I read posts here that call different things, "harmful to humanity." Others call something, "good" or "bad" or "evil."
A very simple question, who gets to decide the definition of "harmful to humanity" and what is there critieria? The same for "good," "bad," and "evil?" These are not material terms. If everything is material isn't there just "is" and not these moral declarations if one is being thoroughly atheist?
Help me understand your position so I am fair and honest about the views. Thanks.
Watched the video. For the sake of argument, Blaine, let's go with that. Where are we drawing the axioms for controlling the morality? We are saying it is scientific but wouldn't greater scientific knowledge be leading us to a more unified ethic? (I don't see that happening).
There is no "best moral philosopher of atheism." I don't understand why this is so hard for xians to get through there head, but ***ATHEISM IS NOT A BELIEF SYSTEM OR PHILOSOPHY***. Atheism is simply not being a theist. It is simply the lack of belief in any supernatural phenomena. The only thing that atheists have in common is that we don't by into delusional superstitions. Period. There are some good philosophers that try to scientifically explain where morals come from *FOR EVERYONE*, but there is no "moral characteristics" in atheism.
I, myself, follow Zen Buddhism as a moral philosophy. Others, more basically, follow the Golden Rule. We, as a group, are just as diverse as any other demographic.
Your question is akin to asking "what is the moral philosophy of people living in South America?" or "what is the moral philosophy of people who collect stamps?" In other words, it's a nonsensical, irrelevant question. If you want to know where people *GET* their morals, that is a completely different question and there is tons of information about that on the web. But none of it applies to *only* atheists.
Everyone has some kind of belief system and thing in which they base their axioms, no? For much of time it has been from a belief I believe there is a God, you believe there is not one. I believe their are no such things as UFO's and unicorns. I am comfortable saying I believe that they do not exist, not merely that I am not a unicornist. I actively and with positive rational cognition believe they don't exist.
I am asking a group of people who all say they have morals who would disavow a divine source of them where they draw their concepts of right and wrong from. I am not expecting a unified "this is official atheist" perspective. I am simply asking each as an individual to explain it though I might expect some commonality.
@Wretched - "I believe their are no such things as UFO's and unicorns. I am comfortable saying I believe that they do not exist, not merely that I am not a unicornist. I actively and with positive rational cognition believe they don't exist."
Oh, that is TOO FUNNY! Why do you not believe in UFOs and unicorns? You claim because it is a position from "positive rational cognition"? You disbelieve in UFOs and unicorns, despite there being no conclusive evidence that they do not exist, but merely from the position that there is no evidence supporting their existence and therefore no reason to believe in them.
Yet you believe in a super-sky fairy overseer, again for what reason? You don't believe in UFO and unicorns because there is no valid reason to, right? And yet, with all of the evidence disproving your god, proving beyond all reason that your bible is fallacious and cannot possibly be the the word of any "perfect being", you still choose to believe?
So, why do you believe in yhwh and not UFOs and unicorns?
My "rough tone" is because you are not interested in answers. You are performing a softball type of religious proselytization.
If anyone really wanted to understand atheism, all they have to do is read any or all of the following: Dawkins, Harris, Shermer, Ingersoll, Russel, Hitchens, to name a few. Articles, books, and videos by these great thinkers are readily available on the net. All of your questions and many that you do not raise will be completely answered.
What you will find is that all religious claims have been thoroughly refuted many times. And, all religious questions have been thoroughly answered many times. What the religious do, because of psychological reasons having nothing to with truth or fact, is ignore the refutations and answers, and keep repeating the same lame, refuted, and tired nonsense.
Wretched Saint, Will you go and read the sources, and listen to the video debates by these great thinkers, as Jack Howard has suggested? It would be a fine start for you, if you are sincerely curious. Or is he right, that you are a soft ball proselytizer?
No not a softballer. I am just on a quest for thorough truth. If I am going to believe, not believe something I want to know I have explored it to its outer margins. That is my intent here.
I would love somebody to say....screw it, I do what I wanna do, when I want to do it because everything is relative as I don't believe in any absolute moral decrees. If you believe something is wrong that I think is right for my self-interest, I'm gonna do it anyway. Yeah, I said it. Discussion closed, let's go get drunk and pick up some chicks, OR let's go pick some vegetables and make a good stew.....hahahahaah (totally in jest on that last part).
No offense, I have read Dawkins, HItchens, and Harris extensively. Dawkins is a good scientist but a sloppy philosopher, sorry. Hitchens is not a philospher in the classical sense. I much prefer Bertrand Russell and Hume as I feel they are thoroughly honest about the deep challenges that come with their belief/anti-belief system. I am wondering who are the modern Russell, Hume's (and dare I mention Flew's name here?)?
I think that morality is purely a human construct ( What else could it be ). It is not absolute in a Universal non living matter sense, so what is it based on? Most cultures seem to have a fairly similar morality. I believe that it is based on the desire to procreate which is a one of, if not the most basic instinct. No species would survive long without it. So living/procreating = good, death/not procreating = bad. This seems to me to explain most "good" human behavior. Of course our ability to believe in false ideas combined with our ability to justify these beliefs does tend to distort our morality on occasion.
Now THAT is a good answer. So if the desire to survive is the highest value, why does someone give their life to say serve people with mentally retarded that will not reproduce and if they do, surely won't strengthen the species? Why would a death of self = bad person lay down their life for someone else (in a house on fire, etc.)? Would they be running contrary to their primary value?
It's interesting Wretch, that you pose all of the questions and expect us to supply all of the answers. Why should any of us want to continue to play your game?
I am seeking truth and exploring atheism to the margin. I feel the way to get to truth is to ask a full bevy of questions. Sorry if my methodology offends you.