Thank you all for the responses. Here's the argument I'm having right now with him...I think I'm losing this debate and it's hurting my faith speaking with him. I quoted a few people on this board like theo philosopher and minasoliman's sig to help with my argumentation but to no avail.
Anyway here's what I'm currently debating. Is this guy the next Bertrand Russel or what?
Also my words are in the quotes.
I will address your final summing up I think of the points you want to address, versus what you quoted me on. I do have rejections on your idea that all morality is subjective and no objective, or should I say absolute, morality exists.
I know you do. You’re a Christian, all Christians believe in an objective source of morality. However, I’m not of the opinion that that source exists. So, we’re bound to encounter problems when discussing the subjective/objective nature of morality.
This runs into serious problems for example in the courtroom of a murder. I could make a very good atheistic claim that the gun that shot and killed the victim was nothing more than just matter disposing of matter.
Stop. How is this related to Atheism? Atheism is the rejection of God claims; it says nothing about a soul/the mind’s nature, or an afterlife, or reincarnation. You’re thinking of materialism, which is independent of Atheism. But let’s continue.
Therefore if we eliminate God, Whom absolute morality flows from, then we also eliminate man as well.
No, no, no, no. . . . For one, which God? Yahweh? Vishnu? Allah? Mithra? Odin? Does it matter what God an individual believes in? I know plenty of Hindus who would claim you as technically living an empty life because you don’t know the true God. See, before you assert God (Yahweh) IS the absolute source of morality, you have to demonstrate his existence and that he truly authored anything in the bible. Isn’t it just a zany coinky-dink that Christians still commit crimes? True-believing Christians with unshakable faith at that.
Also, your statement about man does not follow, not only because you haven’t objectively demonstrated the premise (Your God exists and authors morality) but morality still exists independent of your God. Tribes of people who’ve never heard of Christ are still moral. Plenty of countries that follow other religions are as well. Countries before Christianity’s inception were too. Ergo, morality still exists if they don’t know the word O’ Yahweh. Weird, huh?
The distinction between what is good and bad, morally, is up to subjective interpretation. This is exactly why I brought up Nazism. If we never appealed to a transcendent figure or even God to determine what is absolute in regards to morality, then our claim of exterminating Jews as being wrong would hold no merit. We would have to apply objective morality to expose the wrong of killing these people.Well, that’s an ironic example. Hitler’s Nazism was fashioned after his interpretation of Christianity. I’ve said before I view it as a failed, new denomination. Devout Christians throughout history have carried out atrocities and genocide. See, it’s not Christianity’ or Atheism’s fault; that’s idiotic thinking. Certain men will be maniacs whether they believe or don’t. Christianity’s historical track record is not one of clean hands. Again, it goes back to individuals’ morality, their twisted minds will shape reality however they see fit, so long as they can justify the atrocities they desire to. Becoming a Christian will not prevent the next Hitler or Mao from trying to seize power and do despicable things.
Another problem I have with your worldview, is that the underlying current here is that what we interpret as reality is merely up to subjectivity and no objectivity exists.
Well, no. Again, what neuroscience has taught us is that, oftentimes, murderous and violent tendencies/a lack of compassion and empathy are the result of tangible brain-related problems, either chemically, or physically/developmentally. We all agree as a social species that causing harm is bad; we like to be loved and to love, we gain satisfaction from being up-standing, honest, healthy people. It just so happens that what could be written off as ‘simple subjectivity’ is almost always a verifiable defect; a problem in need of treatment. Against the Freudian train of psychological analysis, our upbringing can (literally, not ‘mentally’) affect our brains. What must be remembered is that our brains are growing as we mature into adults. It’s not as though we are born ‘us’. Studies and experiments (I’m reading about now in a lot of fascinating neuroscience books) have shown that chimps raised in a loving environment versus those in a neglectful one end up with different-looking brains. Not surprisingly, the neglected ones fail to interact, are often aloof or act out violently, unlike their well-loved brethren.
This is the case with humans too. Abuse victims who’ve never been loved or educated can grow up to be quite feral, and unable to ever adapt to reality as we know it. So, morals (the good kind) usually emerge from healthy brains, while skewed and corrupt morals develop in defective or neglected brains. There are neurological differences. So, while morals ARE still subjective (rape can be right to the rapist), it’s not incorrect of me to say: “You’re a sick, disgusting human being. You need help.” The proof is in the brain, and its noodles of curvature tell us healthy, responsible morals look different in the brain than those we see as evil. Isn’t learning cool? I literally did not know this a week ago.
Therefore logically as well, truth does not exist because for truth to exist it must be objectively accepted. We are merely at the whims of what we believe to be subjectively true therefore another man who objects to my subjection is wrong because his interpretation is also subjective. We may come to a point of agree to disagree, but more than likely one of the views will have an upper hand in the argument either by attestation from multiple parties, a better argument, or simply the person who has the upper hand has more authority and power over the other one.
This can, at times, be how agreeing on morals works. Yes, as I said above, healthy brains tend to hate killing and rape, but what of everything else? What is the extent of sexual activity we can allow? What age makes it okay to engage sexually? Is it okay to lie sometimes? These more involved questions are easy to debate, and when it came time to invent laws, quite literally, majority ruled. Laws are an extension of morality, a manifestation of the populations’ strongest morals, basically.
This is exactly why things like abortion exist, because the "soul" of a human being at conception has been removed because it cannot be "scientifically verifiable" therefore it is a matter of subjectivity one places on the fetus if it has a soul or not.
Well, nobody has ever demonstrated a soul. That’s why we shouldn’t make laws assuming there is one. Your beliefs do not affect reality. . . . And really? The soul houses the non-existent brain at conception? What studies do you have backing this up? Any? What about parasitic twins? They have brains; they’re alive. Do they have souls? Why? “Hey, let’s stick a soul in this barely-alive lump of tissue that will feed from the lifeblood of a healthy person, potentially killing them. Sounds like a plan.” To go on a ramble here: Dissociative Identity Disorder. EEG readings verify different neurological activity while separate personalities (identities) are awake; they are, in every sense of the word, different people. So . . . sometimes souls enter developed bodies? Then, these same bodies have a propensity to attract more souls, some amassing more than fifty. Some personalities believe in a God, some don’t. I’m guessing they’ll all get unique appearances in the afterlife and be judged individually? Isn’t it funny how the ones who collect a soul after conception, when they develop DID, always seem to draw more than one additional soul? Why? Why do many souls not usually permeate us? One never one, and in people who aren’t linked to a verifiable illness? It’s as if brains generate minds.
Now we get into the realm of the fallacy of naturalism, that I do not want to discuss here because I'd rather open a debate on something else (which I'll get to later), and a rejection of dualism which cannot scientifically be rejected because it is unprovable much like you can't put God into a test tube. It exists outside of the scientific method.
Allegedly (convenient too, I’ll add). But I still require something to be remotely proven or hinted at as the only plausible explanation before I’ll accept a concept’s veracity.
But back to the case on abortion, if objectivity was to be eliminated then man is free to choose on what one chooses to do. We see a devaluation occur at this moment which would further decline certain aspects which were conceived as first to be morally wrong, but then society gradually accepts it as "socially acceptable". This is why I am so strongly against moral relativism because the distinction is blurred. Like art, morality means drawing the line somewhere.
Wait, what? I’m unaware of a ‘line’ in art. Also, nobody’s saying there isn’t a moral line to be drawn. You think my outlook says it, but I don’t.
Without the line being drawn somewhere, mankind ultimately will be destroyed by itself.
I actually laughed. You’re serious? If morality is originated subjectively, and morals gradually change as we (and our cultures) do, the end = Armageddon.
Now that's just silly!
Everything would be permitted and nobody will stop it.
Except those who oppose it, you know, like how morals and laws have always worked?
You can't appeal to an objective reason, because now it doesn't exist. It's amazing how much the Enlightment movement put us back 2000 years.
Or we understand morality better now than at any point prior. Again, you seem to neglect how our brains work, how we naturally think and behave as a species. Do I need to repeat the bit about non-Christian cultures and cultures predating Christianity still, miraculously, having morals? Just because your favorite God doesn’t exist, does not mean humanity is incapable of agreeing morally and limiting behaviors seen as a detriment or just plain heinous.
Anyway I am rambling much too long, but let's get back to the initial issue: your purpose in life. If my purpose in life was to rape women, slaughter up their bodies, put them in body bags and throw them away you can't say anything. Remember that's my subjective purpose in life. I derive much pleasure from it, it's what keeps me happy. How can you object to that?
Easy. You’re a twisted, disgusting person. You need help. See, I illustrated the brain differences already, but even if morals were this magical entity not affected by our brains, I could still say that according to me: You’re evil, I despise you, how can you live with yourself? And react to you based on your actions; if I catch you in the process of raping or kidnapping a woman, I will still beat the **** out of you and protect her, because my morality demands it. I don’t care if it gives you pleasure, it would give me pleasure to end your activities and see you thrown in prison. Wow, look at that, I can have a sense of justice and enforce it without believing in a God. Imagine if every individual was like this? Imagine if there were a few odd people who did monstrous things, while 99% of the population would stop at nothing to ensure they can’t do said monstrous things, thus, they invent a system to prosecute people who disrupt the harmony they’re trying to perpetuate. Why, it would look a lot like the world we live in, I bet, and there’s no need for objective morality. Only unity in the species, cooperation, and agreement are needed.
So I say I'm happy because I do it, but that is not justification for the behavior. I could very much maintain the same happiness if I painted little wooden sailboats. You say we can get onto a platform that is healthy and stable, yet that is subjective on what you and I attest to is "healthy and stable". I think it's healthy to rape women and you don't think it is. Therefore our platform splits. We won't come to an agreement. This is exactly why objectivity plays an important role on having a foundation that both parties can rely upon.
Here’s a really far-out, trippy idea. Stay with me. What if we had these things called brains? And they have these things called instincts. What if sometimes the brains malfunction, resulting in instincts diametrically opposed to those of a healthy, well-functioning brain? What if brains could be treated and altered chemically to verify that they’re functioning improperly, thus establishing our normal instincts as correct. Nah, that would just be silly.
You say Western morality is on solid footing because that's how it has developed, yet that is because we are living the Christian ideal.
Bull. Our morality in this country is so far away from the bible it’s not even funny. Yes, many Westerners claim to be Christians and believe a guy named Jesus paid the bill, but our morality, overall, is vastly different. There’s also the whole denomination problem, and how many sects of Christianity preach separate morals based on their (subjective) interpretation of scripture.
I doubt the argument can even be made that it’s due to our ancestors’ Christian foundation. Why? Other countries with they have different religions, some being equally civilized as us. I guess their Gods must exist too, because their source of objective morality seems to be doing fine.
We live in a post-Christian society whether or not you like it.
Now that I agree with. It’s definitely post-Bible. Maybe not post-Christian, per se. Most of America’s populace is ‘Christian’, and claims to uphold ‘Christian values’. Though, the values are quite different and, at times, in opposition of both the New and Old Testament.
Many scientific, medical discoveries would not have happened if it wasn't for Christianity. (I made a thread about this if you disagree, so I'd like to move that piece of the debate there)I disagree, but I, unlike you, don’t have insight into the history of alternate dimensions where events in this one never occurred.
My purpose in life? To be in communion with God, which all practicing and faithful Christians would agree with. We were made into the image and likeness of God, and God Himself wants His creation to partake into his divinity (not ontologically speaking). A relationship that will infinitely grow, as God is infinite, into love more and more. It will be a process that never ends. That's not to say we do this individually either, because we must also take care of our neighbor. Just as we love God we must also love our neighbor. That's the purpose. Everything else is spurious. Even if God did not exist, the material pursuit ultimately would not matter because we would all reach the same conclusion: vanishment.
Unless we were living beings who cared and generated purpose, causing it to exist. I love how you call achieving your dreams or, presumably, doing anything with your mortal life a ‘material pursuit’. How vacuous. It’s okay to admit we’re mortal, and to want our short existence to thrive, and others’ lives be made better. It’s not a bad thing. It’s not a selfish thing. You’re living your life believing you have a personal lifeline to a universe-creating entity and will form a relationship with it post mortem and live forever beside it. Your pursuit is vain. You live in a certain way not for the benefit of your fellow man—that is a masquerade. You live a selfish existence, hoping for that bounty of unending treasure in the sky. You think yourself an immortal who will receive a God’s wisdom. Let that sink in.
Although I wouldn't advocate pascal's wager as an approach to life, I would say that as an atheist he is on the losing side. Let me show you what I mean.
Much like any refutation to Pascal’s Wager, my first objection is: This is not how belief works. You propose your position because it has a meatier reward, a stick-dangling carrot. I know about it, in fact, I know a lot about most mainstream religions. The fact that you’re so sure of an afterlife and its self-gratifying, intellectually masturbatory reward does not increase its likelihood to me. I don’t believe it’s real. I would like to think a soul is real, and some form of temporary afterlife or reincarnation. But what I’d like to believe does not alter reality. I don’t believe these things because I do not see them as likely. No amount of ruminating over the juicy benefits of one point of view will persuade me. I’m not so cheaply bribed.
But let's try to address the following
Because vain existence can never exist. (Quote from OC.net forum member minasoliman)
Except when it does, making your sentence sound outlandishly pretentious/meaningless.
But seriously, the reason being is that without something that lasts forever our purpose has none.
How clouded your thinking is. It really is true, without your faith you honestly see no point to life, to love, to socialization, to dreams, to goals, to effort, to caring, to the future. Unless YOU are immortal, nobody’s purpose matters. Cool story, bro. (Yeah, I’m pretty much done with being remotely polite at this point; my understanding of your mind has taken a sharp turn for the worse.)
Let me illustrate why. If my goal in life was to become rich, have alot of girls, cars, etc and I take pleasure in this life but ultimately it doesn't matter because the consciousness will cease to exist on death.
No, you DID exist. Your mind was at one point functioning, and you impacted other minds. When an event becomes the past, it does not stop existing. Do you often wonder where outside went when you close the blinds? An event’s age has no bearing on whether it occurred, mattered or still matters. Also, of course your example is of a cliché-ridden, selfish playboy. I guess saying ‘doctor who’s saved countless thousands of lives’ might make your argument sound mean or something.
Did you read the script? What’s that over there, is that the—
Numer 634: Nothing about these arguments makes any sense, oh please somebody kill me.
Nothingness I go to, I will not feel any sort of "relief" from dying.
Wow, way to not understand what I meant by bringing up the Fountain. His immortal life was torturous, and the idea of finally not existing—his impending death—came to thrill him exorbitantly. I never said the verb, as in, to die, caused relief. Reading comprehension, buy it today at the low, low price of fifty shekels.
Same thing about taking care of the environment, the argument is made that if I take care of the planet now then I can leave it good enough behind for future generations. However when I die, and we are taking the case no afterlife exists, how will I know it was taken care of?
Wow, you’re just a wonderful person, aren’t you? YOU won’t be around to see it; therefore, it does not matter? Why does your existence dictate what does and does not matter? Oh, right, all of existence and every life on the planet only means something if you get to become immortal and form a relationship with a universe-creating entity. Other people’s feelings? Empathy? Longing to ensure your loved ones will thrive with or without you? Love? What are those, some kind of make-believe?
After death, a second later WW3 erupts and destroys the planet. Even if WW3 didn't erupt, or sun would eventually become a gas giant making life null on this Earth (please correct me if my science is off) or an eventually heat death occurred none of it would matter.
Why must things matter objectively in order to matter? I’m sorry, I don’t get this. Why do people who are living, their thoughts, emotions, aspirations and passion only matter if they’re really controlled by immortal beings who cannot perish? Things matter now to living beings, meaning exists and will for as long as there are organisms. Meaning, right now, does not get undone when humanity perishes. The past does not change when there are suddenly no organisms. Purpose exists right now, and the fact that it did exist will never change. Caring about your loved ones, having children, buying a house, achieving a respectable career or investing your life in artistic pursuits are not unimportant because you will die. You care about your loved ones, right? You care if people respect you or think well of you, right? You desire to do things, and to accomplish tasks, right? Will any of those emotions be written out of history and people’s memories upon your death? Your life and those of others matter now, they have meaning, and the meaning they had to us will never go away, in a hundred years, or a billion, the past will never disappear.
This is why I brought up that wager, even if say for example myself was to deny all the pleasures of the world in hope of an afterlife vs the person who enjoys those worldly pleasures....
Assuming going to an afterlife has anything to do with how one lives one’s life.
and let's say there is no afterlife then it wouldn't matter how we lived because we become nothing.
You’re a broken goddamn record; you never learn or alter your arguments based on new information. I’ve said dozens of times why it does matter in this life how we conduct ourselves. For one, yes, it is (based on my current understanding of reality) your one, finite opportunity to exist. WHY WASTE IT? Why throw it away getting imprisoned or going down a path that will lead to people who like and love you thinking ill of you? Why would you blow your only chance to enjoy what life has to offer? Not even counting how, as I’ve said time and time again, succeeding, helping, loving, and doing good are practically instincts hardwired into us, assuming we grew up in a healthy environment. So, one would have to go far out of his or her way, wants, desires, and anything about them that makes them, them in order to sabotage their lives and do evil. I can’t say it more intelligibly: We are alive and things matter to us, the fact that they DID matter never changes and things do not need to matter forever in order for them to matter temporarily, which is still the state of MATTERING. Criminy.
We can try as hard as we might to extend a little bit of our life here on Earth, but ultimately its in vain because death is death, in the eyes of the atheist.
Yes, death is our end. Why would you make it come quicker? Why would you shorten the only opportunity you have to exist? It literally makes no sense. Are you some kind of pseudo-solipsist? I mean, you are aware that other people are sentient beings who desire to exist and to be healthy, to love and be loved, right? I’m beginning to wonder. Seriously.
So what purpose on life are you going to have then? Live however you want to, not caring about anyone else, leading yourself into nihilism? Because that's logically where it goes.
No it doesn’t, you infuriating snake! Why does not believing yourself to be an immortal mean you stop caring about people? How does that follow? I’ve never once encountered one of these cartoon Atheists you’re talking about. The only Atheists I know have huge circles of friends, love people, have families and lead very rich, fulfilling lives. You keep saying Atheism leads to nihilism but every Atheist seems to be saying you’re an imbecile for saying it, and demonstrating it as not the case. Do you ever stop and think: Hmmm, maybe I have some kind of irrational prejudice against people who don’t share my worldview? Time and time again I say being an Atheist is NOT about living however you want and not caring about others (an activity that contradicts one of the strongest aspects of healthy individuals’ psyche), and yet you persist in repeating what I have continuously shown to be incorrect.
However for me I want that hope for something after this life. It's a tragedy in life that we die, truly it is. We just get a glimpse of something so spectacular in this world, in this universe, and a glimpse its gone forever. Never for us to see it again, how depressing.
It’s really not depressing in the least. We’re lucky to exist at all.
But even if I do believe in an afterlife I can confidently walk towards my grave with the hope I will live on after this worldly death. Even if I am wrong I will never know I'm wrong. But if I'm right however, oh I'll have the pleasure knowing I'm right.
Your ego got ejaculate on me. Ew.
There was a fellow from OC.net named theo philosopher who brought up a point I didn't think about. "If death was a natural cause we would embrace it. But why do we have such a hard time embracing death?
Wait, you’re saying death is not natural? As in, organisms are not supposed to cease existing? Okay then. Makes perfect sense. Well, let’s look at this a bit closer. All organisms strive to live, to fend off predators, to satisfy hunger, to reproduce and care for offspring, those who do not, fail as a species, and many HAVE. Natural selection favored those who sought to live prosperously and fought to protect their existence, so, those who did not failed to pass on their inert attitudes. Simple.
Yet, if death were natural, we would simply embrace it. Even some animals know death is wrong, that it shouldn't be this way. Why do we give a eulogy when ultimately it doesn't matter? Now you might argue that our fear of death is because we are hardwired to survive. But why do we desire survival? If survival is hardwired as desirable, then what do we make of sacrifice?"
We, like many mammals, are highly social and we value the lives of those we care about like they were our own. Protecting them is almost equal to protecting ourselves. Also, to say it is hardwired and then ask why we desire is a classic case of answering your own question. Our ancestors instilled an almost-unbreakable will in us, a disposition, to desire survival.
Though, as organisms who desire continuing their existence, death makes it difficult for us to cope. Many animals will search for a place to die alone, so as not to elicit sorrow in its companions or out of shame, perhaps. Our instincts and our more complex wants beg for us to keep living. I’d say the majority of people go into denial about death, and tell themselves they’ll truly never die.
You can't argue that it's not something that's really worth hoping for. Because it is, it's one of the most beautiful things that as creatures we hope for it. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things.
Well, sure. But believing in something super-duper hard doesn’t make it so. Hope all you want, if it enriches your life to think of yourself as an immortal being who will someday build a relationship with an omnipotent deity, more power to you. Whatever helps you sleep at night. I simply don’t see it as likely, and no matter how much I wish something were the case, I’m sensible enough to admit when it’s probably not.
Narcissistic though? Nah narcissistic would be saying that I only have this short amount of time in this life to be doing what I want to do.
What? You just did the argumentative equivalent of using ‘no u’ as a rebuttal. Actually, admitting your mortality and limitations as a finite being is not narcissistic at all; it’s humble.
Not if we last forever with communion with God. Where our relationship with God continues to grow infinitely with love. No more tears shed in pain, suffering or any of that. It would be eternal joy.
Yes, yes, yes, there won’t be pain there, God will have an equal amount of time to bond with everyone, rainbows will unceasingly have sex with lollipops and your childhood dog will come rushing into your arms to lick your face. I know the story. But how will the joy truly remain for billions of years? It makes no sense to me. What if the love of your life goes to hell? Yeah, I’m sure your eternity in heaven will be GREAT. Plus, if the bible is true, and Yahweh is literally the God in heaven; I want absolutely nothing to do with that villainous psychopath.