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Old 09-02-2012, 23:02   #1
Animal Mother
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Good, bad, right, wrong

The story so far:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Backfire_Tx View Post
Atheists amaze me, on their convictions. One thing i never really understood maybe you can help me. Answer this...

If one believes that there is evil and it does exist, then they must also assume that there is "good". If there is "good" (stay with me now) there must be a moral law to determine what is good. If there is a moral law, there must be a moral law giver.


An atheist viciously believes that he is right, and must then believe that others are "wrong". That his belief is good/right and that others are bad/wrong. This to me is absurd and extraordinary self defeating and illogical. Surely an atheist would believe that there is evil and therefore "good".
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Originally Posted by Animal Mother View Post
While I'm hesitant to extend this thread any further, I do feel compelled to ask, in the case of nebulous concepts like religion, how do you identify "right" or "good" in any terms other than the most basic concepts?

An atheist believing that gods don't exist isn't making a value judgement (such as good or bad). Instead they're advancing a truth proposition, absent any attached values in the moral or ethical sense.

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Originally Posted by Backfire_Tx View Post
How basic? I'll bet you have a firm grasp of what is "good" and "bad". Don't sell yourself to short. I have never met anyone that did not have a "basic concept" of what they consider right and wrong. You do have values - i assure you that you do.
Of course I do. ASU is good. UofA is bad. But those are value judgements, not objective evaluations. This is my point, you can't say that atheists are making that kind of value judgement, because they aren't. They're making a truth proposition. If an atheist advances the position that believing in a god is a bad thing, that would be a value judgement and many atheists certainly do exactly that but taking such a position is not required to be an atheist.

I never claimed that I didn't have values, did I? But even, as you say, we all have concepts of "good" and "bad" those concepts are not consistent between or even within cultural groups and also change over time within any identifiable population, so how can you set them up as objective truths?
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:58   #2
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Originally Posted by Animal Mother View Post
But even, as you say, we all have concepts of "good" and "bad" those concepts are consistent between or even within cultural groups and also change over time within any identifiable population, so how can you set them up as objective truths?
If you are stating that nothing is ever absolutely true, then your statement "nothing is ever absolutely true" is self-refuting and necessarily false.

the real truth is that there are things (logic, mathematics, etc.) that are universal, certain, timeless, unchanging, and absolutely true.

deny it at your own peril.
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:33   #3
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Originally Posted by packsaddle View Post
If you are stating that nothing is ever absolutely true, then your statement "nothing is ever absolutely true" is self-refuting and necessarily false.
Where did I say that?
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the real truth is that there are things (logic, mathematics, etc.) that are universal, certain, timeless, unchanging, and absolutely true.

deny it at your own peril.
Where did I deny that mathematical constants are constant within a given frame of reference? That's significantly different than the definitions of what constitute good things and bad things.
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:57   #4
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Originally Posted by Animal Mother View Post
The store so far:








Of course I do. ASU is good. UofA is bad. But those are value judgements, not objective evaluations. This is my point, you can't say that atheists are making that kind of value judgement, because they aren't. They're making a truth proposition. If an atheist advances the position that believing in a god is a bad thing, that would be a value judgement and many atheists certainly do exactly that but taking such a position is not required to be an atheist.

I never claimed that I didn't have values, did I? But even, as you say, we all have concepts of "good" and "bad" those concepts are not consistent between or even within cultural groups and also change over time within any identifiable population, so how can you set them up as objective truths?
If there is no objective morality, where do your values come from? As you point out we live in a pluralistic society. But, there is no logical reason for you to have a concept of "good" and "bad". You have made a presuposition that there is no God. Therefere, there cannot be a revelation from that God, therefore there is no meaning, purpose, morality, or ethics. So, it mystifies me when Atheists speak of "good" or "evil". There should be no logical reason at all for doing so.

Unless, of course, there is a God, there is a revelation, and it means what it says:

Jeremiah 31:31-33, “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to[d] them,[e]
declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”


Hebrews 10:15-17, "
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”[b]



17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”


Romans 2:12-15, "All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares."

So, you see, there is a God, there is an independant morality, that is why you use terms like right and wrong, "good" and "evil". Otherwise, you say, whatever you want to do, it really doesn't matter.

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Old 09-03-2012, 06:54   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingarthurhk View Post
If there is no objective morality, where do your values come from?
The same place as everyone else: the society we inhabit and the people who influence us.
Quote:
As you point out we live in a pluralistic society. But, there is no logical reason for you to have a concept of "good" and "bad".
Of course there is, someone taught it to me.
Quote:
You have made a presuposition that there is no God.
Where did I do that?
Quote:
Therefere, there cannot be a revelation from that God, therefore there is no meaning, purpose, morality, or ethics.
You have that backwards. There's no evidence of a revelation from God, therefore identifying God as the source of morality is not justified.
Quote:
So, it mystifies me when Atheists speak of "good" or "evil". There should be no logical reason at all for doing so.
Your argument is faulty. That the definitions of the concepts of good and evil are learned, not handed down by an omnipotent deity, doesn't mean they don't exist.
Quote:
Unless, of course, there is a God,
Demonstrate that there is a god and you'll have taken the first step in validating this argument.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:03   #6
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Originally Posted by Backfire_Tx View Post
Atheists amaze me, on their convictions. One thing i never really understood maybe you can help me. Answer this...

If one believes that there is evil and it does exist, then they must also assume that there is "good". If there is "good" (stay with me now) there must be a moral law to determine what is good. If there is a moral law, there must be a moral law giver.

I can help you understand that, if your willing to step back and see things from a different perspective for a moment. At least from the viewpoint of one Atheist.

I do not believe in "good" or "evil". And certainly not in the capitalized versions of them.

These are human abstract ideals that we learned from our environment. Each society has its own version of them, from when it's ok to kill, and whom, to just how much you may mutilate a baby. From when its wrong to steal to when its ok to take your neighbors stuff.

Humans are animals, but we have one thing no other animal can match, abstract thought, so the instincts that all the other pack or herd animals use to live together semi peacefully were codified and given an abstract meaning and the names "good" and "evil", or "wrong" and "right".

No one can even define them, because for whatever you deem "good" and "moral" other societies do, or have felt just the opposite.

The definitions change from culture to culture and from over time. There is no concrete explanation of them except : Whatever your society accepts at the time you live in it.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:11   #7
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Re: Good/Bad. Sometimes it's in the eye of the beholder... like a sharp stick. Some might argue nothing happened if a tree falls and no one saw/heard it. Most folks would consider such persons very much challenged by the truth. But as to good/bad, even those who would discount the idea of evil and argue the nuances of grey rapidly convert to a black and white perspective when it is their eye that is confronted with the sharp stick. But, from the comfort of a armchair those with no skin in the game can opine till the cows come home about evil, etc., etc., etc.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:27   #8
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Originally Posted by Lone Wolf8634 View Post

The definitions change from culture to culture and from over time. There is no concrete explanation of them except : Whatever your society accepts at the time you live in it.
Good point. God in the Bible seems perfectly alright with slavery. We have decided that tyranny over any human being is "wrong". Liberty is an inalienable right(double entendre not intended but there.). Time and culture have changed right and wrong for the better of humanity.



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Old 09-03-2012, 10:27   #9
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Good point. God in the Bible seems perfectly alright with slavery. We have decided that tyranny over any human being is "wrong". Liberty is an inalienable right(double entendre not intended but there.). Time and culture have changed right and wrong for the better of humanity.



.
Cue the "No True Scotsman Slave" argument...

Randy

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Old 09-03-2012, 11:17   #10
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A response...

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Originally Posted by Lone Wolf8634 View Post
I can help you understand that, if your willing to step back and see things from a different perspective for a moment. At least from the viewpoint of one Atheist.

I do not believe in "good" or "evil". And certainly not in the capitalized versions of them.

These are human abstract ideals that we learned from our environment. Each society has its own version of them, from when it's ok to kill, and whom, to just how much you may mutilate a baby. From when its wrong to steal to when its ok to take your neighbors stuff.

Humans are animals, but we have one thing no other animal can match, abstract thought, so the instincts that all the other pack or herd animals use to live together semi peacefully were codified and given an abstract meaning and the names "good" and "evil", or "wrong" and "right".

No one can even define them, because for whatever you deem "good" and "moral" other societies do, or have felt just the opposite.

The definitions change from culture to culture and from over time. There is no concrete explanation of them except : Whatever your society accepts at the time you live in it.
Well, i am really trying to understand but that would depend on what the meaning of "is is". ~ Bill Clinton.

Here is something to think about, again from CS Lewis when he was working through the issues of moral law on his way to Christianity from being an atheist.

The moral teaching of other cultures have no doubt differences. But they are not total differences. Is there a country where people are "admired" for running away in battle? Or being a "coward" was rewarded as good behavior? Or how about this. Is there a place where a person feels "proud" or "good" where he dumps on people who are kind to him? Selfishness has never in any culture been "admired" that you should not put yourself 1st. Cultures have differed as to whether you should have one wife or four. But they have always agreed that you must not simply have any woman you wanted.

Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later. He may break his promise to you, but if you try breaking one to him he will be complaining ‘It’s not fair’.

My take on this is that yes there are cultural differences in morality - but there is core morality that is very much common across nations and within people. Also, if i owed you money for a Glock i purchased from you - then refused to pay you, you would be incensed that i screwed you and was not fair. Well what is fair? What is right? You know darn well what is right and wrong. Where does that come from? Questions like that haunted Lewis until he worked it through, that their must be a law giver - it weights on the heart of people.

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Old 09-03-2012, 13:18   #11
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The same place as everyone else: the society we inhabit and the people who influence us.
So, your morality is to simply "go with the flow". So, it torturing babies became a socially accepted practice in the United States, how many would you torture?

Quote:
Of course there is, someone taught it to me.
Did someone teach you Atheism?

Quote:
You have that backwards. There's no evidence of a revelation from God, therefore identifying God as the source of morality is not justified.
Well, let's examine that claim. We know the bible is historically and archaeologically accurate. We know that just about everyone can agree that the last 6 commandments of Exodus 20 are good for a working society, and we do not find them codified anywhere else.

So, knowing all these things. Why would it not be deductively logical that there is in fact a God, and the Bible is His revelation to us?

Quote:
Your argument is faulty. That the definitions of the concepts of good and evil are learned, not handed down by an omnipotent deity, doesn't mean they don't exist.
Demonstrate that there is a god and you'll have taken the first step in validating this argument.
How were they learned? Because, there were handed down from an omnipotent diety and then taught. And now everyone who doesn't have a seared conscience can agree that these commandments are a "good" thing. I had a conversation with a Palestinian one day. It turns out that he had no problem with these 6 commandments either. Interesting.

I have deductively reasoned this argument. Your response to the argument is you don't agree with it. That is not a thoughtful response to the material presented, rather it is an emotive response.
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Old 09-03-2012, 13:51   #12
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Cue the "No True Scotsman Slave" argument...

Randy
Could you give the example.

Thanks.


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Old 09-03-2012, 14:54   #13
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Could you give the example.

Thanks.


.
Someone coming along and saying the slaves in the Bible were different, not real slaves, not the kind of slaves the US had for years, pre-civil war. A take on the no true scotsman fallacy. Used to justify biblical slavery by Christian apologists rather than admit any error on the part of their Church.

Randy

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Old 09-03-2012, 15:13   #14
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Originally Posted by steveksux View Post
Someone coming along and saying the slaves in the Bible were different, not real slaves, not the kind of slaves the US had for years, pre-civil war. A take on the no true scotsman fallacy. Used to justify biblical slavery by Christian apologists rather than admit any error on the part of their Church.

Randy
Got it.

Thanks.

I downloaded 42 Fallacies to my kindle some time ago, but have not taken the time to read it.



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Old 09-03-2012, 15:27   #15
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Originally Posted by steveksux View Post
Someone coming along and saying the slaves in the Bible were different, not real slaves, not the kind of slaves the US had for years, pre-civil war. A take on the no true scotsman fallacy. Used to justify biblical slavery by Christian apologists rather than admit any error on the part of their Church.

Randy
Tell us about the nature of slaves in the United States. What was their origin, and who sold them to the slave traders?
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Old 09-03-2012, 15:32   #16
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Tell us about the nature of slaves in the United States. What was their origin, and who sold them to the slave traders?
That would be the slaveholder apologist argument that it was ok to own slaves because it was their fellow Africans who sold them to the US.

Not sure offhand which logical fallacy that is, something along the lines of two wrongs don't make a right.

Randy

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Old 09-03-2012, 15:37   #17
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Originally Posted by steveksux View Post
That would be the slaveholder apologist argument that it was ok to own slaves because it was their fellow Africans who sold them to the US.

Not sure offhand which logical fallacy that is, something along the lines of two wrongs don't make a right.

Randy
So, wait a minue, Africans wared with other Africans and then took them into bondage and sold them to slave traders, yet the slave traders are vile and the African wholesalers were just doing what came natural?
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Old 09-03-2012, 15:52   #18
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Originally Posted by Backfire_Tx View Post

Well, i am really trying to understand but that would depend on what the meaning of "is is". ~ Bill Clinton.

Here is something to think about, again from CS Lewis when he was working through the issues of moral law on his way to Christianity from being an atheist.

The moral teaching of other cultures have no doubt differences. But they are not total differences. Is there a country where people are "admired" for running away in battle? Or being a "coward" was rewarded as good behavior? Or how about this. Is there a place where a person feels "proud" or "good" where he dumps on people who are kind to him? Selfishness has never in any culture been "admired" that you should not put yourself 1st. Cultures have differed as to whether you should have one wife or four. But they have always agreed that you must not simply have any woman you wanted.

Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later. He may break his promise to you, but if you try breaking one to him he will be complaining ‘It’s not fair’.

My take on this is that yes there are cultural differences in morality - but there is core morality that is very much common across nations and within people. Also, if i owed you money for a Glock i purchased from you - then refused to pay you, you would be incensed that i screwed you and was not fair. Well what is fair? What is right? You know darn well what is right and wrong. Where does that come from? Questions like that haunted Lewis until he worked it through, that their must be a law giver - it weights on the heart of people.
Your still thinking abstractly. Words like coward, theft and rape are human abstract concepts that only apply to us. They are meaningless anywhere else in nature.

And subjecting me to something I don't much like (Stealing from me etc.) doesn't really show you what I consider right or wrong, all it shows is what I don't want you to do to me.
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Old 09-03-2012, 16:01   #19
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So, wait a minue, Africans wared with other Africans and then took them into bondage and sold them to slave traders, yet the slave traders are vile and the African wholesalers were just doing what came natural?
Not sure where you got that from my post... I clearly mentioned two wrongs don't make a right.

Both parties are clearly in the wrong.

Randy
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Old 09-03-2012, 16:04   #20
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Not sure where you got that from my post... I clearly mentioned two wrongs don't make a right.

Both parties are clearly in the wrong.

Randy
Alright, by what standard do you judge both to be wrong?
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