there is scientific evidence for a God, then I would take exception to that.
    May I ask why? Why dont you just prove him wrong?
    I'm not sure what you are asking. Prove there is no God, or prove there is no scientific evidence? How does one prove a negative?
    I think Sigurd asked Harold why Harold would not just 'prove' the falsity of this hypothetical 'evidence of God'... rather than 'take exception' to it.

    To get this chat to make sense, I think requires harold to explain what he meant by 'take exception' and then tell Sigurd what he thinks about 'proving the evidence wrong' as aposed to 'taking exception' to it. Perhaps it might also be necesary to hear what Sigurd thought Harold meant by 'Take exception'.

    I don't think it necesary for me to point this out, but I think it might hasten the process of mutual understanding for all concerned. Or did I just make it worse?
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    In fact... if I didn't like QFY and I had been involved in unpleasant exchanges with him... and I found this thread in which his behaviour might be construed as 'derisive' or lacking 'unstanding', especially in the case of my only being able to read the QFY comments that others have quoted... then I would certainly want to highlight the thread in order to remind the forum QFY can be an ass at times. Oh, no, no I wouldn't actually... becuase that would be kinda pathetic, sad and blatant.

    Just had to get that off my chest, I don't feel much better for it though.
    The implication is clear that you're referring to S.G., here, since you know she has you on ignore.

    The problem here is that what she quoted had none of your words in it, because Harolds quote did not quote you- Harold quoted SigurdV.

    Conspiracy Theory debunked.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    I think Sigurd asked Harold why Harold would not just 'prove' the falsity of this hypothetical 'evidence of God'... rather than 'take exception' to it.

    To get this chat to make sense, I think requires harold to explain what he meant by 'take exception' and then tell Sigurd what he thinks about 'proving the evidence wrong' as aposed to 'taking exception' to it. Perhaps it might also be necesary to hear what Sigurd thought Harold meant by 'Take exception'.

    I don't think it necesary for me to point this out, but I think it might hasten the process of mutual understanding for all concerned. Or did I just make it worse?
    Take exception means to disagree. I would disagree that there is scientific evidence of God. It is mostly creationists who make such claims.

    To elaborate further, scientific hypotheses are not proved. Even if a scientific theory such as Newtons gravitational theory is confirmed by many experiments, it is always subject to falsification by later experiments or observations, such as the precession of Mercury's orbit.

    Statements of religious belief can be testable, such as "the world will end on December 21." Other religious statements are not testable, such as "all dogs go to heaven." The former can be falsified, the latter cannot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Harold was talking about evidence and you are talking about proof. Why? Do you understand they are quite different?
    In spite of its possibly offensive manner I think the question should be answered
    because it illustrates the problems we have in understanding each other:

    YES! Nowadays I think I do understand the difference between the ENGLISH concepts: "proof" is what we swedes call proof but "evidence" we dont have a name for, we mistake it for "conclusive evidence" which to us means"proof". "Evidence" seems to me to be an empty concept unique to English:

    "Evidence for x" seems to mean only that the "evidence" and x can both exist. A banana is evidence for a tomatoe? So be sure I never ask for evidence...please give me proof or conclusive evidence! (The English can do you know what with their evidence!)

    So why did I try to explain? Well... I feel misunderstood. Can you understand that? We swedes do not use pleases! We hardly bother to say thank you! I wouldnt for example dream of adressing our king as "Your Majesty". In English id use "Your Travesty" then stop and say "oupps I did mean that, it must have been a freudian error"... and whatever further polite insults id come up with.

    But thats me...Im not a typical swede. Im a bastard!
    My father was a Russian Prisoner of WAR.
    My last name even means WAR.

    But I AM a friendly sort of fellow...
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    In spite of its possibly offensive manner
    Claiming such is a Straw Man. It's not that it was 'offensive' it's that it was wrong.
    Using a straw man in such a manner could be considered dishonesty.
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    We swedes do not use pleases! We hardly bother to say thank you! I wouldnt for example dream of adressing our king as "Your Majesty". In English id use "Your Travesty" then stop and say "oupps I did mean that, it must have been a freudian error"... and whatever further polite insults id come up with.
    Oh, so your behavior is because you're a Swede?
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    But thats me...Im not a typical swede. Im a bastard!
    Oh, so it's not because you're a Swede?
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    But I AM a friendly sort of fellow...
    Something like that.
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    Hi old predictable favorite of mine!

    Theres two kinds of understanding. Either you understand directly without no need to rationalize.

    Or you rationalize..you say: This thing is a so and so,because of this and that.Can you distinguish the two?

    Ive given up explaining things to you... its obvious why huh?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    Ive given up explaining things to you... its obvious why huh?
    Because you contradict yourself?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Conspiracy Theory debunked.
    If you rearange the letters of NF's words you get 'need hydrocarbon pi - cut key'... A coincidence? or... a secret code?
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    Damnit, Cracker Jacks guaranteed it unbreakable. I'm soooo getting my money back.
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    What I don't understand from religion is whether they expect us to act morally because God tells us to or we do act morally because God enables to, not that I really accept either definition since in the modern world we are each faced with deciding for ourselves that which we believe to be moral, the notion of a moral code just implies some uniformity of rules of what is or isn't moral, but it makes or takes no account of the individual or any particular circumstances. I tend to think that the series of choices we make in life are influenced by our own moral values but shouldn't dominated by them, practicalities sometimes carry far more weight than a moralistic issue when faced with some of the more difficult choices.
    Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. - confucius
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    I think Sigurd asked Harold why Harold would not just 'prove' the falsity of this hypothetical 'evidence of God'... rather than 'take exception' to it.

    To get this chat to make sense, I think requires harold to explain what he meant by 'take exception' and then tell Sigurd what he thinks about 'proving the evidence wrong' as aposed to 'taking exception' to it. Perhaps it might also be necesary to hear what Sigurd thought Harold meant by 'Take exception'.

    I don't think it necesary for me to point this out, but I think it might hasten the process of mutual understanding for all concerned. Or did I just make it worse?
    Take exception means to disagree. I would disagree that there is scientific evidence of God. It is mostly creationists who make such claims.

    To elaborate further, scientific hypotheses are not proved. Even if a scientific theory such as Newtons gravitational theory is confirmed by many experiments, it is always subject to falsification by later experiments or observations, such as the precession of Mercury's orbit.

    Statements of religious belief can be testable, such as "the world will end on December 21." Other religious statements are not testable, such as "all dogs go to heaven." The former can be falsified, the latter cannot.
    Nothing to critisise there Harold.
    Though I think I oppose when it comes to religion. Most religious statements are false and can be proven false. But you need to carefully analyse what the religios statements mean. I mean taking care that all constituents are understood. (I think)

    No dogs go to heaven. Its a simple truth. Nothing goes to heaven. I might go as far as admitting that it cant be scientifically proved that there is no heaven...(negatives you know...) But if so ill retreat into claiming: But it is philosophically provable!

    EDIT: Scientific proofs can be said to rely on the principle of non contradiction: If the truth of x implies a contradiction then x simply is not true. This takes care of some religious thoughts.

    But "heaven" is difficult to treat in this manner. What I suggest is using a ...er...
    Philosophical principle of "contradiction": IF x implies something ridiculous then x is not true.
    Last edited by sigurdV; December 21st, 2012 at 03:18 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    YES! Nowadays I think I do understand the difference between the ENGLISH concepts: "proof" is what we swedes call proof but "evidence" we dont have a name for, we mistake it for "conclusive evidence" which to us means"proof". "Evidence" seems to me to be an empty concept unique to English:

    So be sure I never ask for evidence...please give me proof or conclusive evidence! (The English can do you know what with their evidence!)
    Yes we English understand the value of tiny shreds of evidence to support our convictions. Especialy when we need to invade a country, the Americans are not too shabby either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    No dogs go to heaven. Its a simple truth. Nothing goes to heaven. I might go as far as admitting that it cant be scientifically proved that there is no heaven...(negatives you know...) But if so ill retreat into claiming: But it is philosophically provable!
    But you could equally say that it can't be proved that heaven and hell are the same place and that it is only your perspective that would differeniate.
    Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. - confucius
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Just for the record... having been involved in this thread back in the day. I was completely unaware that the thread involved Harold arguing with theists or any theist beleifs.
    Maybe it was another thread, but if anybody tries to argue that there is scientific evidence for a God, then I would take exception to that.
    I don't think necessarily. As far as I understand "evidence", evidence of something does not automatically imply the truth of that something, since evidence can point in multiple directions. For instance, the universe is just so "tuned" that it is possible for life to exist in it. That is evidence for a god, but it is not unambiguous evidence.

    When a CSI team solves a crime, a whole bunch of independent pieces of evidence all together improve the probability of a certain hypothesis to be true. Just as in science. Before Darwin, one would have been hard pressed to imagine how the huge variety of life could have come about all on its own. Our experience and intuition had told us that function is engineered, so some being must have made these living things all around us. But once Darwin started to notice other bits of evidence, he started to piece together a new hypothesis that could more readily explain where all the variety of life came from, without there needing to be a guiding hand or designer that built everything from scratch. In science, our picture of what is really happening is always in flux as new pieces of evidence is uncovered and never set in stone.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Harold was talking about evidence and you are talking about proof. Why? Do you understand they are quite different?
    In spite of its possibly offensive manner I think the question should be answered
    because it illustrates the problems we have in understanding each other:

    YES! Nowadays I think I do understand the difference between the ENGLISH concepts: "proof" is what we swedes call proof but "evidence" we dont have a name for, we mistake it for "conclusive evidence" which to us means"proof". "Evidence" seems to me to be an empty concept unique to English
    Actually, let me stop you there for a second because both terms are available in Swedish and nowhere near as much a mystery as you seem to make it sound. It's just slightly more convoluted since Swedish doesn't have separate single words for them.

    So, instead, Swedish deals with terms like "Vetenskapligt Bevis" (=Scientific Evidence) and "Matematiskt Bevis" (=Mathematical Proof); you can further distinct this by noting that mathematical proof tends to deal with "Härledningar" (=deductions) while scientific evidence rests on test and observation. Understanding the difference in terminology in mathematical and scientific contexts is equally important in Swedish as it is in English, the terminology itself just functions slightly differently.

    (as an aside, I would like to submit that some Swedes actually are taught common courtesy)
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    In science, our picture of what is really happening is always in flux as new pieces of evidence is uncovered and never set in stone.
    I think that if/when subatomics, how energy 'manifests' and how mind and matter manifest is all fully understood... and once we get to the edge of the known universe and see what lies beyond, then we might get a clearer perspective of what's going on, what is and isn't physically possible. Particularly subatomics and energy/matter manisfestation will give insights I would have thought. What is the science on where the energy and matter comes from? Thats the big bang right? does that theory attempt to explain where energy comes from?
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    [QUOTE=Kompi;378518][QUOTE=sigurdV;378497]
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post

    (as an aside, I would like to submit that some Swedes actually are taught common courtesy)
    I suspect a vast majority of them are. I have visited Sweden twice and met many people while there, even while I was dressed in a Muslim burqa. And I was always treated with kindness and respect. And this was only a couple of years after the Sept 11 attacks. I was amazed how few dirty looks were thrown my way. Even when I attended a Christmas service at village church I was welcomed with open arms and no one acted as if I shouldn't be there. And no one quizzed me about it when everyone gathered for hot cocoa and cookies after the concert was finished. I was treated as if I were a long lost Swede and they were glad that I came home for a visit.

    I do hope to visit again some day, and wouldn't mind living there permanently even.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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    No it needs to be educated, understanding and knowledgeable. Not incompetence following a code of social standards.
    With bravery and recognition that we are harbingers of our destiny and with a paragon of virtue.
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