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.

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Exile - RE: "WE overrule God."

And the reason we're free to do that with impunity, is because Man created god, in his own image.

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

Amen, archaeopteryx!

Speaking of "amen" . . . if it were the other way around -- that God created man -- wouldn't we be saying "agod" instead of "amen"?

:-)

How about "aperson"?:)) laughing

Gender neutral? No way. We all know what God is like. He's definitely a testosterone-based deity.

Sounds like you're trying to say he's a really nice guy --:P tongue

I would heartily agree that many Christians, including myself, fail at following the Law. I readily admit that. I do not always turn the other cheek, at times I care about my stuff more than my neighbor, and on my best day, some self-centeredness steers me from loving my enemies. From a grace/Gospel centered perspective of Christianity--one I am saddened it seems many folks here have not encountered, but rather a moralistic therapuetic version which teaches "be good like us" ugh--, the Law is not attainable but rather a diagnostic tool, or tutor, to lead us to what is proclaimed in the Gospels.

I am asking a philosophical question here that I am seeking an answer from my atheist fellows about (regardless of it they are able to fully carry out that stated morality). Would it be fair for me to judge the value of atheist philosophical consistency by say the actions of Stalin or Mao? I would think we both want the conversation to remain philosophical about ideals, axioms and values.

This is ridiculous, Wretch!

You're fielding replies from everybody and just replying to those points you feel you can defend . . . while ignoring the difficult points.

Like I said: "You can't have it both ways."

Do you believe slavery is okay? Would you own or be a slave? Is slavery immoral or not?

If you try to dodge that one, I will consider it to be what it appears to be: DENIAL. You can't hide forever.

I think it would be useful to explain to Wretched why you think slavery is prima facie wrong from an ethical viewpoint.

From an ethical viewpoint? Really?

Okay.

From experience, I know what hurts me. With empathy, I know the same things likely hurt you too.

I would feel God-awful if my birthright were denied and I were treated as undeserving of the same respect as others. I would resent being told what to do, when to do it, and how high to jump. I would boil inside if mistreated and risked death if I rebelled, fought back or ran away.

I'm pretty sure you or any other healthy-minded person would too.

Please note that this is not "presentism": a cultural reality different than in the days of Jesus. This is just being human. The same goes for Muhammad and his child-bride Aisha. Forget "different cultures". At some point, it's just a lecherous old man face to face with a 9-year-old virgin girl. Human to human. And so is the case with master and slave. At some point they are face to face subjugator and subjugatee.

These things are wrong because they require denying empathy.

P.S.
The mention of presentism addresses only the question of HUMAN morality. Presentism is not a moral consideration for a perfect and timeless God.

@Wretched - You pretty much just answered your own question.  You admit that you don't follow "the Law".  But more to the point, you don't even believe in "the Law".  You believe in parts of the Law and only those parts which you deem as worthy.  You use Stalin and Mao as examples of people who perform horrific acts.  You might as well add Hitler to that list, despite the fact that he was a devout xian and all of his actions were justified by how he interpreted the bible.

Once again, you are asking an invalid question.  Atheists don't have a "central moral doctrine" any more than all stamp collectors do.  Or theists for that matter.  (And theists most certainly do not).  We all decided what is "good" and "evil" in our minds.  We also determine what is "harmful to humanity" based on how we are defining "humanity" at the time.  Are you talking about your family, your tribe (friends and family), your town, your state, your nation, your race, the world?  Are you talking about your economy, ecology, judicial system, society? 

There is no answer to the question as you pose it.  First, it leaves too many things open-ended and second, it MUST be misinterpreted because your question makes to sense as it stands.

Keith - you have to understand his strategy - the answer to any of your questions is irrelevant, as the purpose is to question whatever answer you give, then question that answer, and the next, to the point where you have no more answers. Then he wins, he has rendered the atheist speechless.

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

@archaeopteryx - Man, you've got that right!  And he only questions the answers that he thinks he can get away with and ignores the answers that don't fit his delusion.  I just can't let him get away with it.  LOL

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