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Thread: No such thing as moral or immoral behavior. Only civilized and uncivilized behavior

  1. Top | #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiploc View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by no-one-particular View Post
    "There is no god" is a theist position?
    Theists often claim that without gods there would be no morality. With gods, you can have morality; without gods, you can't .

    That's a common theist position. There's no reason for any atheist to agree with it.
    Was that a yes or a no?
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  2. Top | #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiploc View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by no-one-particular View Post
    "There is no god" is a theist position?
    Theists often claim that without gods there would be no morality. With gods, you can have morality; without gods, you can't .

    That's a common theist position. There's no reason for any atheist to agree with it.
    Even if that is true the fact remains that many people that call themselves "atheists" do indeed agree with it.
    Teachers = Trees of knowledge
    Fruit is free
    Will you eat or are you afraid it will bite you?

  3. Top | #13
    Veteran Member Wiploc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no-one-particular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Wiploc View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by no-one-particular View Post
    "There is no god" is a theist position?
    Theists often claim that without gods there would be no morality. With gods, you can have morality; without gods, you can't .

    That's a common theist position. There's no reason for any atheist to agree with it.
    Was that a yes or a no?
    Theists believe there are gods. Atheists don't. Some atheists believe there are no gods.

    "There is no god," is not a theist position.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by no-one-particular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Wiploc View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by no-one-particular View Post
    "There is no god" is a theist position?
    Theists often claim that without gods there would be no morality. With gods, you can have morality; without gods, you can't .

    That's a common theist position. There's no reason for any atheist to agree with it.
    Even if that is true the fact remains that many people that call themselves "atheists" do indeed agree with it.
    True, but it's a bad move, a mistake.

  4. Top | #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by no-one-particular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    In the abcient Japanese Samurai period public suicie was condiered an honorable civilized act.

    Beyond generic based behavior all morality and morality is based on the culture.
    We have the death penalty here too. The difference is that they were shamed into killing themselves. Shame is believing that you did something immoral. There is no such thing as moral or immoral behavior. Only civilized and uncivilized behavior. Thats the whole point of this thread.
    There is a Pacific island where the culture does not consider bare female breasts as sexually proactive or immoral. In their culture it is the exposed thigh. Cultural norms of morality varies with location and time.

    I was told by someone at a company I visited periodically founded and run by Chinese immigrants not to cross legs and expose the bottom of a shoe to view. It is considered an insult.

  5. Top | #15
    Contributor Speakpigeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no-one-particular View Post
    An objective person is a person with sufficient objectivity to understand that the universe does not revolve around their ego.
    A civilized society is a society whose laws do not revolve around any one person or any one group of people.
    The more a society treats everyone as equals the more civilized it is.

    But treating everyone as equals is not the same thing as treating everyone exactly the same.
    If we treated everyone the way that extroverts want to be treated then people who are introverted would suffer.
    Treating everyone as if they were exactly the same is pseudo-civilization.

    Civilization is an emergent property. It has emerged from the law of the jungle. It is not part of the law of the jungle. It is separate from the law of the jungle. It is beyond the law of the jungle. It is above the law of the jungle. It is something entirely new. Civilization is what separates man from the animals. Humans are (in varying degrees) civilized. Animals are not.


    There are 3 common positions:
    1) The Theist position: There exists a magical and totally selfless being called 'god' that is the source of all morality (godliness) and civilized behavior should be derived from this morality.
    2) The Hyper-empirical position: There is no 'god' therefore there is no morality (godliness) and therefore there is no such thing as civilized behavior (only mob rule) and everyone is free to do whatever they can get away with.
    3) The Rationalist position: Civilization and civilized behavior are emergent properties that arises whenever you have a large number of objective human beings interacting with one another. A civilized society is a society governed by proper laws. Proper laws do not give any one person or any one group of people any special rights. All people have equal rights in a civilized society. Civilized behavior is behavior that respects proper laws, rules, and expectations.


    In the hyper-empirical (autistic) world view, a person is seen as just a "collection of atoms" and since it is not improper to use, abuse, or manipulate atoms to one's own ends it is, therefore, not thought improper to use, abuse, or manipulate people to one's own ends.

    On the face of it, this almost seems reasonable. After all, we are indeed made entirely of atoms (or some other units that can be modeled mathematically). It fails, however, to take into account the emergent phenomena that make a human being so much more than "just atoms". Atoms don't have thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, or aspirations but people do. Clearly, being "made of" something (for example atoms) is not the same thing as "being" something.

    Sometimes hyper-empirical people will avoid the phrase "humans are just atoms" and will opt instead for "humans are just animals". Both phrases express the same underlying idea
    As much as I would like to be able to agree with that I don't.

    First, the notion of "emergence" is too fuzzy to make sense. To talk as you do of B as having "emerged" from A is just confused ontology that won't ever produce anything usefully practical.

    Rather, you could usefully think in terms of just one system, say S. Then you could describe a particular state of S as being A, and another state of S as being B, and then explain how A and B are different from each other. Then you could usefully try to understand how S could transition from A to B, or indeed from B to A. That will always make sense and it's been shown to work. At least, I would hope so since all our machines are understood under this paradigm. There's no good reason not to apply this to human societies, and indeed to all questions about reality, although sometimes it may be really hard.

    Second, there is no good reason to believe that the rational way to go about being civilised would be to treat each other as equals, as you suggest. In fact, the very-very societies that may look like being the more civilised, i.e. Western societies for most people living in Western societies, are also those that have been able to commit the most massive massacres in the whole history of human civilisations, i.e. industrialised World War I and World War II by industrialised, and "more civilised", countries, and the totalitarian regimes in the Soviet Union and in China born out of Western ideological struggles, and the Holocaust of the Jews by Nazi Germany, arguably the most uncivilised of all atrocities ever, committed by arguably the most civilised country at the time. And it is easy to see how capitalism works better than socialism essentially because of the principle that people are equal but don't have to be treated exactly in the same way, which invariably leads to people actually not being treated as equals. I haven't found a way around this contradiction, as Marx would have qualified it, and I don't think anybody has either. All I see is people tiptoeing around the elephant in the room, with a massive dose of hypocrisy to alleviate the pain. Keep talking.
    EB

  6. Top | #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by no-one-particular View Post
    An objective person is a person with sufficient objectivity to understand that the universe does not revolve around their ego.
    A civilized society is a society whose laws do not revolve around any one person or any one group of people.
    The more a society treats everyone as equals the more civilized it is.

    But treating everyone as equals is not the same thing as treating everyone exactly the same.
    If we treated everyone the way that extroverts want to be treated then people who are introverted would suffer.
    Treating everyone as if they were exactly the same is pseudo-civilization.

    Civilization is an emergent property. It has emerged from the law of the jungle. It is not part of the law of the jungle. It is separate from the law of the jungle. It is beyond the law of the jungle. It is above the law of the jungle. It is something entirely new. Civilization is what separates man from the animals. Humans are (in varying degrees) civilized. Animals are not.


    There are 3 common positions:
    1) The Theist position: There exists a magical and totally selfless being called 'god' that is the source of all morality (godliness) and civilized behavior should be derived from this morality.
    2) The Hyper-empirical position: There is no 'god' therefore there is no morality (godliness) and therefore there is no such thing as civilized behavior (only mob rule) and everyone is free to do whatever they can get away with.
    3) The Rationalist position: Civilization and civilized behavior are emergent properties that arises whenever you have a large number of objective human beings interacting with one another. A civilized society is a society governed by proper laws. Proper laws do not give any one person or any one group of people any special rights. All people have equal rights in a civilized society. Civilized behavior is behavior that respects proper laws, rules, and expectations.


    In the hyper-empirical (autistic) world view, a person is seen as just a "collection of atoms" and since it is not improper to use, abuse, or manipulate atoms to one's own ends it is, therefore, not thought improper to use, abuse, or manipulate people to one's own ends.

    On the face of it, this almost seems reasonable. After all, we are indeed made entirely of atoms (or some other units that can be modeled mathematically). It fails, however, to take into account the emergent phenomena that make a human being so much more than "just atoms". Atoms don't have thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, or aspirations but people do. Clearly, being "made of" something (for example atoms) is not the same thing as "being" something.

    Sometimes hyper-empirical people will avoid the phrase "humans are just atoms" and will opt instead for "humans are just animals". Both phrases express the same underlying idea
    As much as I would like to be able to agree with that I don't.

    First, the notion of "emergence" is too fuzzy to make sense. To talk as you do of B as having "emerged" from A is just confused ontology that won't ever produce anything usefully practical.

    Rather, you could usefully think in terms of just one system, say S. Then you could describe a particular state of S as being A, and another state of S as being B, and then explain how A and B are different from each other. Then you could usefully try to understand how S could transition from A to B, or indeed from B to A. That will always make sense and it's been shown to work. At least, I would hope so since all our machines are understood under this paradigm. There's no good reason not to apply this to human societies, and indeed to all questions about reality, although sometimes it may be really hard.

    Second, there is no good reason to believe that the rational way to go about being civilised would be to treat each other as equals, as you suggest. In fact, the very-very societies that may look like being the more civilised, i.e. Western societies for most people living in Western societies, are also those that have been able to commit the most massive massacres in the whole history of human civilisations, i.e. industrialised World War I and World War II by industrialised, and "more civilised", countries, and the totalitarian regimes in the Soviet Union and in China born out of Western ideological struggles, and the Holocaust of the Jews by Nazi Germany, arguably the most uncivilised of all atrocities ever, committed by arguably the most civilised country at the time. And it is easy to see how capitalism works better than socialism essentially because of the principle that people are equal but don't have to be treated exactly in the same way, which invariably leads to people actually not being treated as equals. I haven't found a way around this contradiction, as Marx would have qualified it, and I don't think anybody has either. All I see is people tiptoeing around the elephant in the room, with a massive dose of hypocrisy to alleviate the pain. Keep talking.
    EB
    Good neoMarxist interpretation, I think on reading it quickly.

    Also brings out the fact that it is not an explanation of the reason Why?

    The reason Why? being simply that human nature has not changed in the past 10,000 or 1 million years, but the technology of killing has "improved" greatly, as has all technology, even the "technology" of philosophy, that is of worrying about things like killing your neighbours. Whether you call that worrying morality, civilization or religion or give it some other label does not really matter.
    Last edited by 4321lynx; 01-11-2019 at 04:56 PM.

  7. Top | #17
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    n-o-p said

    A civilized society is a society whose laws do not revolve around any one person or any one group of people.
    Then we've never seen a civilized society. All civilizations, religions, cults, traditions, were created and encouraged or discouraged over time in the service of one people: Egyptians, Chinese (e.g. Han), Hindu, various Mesopotamian nations, Arabs, Englishmen, Russians, etc.
    Others were "persuaded" to join or enslaved or wiped out. It was never immoral to kill an enemy, and an enemy or potential enemy was anyone who was different and was unreasonable, that is would not do as he was told. And what has changed?

    The 10 commandments refer to what a Jew should not do to a neighbour. That this neighbour is another Jew and not just anyone who lives near you the 613 Rules make plain. Their neighbour was Canaan. And this applies to all religions and civilizations, except perhaps Buddhism and a philosophy like Confucius' philosophy. But note how even these are applied in practice.

    And note that the Wermacht had on their belts Gott Mit Uns, and that did not stop them from being very active in the Holocaust in the East, ie in Russia, Ukraine etc I don't know if the SS had the same.

    Oh there were/are attempts: League of Nations, the UN, the EU, but these are not civilizations.

  8. Top | #18
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Snippets in support of no-one-particular{

    All men are created equal

    freedom of religion

    liberty fraternity equality

    ...

  9. Top | #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    Snippets in support of no-one-particular{

    All men are created equal

    freedom of religion

    liberty fraternity equality

    ...
    great slogans for sure.

  10. Top | #20
    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    Created - yes, we didn't cause ourselves to exist.

    Equality - yes, this is a transcendent declaration. It requires an objective Higher Umpire. It cannot be a subjective claim. Humans can't subjectively 'grant' equality to other humans because if that were possible, humans could likewise deny equality to their fellow humans.

    Liberty - yes, and the highest freedom is free will. The soul. Contra liberty is the idea of determinism and materialism.

    Fraternity - yes, siblings share a common (capital "F") Father

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