I having been having a discussion on my FB page about a Huffington Post article that says Rick Santorum is reading a different Bible than you and me. The Bible most people read is about loving your neighbor etc... I successfully argued so far with one individual who says that if you mandate helping the needy that this is the same as a a theocracy. BS, I know, right?
We have now come to the part of this debate where I asked, " Is what we consider morally good that way because God commands that which is morally good, or is whatever God commands morally good because he commands it?
His comment is as follows: If "good" is determined by people, then people are greater than God. If "good" exists outside of God, then "good" is greater than God. In neither of those cases can God really be God. "Good" is what God says is "good."
Any recommendation on how to respectfully shut that down in one brief answer?

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@archaeopterix  

RE: "whatever someone does is ipso facto ethically correct simply because it's what they wanted to do."

Which brings us back to the question I asked earlier that appears to have gone unanswered. in who's mind? Mine or theirs?

Explain first what difference does it make, since they are both in their own mind and in yours? Do you not make ethical (or moral) judgments regarding the behavior of others? and isn't that based on what you would do?

And you mentioned, "ethically correct" - do you see no  difference between ethics and morals? If so, please elaborate.

Of course they are totally different. Ethics involves a system of deciding what to do based on an analysis of the circumstances and the impacts of various responses to said circumstances. Moral people simply follow prescriptions by rote. It's rule-bound as in following The Ten Commandments. Morality is typically bound with a religion, ethics with a philosophy. An ethical person, for example, might ask himself "Whereas I believe in telling only the truth as a principle worth striving toward, realistically I have to ask what happens here if I tell this lie?" whereas the moral person is restricted to "It's wrong to tell a lie."

RE: "what difference does it make, since they are both in their own mind and in yours?"

Are they? Could that not be a faulty assumption on your part?

RE: "Morality is typically bound with a religion."

I can best respond to that by quoting another member who posted this on the board some time ago (emphasis, mine):

"...evidence from behavior of other species and from research into moral psychology in humans shows that morality is an evolved behavior, with precursor (proto-morality) behaviors like altruism, reciprocity, fairness, justice, empathy and others existing in other species with an understanding of these basic concepts in babies as young as only a few months. This means that morality was around way before religion was, and certainly way before the Yahwist cult or its subsequent permutations in Christianity and Islam were around."

pax vobiscum,
archaeopteryx
www.in-His-own-image.com

Well, let's put it this way, if it's false that people are in both their own minds (as individual selfs) and in mine (as objects of attention), then we are not actually having this dialog and it doesn't really matter what the answer is.

The person you're quoting is confusing moral behavior with ethical behavior. They are different. When you are immoral, you are breaking a rule concerning right and wrong and are thus incurring praise or blame. Ethics isn't so much concerned with right and wrong as with making the best decision all things considered. Ethics doesn't measure its decisions against set prescriptive standards like The Ten Commandments or even The Golden Rule, and it may sometimes find itself making decisions which fly in the face of such standards.

Rather than risk anyone thinking that I might have taken that quotation out of context, I'll reprint it all.

Nelson replied to Robert Karp's discussion "Atheists Are Not Moral People! Get Your Argument On!" on Think Atheist

------------
Trouble is, all of the facts demonstrate the absurdity of such a view.

First, research into moral psychology shows that, like language, though there's an innate capacity for altruism, fairness, justice, and cooperation, there's a developmental path from infancy through childhood and into adolescence to an understanding of right and wrong– no, we aren't born with a sense of right and wrong.

Second, if we get our morality from God, why is it that our moral intuitions are so radically different from his? Why do we agree that women are entitled to equal rights and opportunities and yet God views them as property, as a commodity to be traded, bought and sold? Why do we agree that genocide is wrong while he not only permits it, but encourages it, even urges it? Why do we agree that slavery is wrong and yet he not only permits it but even provides rules governing the institution? Why do we agree on the value of religious freedom and yet he dictates slaughter for anyone that would dare worship another god than he?

Third, evidence from behavior of other species and from research into moral psychology in humans shows that morality is an evolved behavior, with precursor (proto-morality) behaviors like altruism, reciprocity, fairness, justice, empathy and others existing in other species with an understanding of these basic concepts in babies as young as only a few months. This means that morality was around way before religion was, and certainly way before the Yahwist cult or its subsequent permutations in Christianity and Islam were around.

So, as a theist, if you would argue that way, you would be, and are, wrong.

Possibly you and Nelson can work out your philosophical differences between yourselves, considering you both have such extensive backgrounds in the field.

Far be it from this Community College, General Education major to decide between the points of view of two such obvious intellects.

pax vobiscum,
archaeopteryx
www.in-His-own-image.com

lmfao - kk

:)) laughing

pax vobiscum,
archaeopteryx
www.in-His-own-image.com

I am so tired of hearing about Santorum, he is a terrible person and I can not believe that he has made it as far as he has in the current election! It makes me a-little ashamed to be an American. Sorry for not reading all the other post, but I did not have the time. I just wanted to make a point that "good" is not an actual thing, but an opinion over the judging of some-thing’s value when applied to some-sort of moral scale that is completely biased to anyone's opinion of what is "good" (or positive towards one's view of what "ideal" is). So no one can say what some-thing that does not physically exist comes from, because it isn't there in the first place. It is just a biased labeling of opinions to mentally "raise" your opinion over others’ opinions (or making your ideas "good" or "better" over the "bad" or "worse" ideas). I hope that made sense, and I am sorry if some-one already made this point. :(

I didn't go through and read everybody's responses, but I believe good comes from an evolutionary imperative. Survival was easier for earlier humanity if they were good and acted moral toward one another. If they were more so evil toward each other, there is no way humanity would have ever evolved to what we are today. Yes there is evil in the world, but the majority of humanity is good, and this goodness is built intrinsically into us through evolution. Being good increases our chances of prolonged survival and the passing of our 'good' genetic material to the next generation. Well thats I tend to think anyway.

a) You're begging the question of what The Good is as well as Evil. You're defining terms and using them in the definition at the same time.

b) In nature, "good guys finish last." The strongest survive. What you're describing is counter-evolutionary.

Well I guess I mean good in terms of moral attitude toward one another. Moral evolution if you will. I just don't think early humanity would have thrived if we never developed moral responsibility toward one another. I don't think 'good guys finish last' I think the strongest are the good, maybe because it allows us to band together and help each other survive. I'm mainly referring to the days of early human beings. I probably didn't properly answer the two points you made to my post, but hey I'm just attempting to explain some of my crazy thoughts!

I don't agree with the good guys finish last, I taught my kids the difference bete=ween being a good person and bad person.  Not evil .... evil is like a  B slasher movie  , like the bible lots of horror stories in that book. you can not believe in god and still be a good decent person.  you can still be kind, have manners,  help out and be happy. If you are so busy tring to win and be the bad guy you will not be very satisfied with life.  I don't believe in god but i do believe in karma...... life forces and energies...... I try to avoid bad people as not to disturb my peace.

I suggest you start with "There is no god."

so therefore all good and all evil is a result either from the acts of man (or lack of), or natural causes, or coincidence (luck). The core foundation of morality is universal within our species. Religion utilizes that inner 'moral" instinct to trick people. Religion does a lot of tricky mind play of that sort...especially in their ability to convince people regarding what is "moral" and what is immoral...as with their ability to channel agression into an organized function.

If you are really interested in that viewpoint, I suggest The Moral Landscape, by Sam Harris. 

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