1. Standard memberdj2becker
    Tiger's ghost
    Shetland cemetery
    Joined
    01 Oct '04
    Moves
    11829
    19 Nov '05 12:39
    If you are are an Atheist, who decides what is good and evil? Who decides what is right and wrong? Is each person not the god of his/her little universe?
  2. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    Royal Oak, MI
    Joined
    09 Sep '01
    Moves
    26187
    19 Nov '05 13:25
    Originally posted by dj2becker
    If you are are an Atheist, who decides what is good and evil? Who decides what is right and wrong? Is each person not the god of his/her little universe?
    How many times do you have to have his answered before it sinks into your head? You have an amazing capacity to completley disregard all answers that don't match your desired conclusions.

    At the risk of sounding redundant, it is people within society who decide what is good and evil. They are cultural concepts. They are not absolute and are capable of being modified over time. As people almost universally dislike being murdered, they have declared murder to be evil. As they almost universally like being shown kindness, they have declared this to be good. But it is not strictly the individual who decides these things in isolation. Good and evil are cultural concepts with the collective opinion of the whole of society being brought to bear. Each person can only control his own actions, but he cannot singlehandedly alter the societal conception of what constitutes good and evil. So, alas, his powers fall far short of godhood.

    Now please store that answer into your memory banks and never ask the question again.
  3. Joined
    19 Nov '03
    Moves
    31382
    19 Nov '05 13:35
    Originally posted by rwingett
    How many times do you have to have his answered before it sinks into your head? You have an amazing capacity to completley disregard all answers that don't match your desired conclusions.

    At the risk of sounding redundant, it is people within society who decide what is good and evil. They are cultural concepts. They are not absolute and are capable of ...[text shortened]... dhood.

    Now please store that answer into your memory banks and never ask the question again.
    So much better than the way I was about ot put it, thank you.
  4. Standard memberKellyJay
    Walk your Faith
    USA
    Joined
    24 May '04
    Moves
    148424
    19 Nov '05 14:231 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    How many times do you have to have his answered before it sinks into your head? You have an amazing capacity to completley disregard all answers that don't match your desired conclusions.

    At the risk of sounding redundant, it is people within society who decide what is good and evil. They are cultural concepts. They are not absolute and are capable of ...[text shortened]... dhood.

    Now please store that answer into your memory banks and never ask the question again.
    If what is good is because of the personal taste of the many, then
    if different views can be introduced into the culture so that they
    spread like a cancern it can change the way people view people,
    places, practices and so on. There isn't a solid rock of morals within
    mankind that all are held too if what you said is true, what it is you
    have described is not right and wrong for the individual, only a group
    think that may or may not matter to splinter groups within the cultures
    and societies you find yourself in. If all views can change on right and
    wrong there really isn't a right and wrong we can be held too, what
    is good today may be bad tomorrow.
    Kelly
  5. Joined
    03 Feb '05
    Moves
    31794
    19 Nov '05 14:54
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    If what is good is because of the personal taste of the many, then
    if different views can be introduced into the culture so that they
    spread like a cancern it can change the way people view people,
    places, practices and so on. There isn't a solid rock of morals within
    mankind that all are held too if what you said is true, what it is you
    have describe ...[text shortened]... lly isn't a right and wrong we can be held too, what
    is good today may be bad tomorrow.
    Kelly
    Well yes, "what is good today can be right tomorrow" is true. Think Apartheid, segregation in the US, Rosa Parkes, the suffragettes, homosexuality, public (or private) execution etc etc etc.

    Truth is organic. Although I still think the world might be flat!
  6. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    Royal Oak, MI
    Joined
    09 Sep '01
    Moves
    26187
    19 Nov '05 15:01
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    If what is good is because of the personal taste of the many, then
    if different views can be introduced into the culture so that they
    spread like a cancern it can change the way people view people,
    places, practices and so on. There isn't a solid rock of morals within
    mankind that all are held too if what you said is true, what it is you
    have describe ...[text shortened]... lly isn't a right and wrong we can be held too, what
    is good today may be bad tomorrow.
    Kelly
    Yes, of course. Yesterday slavery was good. Today slavery is bad. Our perception of the institution of slavery has changed over the years. To overturn such a long held view requires a certain amount of people to hold a dissenting view from the established one. The status quo will either hold its own in the long run, or have the tide turn against it.

    But some values have been universally held by every culture and are not likely to ever change. The belief that murder is evil is one such example. Whereas with certain examples, like slavery, where the argument can be made that the institution can provide a net benefit to society under certain circumstances, no such argument can be made for murder. It will almost certainly continue to be universally disdained. But what does change is our conception of what constitutes murder. There are many examples of killing, which are not defined as murder, that are sanctioned by society (war, capital punishment, self defense, etc.}. We continue to tinker with these distinctions over time.

    Our morality continues to evolve and will likely do so for as long as humans are around.
  7. Joined
    13 Oct '04
    Moves
    7902
    19 Nov '05 18:132 edits
    Originally posted by dj2becker
    If you are are an Atheist, who decides what is good and evil? Who decides what is right and wrong? Is each person not the god of his/her little universe?
    You can base your choices on what you KNOW instead of belief.
    I can only speak for myself but here are some of the things that I know:
    - I want to be happy
    - I have compassion
    - I feel unhappy when I go against my compassion

    Why I do not kill?

    - I could kill but this would go against my compassion
    - Going against my compassion will make me unhappy
    - being unhappy is the opposite of what I want.
  8. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    23661
    19 Nov '05 20:21
    Originally posted by rwingett
    How many times do you have to have his answered before it sinks into your head? You have an amazing capacity to completley disregard all answers that don't match your desired conclusions.

    At the risk of sounding redundant, it is people within society who decide what is good and evil. They are cultural concepts. They are not absolute and are capable of ...[text shortened]... dhood.

    Now please store that answer into your memory banks and never ask the question again.
    In your reasoning perferming abortion can be morally wrong tomorrow. Performing homosexual acts can be morally wrong tomorrow and even infanticide can be morally wrong tomorrow.
  9. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    23661
    19 Nov '05 20:25
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Yes, of course. Yesterday slavery was good. Today slavery is bad. Our perception of the institution of slavery has changed over the years. To overturn such a long held view requires a certain amount of people to hold a dissenting view from the established one. The status quo will either hold its own in the long run, or have the tide turn against it.

    But ...[text shortened]... e.

    Our morality continues to evolve and will likely do so for as long as humans are around.
    So, within the framework of your reasoning it is perfectly conceivable that chattel slavery can become morally acceptable again. Right ?
  10. Jupiter
    Joined
    18 Nov '05
    Moves
    183
    19 Nov '05 20:33
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    So, within the framework of your reasoning it is perfectly conceivable that chattel slavery can become morally acceptable again. Right ?
    It is possible, but less likely if we evolve past differentiating from people we feel we can make our slaves using tools such as religion and race.
  11. Joined
    24 May '05
    Moves
    7212
    20 Nov '05 01:25
    Originally posted by LordOfTheChessboard
    You can base your choices on what you KNOW instead of belief.
    I can only speak for myself but here are some of the things that I know:
    - I want to be happy
    - I have compassion
    - I feel unhappy when I go against my compassion

    Why I do not kill?

    - I could kill but this would go against my compassion
    - Going against my compassion will make me unhappy
    - being unhappy is the opposite of what I want.
    I think dj's question is WHY in fact you say these things you desire and conform to them. You might agree that everyone has different such desires. A mass murderer has a desire to kill. He kills because it would make him happy. The question is, which action is good and which is evil? How do you decide without projecting your own values onto the whole of society?
  12. Standard memberKellyJay
    Walk your Faith
    USA
    Joined
    24 May '04
    Moves
    148424
    20 Nov '05 05:41
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Yes, of course. Yesterday slavery was good. Today slavery is bad. Our perception of the institution of slavery has changed over the years. To overturn such a long held view requires a certain amount of people to hold a dissenting view from the established one. The status quo will either hold its own in the long run, or have the tide turn against it.

    But ...[text shortened]... e.

    Our morality continues to evolve and will likely do so for as long as humans are around.
    You don't have to say murder is bad or good to make it good or
    bad, just change how you define murder. Then justify what you
    will, it is done all the time with many views, change some of
    the variables, you change the word being discussed. It is simply
    how things are presented, little here, a little there, and you can
    make taking a life sound almost like it is the only humane thing
    to do. It is all in the syntax, if you can define it you can do what
    you will to it.
    Kelly
  13. Standard memberKellyJay
    Walk your Faith
    USA
    Joined
    24 May '04
    Moves
    148424
    20 Nov '05 05:42
    Originally posted by fooey
    It is possible, but less likely if we evolve past differentiating from people we feel we can make our slaves using tools such as religion and race.
    You believe we have evolved past that do you?
    Kelly
  14. Standard memberNemesio
    Ursulakantor
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Joined
    05 Mar '02
    Moves
    32455
    20 Nov '05 05:481 edit
    Originally posted by LordOfTheChessboard
    You can base your choices on what you KNOW instead of belief.
    I can only speak for myself but here are some of the things that I know:
    - I want to be happy
    - I have compassion
    - I feel unhappy when I go against my compassion

    Why I do not kill?

    - I could kill but this would go against my compassion
    - Going against my compassion will make me unhappy
    - being unhappy is the opposite of what I want.
    What if I KNOW (as you say) the following:

    This man cut me off while driving.
    It made me mad.
    I don't like being mad.
    I shoot him in the face.
    Now I am happy.
    I like being happy.
    And he will never cut people off again.

    Your model is a recipe for disaster.

    Nemesio
  15. Colorado
    Joined
    11 May '04
    Moves
    11981
    20 Nov '05 08:461 edit
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    What if I KNOW (as you say) the following:

    This man cut me off while driving.
    It made me mad.
    I don't like being mad.
    I shoot him in the face.
    Now I am happy.
    I like being happy.
    And he will never cut people off again.

    Your model is a recipe for disaster.

    Nemesio
    I agree. There is more to determining what is right than simply what makes us happy. LOTCB doesn’t believe that we can ever know what morals are. He has mentioned before that he doesn’t accept his emotions as proof.

    I think that just because morals are difficult to decipher at times, we shouldn’t allow this to be a bad excuse to take a totally agnostic view.

    We all have good traits and bad traits. 99% of the time we know what the moral thing to do is. When the morals get difficult, debate is usually a good idea to get everybody’s view on it. Empathy can be a pretty good basis for moral decisions.
Back to Top