The Relevance of the Concept of God

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Syne, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    A truly irrelevant post. Thanks for the contrast.
     
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  3. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    You're the one pushing God here as someone who has to watch over his believers to keep them "moral." That sounds like "obedience and punishment orientation" to me. Which AGAIN btw has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with a principled conscience.
     
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  5. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    If you bothered to read even half my posts in this thread you would know this is not even remotely true. Maybe you are too mired in your childish notion of god to understand anything else. Good luck with that.
     
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  7. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I read as much of your sniveling dishonest backpeddling as I could stomach. If you didn't mean what you said in the OP, why did you say it?


    God IS a childish notion. Just like Santa Claus who makes a list of naughty and nice kids. Same exact thing. The fact that you would TRY to defend it as anything more exposes your own level of mental immaturity. Not to mention your sociopathic inability to grasp how empathy is a key factor in all true ethical behavior. Do you even know what empathy feels like?
     
  8. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    No, only your favorite notion of god is childish. And the fact that you cannot manage to have any more evolved a notion says much more about you than it does me. After all, they are all false to you, right? So why does it matter, and why do you insist on ONE notion of god (to the exclusion of all others)?

    I must have touched a nerve with all the ad hominems in an attempt to poison the well...you know, in lieu of rational argument. But speaking of empathy, how can you have any on this subject when you stubbornly refuse to even attempt to understand another's point of view.

    em·pa·thy

    1. the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.


    And apparently you are not brave enough to address my comments about moral relativism with a ten foot pole. Probably wise.
     
  9. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    LOL! That says it all. He actually had to look up "empathy" in the dictionary to find out what it was!
     
  10. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Empathy is not about God, it's more about mental health and the the current state of the world we live in.
     
  11. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    That was for your benefit, since you do not seem capable of understanding a view that differs from your own.

    Still nothing about moral relativism?

    Never said it was.
     
  12. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    LOL! You didn't even get your own quoted dictionary definition right. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the FEELINGS of others, not understanding another pov. Do you know what a feeling is? No peeking in the dictionary this time..
     
  13. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    If all you have left is sad attempts to poison the well (again, in lieu of rational argument) then this will just get boring. Yes, I know you would like to evoke an emotional reaction, as that is the only way you can avoid the facts you do not want to face. Understanding extends to more than feelings, but I assume you do not want me to reference any other definitions so you can cling to this one just as you cling to your favorite description of god.

    Your world must be a very small place.
     
  14. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not sure I agree. Wynn's 'Level 2' is labeled 'conventional', while 'Level 3' is 'post-conventional'. 'Level 2' is characterized by conformity to social norms', while 'Level 3' is characterized by a 'principled conscience'.

    I think that Wynn's 'Level 3' might be kind of a tip-of-the-hat to virtue ethics. Virtue ethics typically plays down or even denies the existence of some set of universally valid moral rules that define good behavior for everyone in every situation. (Following such a set by rote would be Wynn's 'Level 2'.)

    Instead, the Platonists, Aristotelians and many others who understand ethics in terms of inner traits or virtues argue that good behavior is behavior that's motivated by these virtues. The virtuous individual isn't just somebody who follows rules by rote, but is somebody who is able to perceive what virtuous action might be and then wills to act virtuously in new and unique situations and circumstances.

    Many atheists think that our virtues, such as courage, self-control, empathy, compassion, fairness, reciprocity and so on, are ultimately derived and abstracted from our human social instincts. These kind of virtues are assumed to be universal among human beings to the extent that we are all human and share the qualities common to human beings.

    Our ethical task at that point would be to decide when and how to deploy these qualities in unique situations. That's where it's unlikely that there will be any detailed algorithmic rules to guide us. Oftentimes we have to kind of make it up as we go, trying to distinguish the best course of action and then do it.
     
  15. Balerion Banned Banned

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    I noticed Syne has no answer for Yazata's post.
     
  16. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    He had to go offtopic into the issue of moral relativism since he had no answer to why he confused "being watched" with having a conscience. When the ship starts sinking, you throw anything you can find overboard in the hope that it will float.
     
  17. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Really? You cannot wait even an hour? I smell some serious desperation.

    If you could defend moral relativism you would not have to try to accuse me of going off-topic in my own thread. More desperation. The rats are really fleeing the sinking ship now, you have only confused which is sinking. You are the one conflating "being watched" with conscience, otherwise you could prove I have by quoting me. ...Nothing?
     
  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Bullshit you didn't. Here it is in your own OP once again where you directly conflate being watched or observed by God with having a conscience:

    "Only the concept of god provides a postulated observer whereby individuals can further develop an objective view of themselves. A postulated view that does not have the shortcoming inherent in all other human institutions that lead people to believe that something is only wrong if you get caught. Now we could imagine that 100% surveillance could serve the same purpose (someone watching you when you think no one else is looking), but we would also consider that an abhorrent breach of personal privacy. We could also be tempted to at least tell children fairy tales about such surveillance, but children tend to see through lies earlier that expected. Just like a doctor's delivery of a placebo can alter its efficacy, it would seem that belief in the concept of god (or an equivalent ever-watching observer) might effect its ability to strengthen conscience.

    Now I am open to any alternate suggestions of means to cultivating conscience."
     
  19. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    You seem to have conveniently chosen to call Universal ethical principles 'principled conscience' in an attempt to contrast it with "universally valid moral rules". Here, try contrasting "universally valid moral rules" with Universal ethical principles. Does not work as well, does it? Yes, "rules" are more in line with 3 or 4, but "principles" are not. Do not make the mistake of assuming the Level 3 principles any less universal than the Level 2 norms and laws are thought to be by people at the level.

    Virtue ethics is aligned with moral relativism in that circumstances can effect moral decisions, as opposed to Universal ethical principles.

    Some criticize the theory in relation to the difficulty involved with establishing the nature of the virtues. Different people, cultures and societies often have vastly different opinions on what constitutes a virtue. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtue_ethics#Criticisms

    Yet those universal human instincts fail to have any explanatory power over the wide variety of moral mores.
     
  20. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, I am afraid you are only exposing your own misunderstanding. Good luck with that, as you seem impervious to learning anything other than your ONE view (even of things you profess disbelief in, mind you).
     
  21. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

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    Re evolution - Nietzsche was right when he spoke of the regression of historic moral arguments in his 'genealogy of morals'. Any time we speak of where the morals started we have a problem, but that isn't to say it isn't interesting to speculate, just that we have to accept nietzsche's correct complaint about taking any of this speculation as having proved anything logically, or empirically. (two different types of proof as you all should know, although some don't seem to.)
    Also, any morality not (purportedly) imposed by some higher authority will always have a problem deciding who gets to decide what is moral, and avoiding an ochlocracy whereby the mob can decide a minority population is expendable or has fewer rights. The religious morality avoids pure utilitarianism which is generally seen as incomplete morally, once people are actually tested on the subject, and although some would argue that the human interpretation of the religion results in the same problem, the religious morality doesn't actually depend on interpretation since in the end (purportedly) god will judge. Of course religious systems have similar problems, I.e. good old "Do what we say, not what we do" that is most often experienced in humanity. Basically the problem in both systems is the belief that there are two classes of humans. When we evolve out of that state we can have real goodness. Before that we can't even talk about a universal morality with any sensibility, and our social contracts will still have lots of losers in the deal.
    Mechanistic ideology has no morality, only discussion of utility, while most religion has 'us vs them', which is a very problematic and unfair morality. Honestly, in this area, I am confused as to why anyone here would speak from a position of superiority, unless they have something to offer beyond amoral systems, and 'us vs them' moral systems.
     
  22. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I don't see that as a problem morally. Right and wrong could simply be principles that we act according to and judge things by much as logic has its own principles. There is no more reason for us to question these moral principles than we would the principles of logic. And saying they are expressions of a higher will actually detracts from their a priori nature, as if they even needed an authority to lend them credence. Only a very weak morality, one that didn't have the force of self-evidence or reason, would require the extra force of being a God's will to be accepted and followed. What sort of reasoned and principled conscience has any business being commanded and goaded into obedience? It shouldn't need this, not if it is an authentic ethical sense based on empathy and a sense of universal justice.
     
  23. Balerion Banned Banned

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    You should have seen him in the Civil Rights thread some months back. Same thing.
     

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