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.
There's no way to quantify how much another creature can suffer because the suffering of another is something one imagines. Our own suffering is the only real suffering we shall ever know. The suffering of others is imaginary, even should it be real to others, a situation for which there will never be proof.
To believe in the suffering of others and act on same requires faith as well as imagination, so believe in the suffering of others if you like, but in doing so be aware what you are doing and on what basis.
I believe strongly in science and seeking evidence, but I can't just convince myself that suffering (other than my own) isn't real. Again, even empathy alone is enough to make me feel the suffering of others, and even if I'm just imagining it, it's still real to me. At the same time that we know how science (based on evidence) is superior to faith (based on feeling), that doesn't mean that lack of evidence for, or scientific description of feeling makes feeling or empathy irrelevant to each of us.
Seriously, I believe in the "perfection" of science, but only insofar as we can admit humbly when we don't have enough evidence (e.g.) to disprove the relevance of feeling. What I mean is, I want to avoid having so much faith in science that I can draw any conclusion I want based on lack of evidence.
Just as it takes more intelligence to better understand the universe and life in terms of scientific probabilities instead of faith-imposed, absolute dogma, I suggest that people who believe in science should also be able to humbly step back and admit that feeling and empathy are still relevant to discussions like this, even if we lack "proof" of such relevance.
Am I making any sense? A line wrt how much suffering in others we will accept (whether merely personally imagined or not) still has to be drawn somewhere, right? Even if we draw our lines in different places, somewhat arbitrarily. Perhaps the main problem is that it's currently difficult to explain it 100% reasonably.
(Whoops, when I re-read what you wrote, maybe we're really agreeing with each other?)
And now, as I re-read my own writing, it seems to me again that science really should be focusing more on what can be proven, and less on disproving matters of faith (unless they're obvious). I.e., despite lack of scientific definition or description of suffering, suffering is still a very relevant topic to me, even it it's just philosophically relevant. (I apologize if I'm misinterpreting anyone.)
Hey Popy, your not as far in the dark as some. What a terrible nonsense filled pickle the world becomes when you try and remove God from it.
To even contemplate as a serious possibility that other people's suffering isn't real is so wild and determined in its atheistic convictions that utter blindness has set it. How irrational and unreasonable. I am so glad you cannot go along with it. You give me hope that not all atheists have ejected their brains ;-)
Absolutely loved your picture!
Thanks for the clarification John. It seemed to me to smack of the realist / anti-realist thing which is down those lines, and quite strange.
Assuming others feel pain is even less supportable than imagining others feel pain. It boils down to basing an action on something we merely imagine. I'm not saying that I don't make that leap myself, but I do feel it should prevent anyone from getting on a moral high horse.
Oh my, you are making me feel so guilty. The thing with evangelicals and self-declared messiahs is that they just make people roll their eyes. Can't you see here that the pro-vegetarians/vegans are making NO headway? None. People don't reach their conclusions by being browbeaten, guilt-tripped, or annoyed. You are doing it primarily to make yourself feel better. Ponder the ethics of that.
Why not trust people to reach their own decision in moral matters? And if you can't why is that?
Why did the abolitionists not just, "Live and let live." Or in this case, "Live and let die." Why? Because they recognized a grave injustice that their peers seems unwilling, or unable to see. They were capable of empathy and compassion. They loved justice. They wanted to share the benefits of freedom with those who had been denied it. Slave owners did not give up their privileges, and unfair advantages, without presenting many arguments, both biblical and scientific in favor of slavery. In fact their arguments are almost identical to those stated here, by those who enjoy their power over " lesser beings".
That's easy to say. It's kind of like "whatever."