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Old Apr 26, 2012, 07:04 PM   #126
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But what do you call the same kinds of behaviours when exhibited by other species?
Lucky happenstance?
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 07:07 PM   #127
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No, my argument is not that. My argument is that we live in a universe in which one thing must necessarily come from another. Therefore, there must be something that caused the universe, something that caused this universe in which a causal relationship is necessary, that exists merely because it exists.
At the quantum level things increasingly appear not to obey these assumptions. It is a place where your intuition is not applicable.

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Except that you're calling one instinct intrinsically good and calling it "morals."
No, I have only provided an argument that posits an origin of morality that does not require religion.

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Yet all your evidence against religion denies the ability for morality to exist. Morality is the ability to distinguish between good and evil, yet you seem to deny that such a thing even exists, that all that drives behavior that we call "morality" is just a survival instinct. If it is merely a survival instinct, then no action can be good or evil; it just either helps or hurts our survival. And then again, survival has no intrinsic value, unless you choose to believe it does.
I hadn't realized we concluded that religion is necessary for morals to exist.

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Because you've denied the existence of good and evil, merely what helps you survive and not survive. Therefore slavery cannot be evil, and on top of that, it didn't hurt survival so it isn't contrary to our survival instinct. I'm curious as to what grounds you'd argue that our move from accepting slavery to not accepting slavery is an improvement.
"Good" and "Evil" have not been denied by anything I have written. It is your assumption that neither could possibly exist without religion. I strongly disagree.

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True, although with the non-created Universe, there is no longer any such thing as morals.
I hadn't realized we concluded that religion is necessary for morals to exist.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 07:12 PM   #128
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True, although with the non-created Universe, there is no longer any such thing as morals.
We create morals all by ourselves.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 07:14 PM   #129
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I hadn't realized we concluded that religion is necessary for morals to exist.
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We create morals all by ourselves.
Good. I was not aware that morals were proprietary to religion in any way.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 07:24 PM   #130
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Good. I was not aware that morals were proprietary to religion in any way.
It's fairly irrelevant anyway, as we cretae religions all by ourselves too, and what are religions but proprietary moral codes?
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 07:25 PM   #131
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But what do you call the same kinds of behaviours when exhibited by other species?
"Animal behavior"? I'm not an animal behaviorist, so I don't have a word for it. I just know the word isn't "morals."

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At the quantum level things increasingly appear not to obey these assumptions. It is a place where your intuition is not applicable.
It's funny because the more I learn about what happens at the quantum level, the more reasonable it seems to me to believe in God, whereas for you it seems to have the opposite effect.

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No, I have only provided an argument that posits an origin of morality that does not require religion.
I'm confused. You're arguing that there is such a thing as morality (i.e. there is such a thing as good and evil, since morality is the distinction between good and evil), but then turn around and say that morality is derived from instinct. So either you arbitrarily assigning good and evil to a particular instinct or your denying that there is such a thing as morality at all, that it's just instinct.

You're arguing in circles.

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I hadn't realized we concluded that religion is necessary for morals to exist.
We hadn't. If you read my post there, you see that I put my conclusion first ("Yet all your evidence against religion denies the ability for morality to exist.") and then put the support after it ("Morality is the ability to distinguish between good and evil, yet you seem to deny that such a thing even exists, that all that drives behavior that we call "morality" is just a survival instinct. If it is merely a survival instinct, then no action can be good or evil; it just either helps or hurts our survival. And then again, survival has no intrinsic value, unless you choose to believe it does.").

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"Good" and "Evil" have not been denied by anything I have written. It is your assumption that neither could possibly exist without religion. I strongly disagree.
First, I never said that good and evil could not exist without religion. I said that belief is required, since you must believe that there is such a thing as good and evil.

Second, by denying belief, you have denied the existence of good and evil.

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We create morals all by ourselves.
Then no moral system is better than any other since they are all created independently by the individual, and we have no basis of discussion or reaching agreement. I can respect the thought, but I find it ultimately useless in practice.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 07:37 PM   #132
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"Animal behavior"? I'm not an animal behaviorist, so I don't have a word for it. I just know the word isn't "morals."
If it behaves like a duck...

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Then no moral system is better than any other since they are all created independently by the individual, and we have no basis of discussion or reaching agreement. I can respect the thought, but I find it ultimately useless in practice.
Define "useless". I would say, on the contrary, that codes of conduct evolved among socialised species appear to be extremely "useful".
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 07:39 PM   #133
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Then no moral system is better than any other since they are all created independently by the individual, and we have no basis of discussion or reaching agreement. I can respect the thought, but I find it ultimately useless in practice.

Given that morals are subjective, that's basically true. What one group defines as morally right or wrong might not be viewed as the same for the next group.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 07:42 PM   #134
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If it behaves like a duck...
But doesn't have the one distinguishing feature of a duck...

(Well, for morality, the ability to reflect on what you're doing and make a choice.)

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Define "useless". I would say, on the contrary, that codes of conduct evolved among socialised species appear to be extremely "useful".
Oh, I find morality to be very useful. But claiming that it is just made up whole cloth by the individual is useless. It makes it impossible to create codes of conduct that are accepted by societies as a whole.

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Given that morals are subjective, that's basically true. What one group defines as morally right or wrong might not be viewed as the same for the next group.
So there is no point in condemning anyone's actions as immoral, since the action might be moral in the eyes of the one performing the action.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 07:42 PM   #135
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(Well, for morality, the ability to reflect on what you're doing and make a choice.)
Reflection, for what it's worth, usually comes after the choice, by definition.

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Oh, I find morality to be very useful. But claiming that it is just made up whole cloth by the individual is useless. It makes it impossible to create codes of conduct that are accepted by societies as a whole.
O ye of little faith!

The important aspects of our various codes of conduct among humans seem to mesh pretty well on the whole - just as you would expect from any successful species of socialised animal.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 07:43 PM   #136
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Then no moral system is better than any other since they are all created independently by the individual, and we have no basis of discussion or reaching agreement. I can respect the thought, but I find it ultimately useless in practice.
At no time in the History of Man, until now, have we had the tools of instant communication to reach agreement on moral issues.

Witness the debacle with the winning goal in last-night's hockey game.

Instant condemnation of blatant racist thoughts.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 07:57 PM   #137
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So there is no point in condemning anyone's actions as immoral, since the action might be moral in the eyes of the one performing the action.


Each society has to decide on what is or isn't morally right and aspects tend to change over time. Society has come to accept that a basis of rules and laws is needed in order to survive as a society. Society created a system for judging based on those rules and laws, much of which is created on the moral view of whats right and wrong. With in this system there are times at which people who's views differ from the rest of society have the chance to fight for those views, even when they go against the norm of society. Many cases that go in front of the SCOUTS can be broken down to the basic form of what some consider morally right/wrong against the current view. The abortion issue is a prime example of differing viewpoints with a basis in morals.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 08:10 PM   #138
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I'm confused. You're arguing that there is such a thing as morality (i.e. there is such a thing as good and evil, since morality is the distinction between good and evil), but then turn around and say that morality is derived from instinct. So either you arbitrarily assigning good and evil to a particular instinct or your denying that there is such a thing as morality at all, that it's just instinct.

You're arguing in circles.
The crux of the issue was already best expressed by Skunk. If you honestly cannot understand how behaviors that allow for social grouping, which in turn is what allows for humans to not only survive, but succeed then I really don't know how else to approach the question with you.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 08:12 PM   #139
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The important aspects of our various codes of conduct among humans seem to mesh pretty well on the whole - just as you would expect from any successful species of socialised animal.
True, although it still doesn't provide a basis for discussion and agreement when there are disagreements.

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Each society has to decide on what is or isn't morally right and aspects tend to change over time. Society has come to accept that a basis of rules and laws is needed in order to survive as a society. Society created a system for judging based on those rules and laws, much of which is created on the moral view of whats right and wrong. With in this system there are times at which people who's views differ from the rest of society have the chance to fight for those views, even when they go against the norm of society. Many cases that go in front of the SCOUTS can be broken down to the basic form of what some consider morally right/wrong against the current view. The abortion issue is a prime example of differing viewpoints with a basis in morals.
How do you define "society"? Can we condemn slavery in other cultures, or is it morally okay since it's okay in their society?

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The crux of the issue was already best expressed by Skunk. If you honestly cannot understand how behaviors that allow for social grouping, which in turn is what allows for humans to not only survive, but succeed then I really don't know how else to approach the question with you.
I understand the "how" quite well. What you've failed to demonstrate is how an evolved process makes the leap to defining good and evil. I can describe the process by which an eye evolved and how it was useful to the organism, but that doesn't make the eye good or evil. It just is.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 08:18 PM   #140
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How do you define "society"? Can we condemn slavery in other cultures, or is it morally okay since it's okay in their society?[COLOR="#808080"]

Society is just what it means. And we condemn other cultures all the time for many different things. We are condemning Syria right now and we just finished condemning Egypt and Libya. Sometimes we even intervene.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 08:19 PM   #141
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What you've failed to demonstrate is how an evolved process makes the leap to defining good and evil.
Enlightened self-interest doesn't do it for you??
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 08:27 PM   #142
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I understand the "how" quite well. What you've failed to demonstrate is how an evolved process makes the leap to defining good and evil. I can describe the process by which an eye evolved and how it was useful to the organism, but that doesn't make the eye good or evil. It just is.
Ok. Here we go. Humans survive better in social groups. Behaviors that disrupt the cohesiveness of that social group are "bad" behaviors. Acts that benefit the group are "good" behaviors.

Here is a little quiz. For each statement, decide if you would want to be in my group or leave for another group:

1: I randomly murder people in my group.
2: I give extra food to people in my group.
3: I steal from people in my group.
4: I assist others in finding shelter in my group.
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 08:34 PM   #143
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True, although it still doesn't provide a basis for discussion and agreement when there are disagreements.
Why not? Can we not reach agreement based on a shared view of socially acceptable behaviours?
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 10:57 PM   #144
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Can one clearly define "good" and "evil"? Seems like this is the crucial dichotomy upon which morality must be based, but is it possible to make a consistent, reliable delineation? In order for morality to be codified, the line must be clearly drawn between the two, but who decides where and how to draw it? If some deity is the source, who can we trust to serve as the deity's emissary, and how is that determination made?
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Old Apr 27, 2012, 01:11 AM   #145
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Can one clearly define "good" and "evil"? Seems like this is the crucial dichotomy upon which morality must be based, but is it possible to make a consistent, reliable delineation? In order for morality to be codified, the line must be clearly drawn between the two, but who decides where and how to draw it? If some deity is the source, who can we trust to serve as the deity's emissary, and how is that determination made?

Well yeah, "good" and "evil" are human constructs.
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Old Apr 27, 2012, 01:58 AM   #146
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Well yeah, "good" and "evil" are human constructs.
But without "good" and "evil", there simply cannot be morality. If that binary choice, the absolute fundamental basis for morality is, without doubt, a human construct (about which there may be some debate, such as it is), morality itself cannot be seen to originate from a deity.

I suppose a deity could itself be a human construct and at the same time have all the necessary divine properties, but the model must be viable, which we have not seen so far.
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Old Apr 27, 2012, 02:29 AM   #147
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But without "good" and "evil", there simply cannot be morality. If that binary choice, the absolute fundamental basis for morality is, without doubt, a human construct (about which there may be some debate, such as it is), morality itself cannot be seen to originate from a deity.

I suppose a deity could itself be a human construct and at the same time have all the necessary divine properties, but the model must be viable, which we have not seen so far.

Well they all are human constructs. Without proof of a deity in the first place it defaults as a human construct. The problem with the religious view is that they believe morality comes from their god. The problem with this is two fold. One is the amount of gods/deities that have existed through out human history. There is no one god that has provided morals for all. This leads us into the second problem. Humanity has developed a sense of right and wrong in pretty much every part of the world. Without the need to carry on those ideas from other places.

The History channel (or one of those stations) did a great show on morality and the development of laws throughout human history. Showing how different cultures, many of which who never had contact with each other, learned to develop the basic notion of morals and laws. All these different cultures did this with different religious and philosophical beliefs.

So I think it's right on the money to say the morality did not originate from a deity/god.
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Old Apr 27, 2012, 03:42 AM   #148
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How is this discussion still going on? Macaddicttt, can't you just look up Morality on Wikipedia instead of having these dudes spell it out for you?
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Old Apr 27, 2012, 03:46 AM   #149
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It's funny because the more I learn about what happens at the quantum level, the more reasonable it seems to me to believe in God, whereas for you it seems to have the opposite effect.
If that's how you interpret it then fine. But when you learn about 'the quantum level' you should realise that you can't throw statements like 'everything has a cause' or 'you can't get something from nothing' around. It's an assumption that has never been proven, and in fact there is plenty of evidence to suggest its not true! Of course there is a whole debate to be had on what 'cause' and 'effect' are, and the same for 'nothing' or 'something', on a quantum level it's not clear what these words really mean!
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Old Apr 27, 2012, 10:33 AM   #150
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If I took my morality from the bible I'd be in prison, or a mental institute.

Id have to:
  • Burn a bull on the Altar, it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord. (Lev.1:9)
  • Sell my daughter into slavery. (Exodus 21:7)
  • Forbid any contact with any women during her period. (Lev.15:19-24)
  • Possess Male & Female Slaves, provided they are from neighbouring nations. (Lev.25:44)
  • Put my Neighbour to death, as he insists on working on the Sabbath. (Exodus 35:2)
  • Eating Shellfish is an abomination. (Lev. 11:10)
  • Sadly I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight, I don't have 20:20 Vision. (Lev. 21:20)
  • Kill my friends who insist on having their hair trimmed, including around their temples. (Lev. 19:27)
  • I can no longer play Football, as touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean. (Lev. 11:6-8)
  • Kill any Farmer that plants 2 different crops in the same field. (Lev. 19:19)
  • Kill anyone who wears clothing made of two different kinds of thread. (Lev 19:19 Again)

This is inherently the issue I have with people taking their morality from the Bible, condemning Homosexuals and such because "The Bible says it's wrong". Well I have news, the Bible says a lot of things are wrong, yet you do them anyway. If you're going to pick and choose what you want to follow in the Bible, don't condemn and criticize others because they picked and chose different things.

Sorry my friend, but you are doing exactly what you are accusing others of doing. Please don't proof text and take the message of scripture out of context. Your lack of understanding regarding the Old and New Testaments and hence the Old vs. New Covenant is apparent. I'm not trying to be mean or rude, what I'm saying is that your ignorance about these matters is causing you to make inaccurate claims about what the Bible says. People of faith today are not called to do any of what you are claiming so please don't put misinformation out there.
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