Simon Paynton
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Simon Paynton's Discussions

"The Four Tenets of Atheism"

Started this discussion. Last reply by James Cox Apr 17. 228 Replies

1. The universe is purely material. It is strictly natural, and there is no such thing as the supernatural (e.g., gods or spiritual forces). 2. The universe is scientific. It is observable, knowable…Continue

Tags: worldview, tenets, Axioms

Empathy exercise

Started this discussion. Last reply by Simon Paynton Jan 6, 2014. 2 Replies

I've come up with this handy empathy exercise.  I wondered if anyone has any thoughts on it or how it could be improved. …Continue

Tags: practical, empathy

New theory of atheist morality

Started this discussion. Last reply by Simon Paynton Dec 22, 2013. 36 Replies

I've developed a "new" theory of atheist morality.  I wondered if anyone would like to have a go at critiquing it.  The first two principles, 1 and 2, are the most important parts: …Continue

Tags: old, religion, new, theory, morality

Jesus died for our sins

Started this discussion. Last reply by archaeopteryx Jul 5, 2013. 325 Replies

This idea can have logic and great value even for an atheist.   Not that long ago I offered for some angry people to kick my head in, to prove a point about how men should treat women (i.e. don't…Continue

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Latest Activity

Simon Paynton replied to Stutz's discussion 'The Consequences of Omnipotence'
""quality-of-life"   - being strong and healthy and, where capable, feeling good.  Flourishing.  ""quality of life" for a bacterium.  ...  Simple organisms don't…"
9 hours ago
Simon Paynton replied to Stutz's discussion 'The Consequences of Omnipotence'
"@Dr Bob - "universal theories" - it is universal, except it's framed in a scientific way.  I think that in the same way, religion is universal too.  It's two different ways of looking at the same universal…"
yesterday
Simon Paynton replied to Belle Rose's discussion 'Another philosophical question...'
"@Saul Dobney - it's interesting that you mention balancing.  You're right, I think that much of morality involves various balancing acts:  between the individual's needs and that of the people around him; between the…"
Thursday
Simon Paynton replied to Belle Rose's discussion 'What is the difference between ethics and morals?'
"I agree - I would see morality as the study of broad theoretical principles, while ethics is the practical application of those principles.  But dictionary.com and wikipedia say that they're the same thing. "
Wednesday
Simon Paynton replied to Belle Rose's discussion 'Another philosophical question...'
""An eye for an eye" - I think this is simple reciprocity, but applied rigidly can lead to very unfortunate cycles of destructive violence.  Jesus' "turn the other cheek", forgiveness, was a way out of this destructive…"
Wednesday
Simon Paynton replied to Belle Rose's discussion 'Another philosophical question...'
"I take the view that there's a set of universal morals that evolved before homo sapiens, and the rest are culturally defined, which came later when homo sapiens started living in large groups and needed culture as a way to coordinate everyone…"
Wednesday
Simon Paynton replied to Belle Rose's discussion 'Another philosophical question...'
"@Unseen - well in this case it took me about 5 minutes to come up with this idea, after I had had certain experiences and had read The Selfish Gene.  So there's no reason why someone else shouldn't do the same but maybe they need the…"
Wednesday
Simon Paynton replied to Belle Rose's discussion 'Another philosophical question...'
""imprecise"  - I think it needs to be imprecise but accurate.  I think "long-term consequences" or "long term wellbeing" captures it well because the objection with "pleasure" is that it can be good…"
Wednesday
Simon Paynton replied to Stutz's discussion 'The Consequences of Omnipotence'
"I think it would be possible for God to intervene, not in extraordinary circumstances, but if people earn it by doing "more of the same" - putting in a lot of effort and courage to behave in a moral fashion that God approves of.  This…"
Wednesday
Simon Paynton replied to Stutz's discussion 'The Consequences of Omnipotence'
"lol"
Wednesday
Simon Paynton replied to Belle Rose's discussion 'Another philosophical question...'
"I like Sam Harris' approach too, except that I think 1) it's impossible to ever measure wellbeing objectively, and what's more, we don't need to, because we can feel it for ourselves; and 2) there's a big gap where there…"
Wednesday
Simon Paynton replied to Bouncy Edhel's discussion 'I Think I'm Dead... Advice?'
"Plus you do have to think of your family after all, and I think they've got a point that they don't want to upset her.  They love her presumably.  She's harmless, right?  She just wants you to take part in some…"
Wednesday
Simon Paynton replied to Bouncy Edhel's discussion 'I Think I'm Dead... Advice?'
"If you've got to stay, then just don't stress.  Refuse to get stressed out.  Let it all wash over you.  Find a philosophical way to accept her and her nonsense for who she is.  She means well after all, or perhaps…"
Wednesday
Simon Paynton replied to Bouncy Edhel's discussion 'I Think I'm Dead... Advice?'
""They're more scared of you than you are of them." - wanna bet? "
Tuesday
Simon Paynton replied to Stutz's discussion 'The Consequences of Omnipotence'
"There are elements of a new version of spirituality there too, because it's so profound and powerful and because morality can be closely related to spirituality. "
Tuesday
Simon Paynton replied to Stutz's discussion 'The Consequences of Omnipotence'
""One can have a scientific explanation that (over)fits all existing data that really isn't worth very much."  - basically it consists of the two central principles, both explained plausibly by evolution, the first one giving…"
Tuesday

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41-46
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Simon Paynton's Blog

Fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 7:56am 0 Comments

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

― Genesis 2:17



If we interpret this sentence in a certain way, it tells us almost everything we need to know about personal morality.

We normally talk about the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Fruit = consequences.  

Good and Evil can be seen as Good and Bad ― Liking and…

Continue

Mathematics of altruism

Posted on July 27, 2012 at 12:56pm 0 Comments

http://plus.maths.org/content/does-it-pay-be-nice-maths-altruism-part-i

Mathematical evidence that cooperation evolves naturally as a successful strategy.

This is one of the most interesting things I've read for a long time.  Don't worry, it's not too mathematical.  I recommend printing it out if you want to read it. 

I believe we need to know why these things…

Continue

Comment Wall (25 comments)

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Join Think Atheist

At 10:43am on October 8, 2014, Erock68la said…

Thanks for the friend request.

At 5:01pm on March 27, 2014, Justin said…

ok thanks for letting me know man

At 11:17pm on March 25, 2014, Justin said…

Thanks for accepting my friend request. Anyways, I was wondering, how did put a music playlist on your profile?

At 2:04pm on October 4, 2013, Keenan Fry said…

Thanks for the invite, happy to be on Think Atheist!

At 6:29pm on July 6, 2013, ɐuɐz ǝllǝıuɐp said…

Thanks, these are the ones I have left.

At 11:52am on June 30, 2013, ɐuɐz ǝllǝıuɐp said…

Thanks ((^_^))

At 7:51am on June 30, 2013, ɐuɐz ǝllǝıuɐp said…

Thanks for the video , I share you some of my work

At 7:47am on June 30, 2013, ɐuɐz ǝllǝıuɐp said…

interesting, thank you

At 12:10pm on November 28, 2012, Anne Guevarra said…

Thank you! :)

At 8:34am on November 28, 2012, Maya Komrik said…

I meant, HE studies your stuff

 
 
 

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It's all Greek to me

Posted by Simon Mathews on April 15, 2015 at 4:14am 18 Comments

Free at last

Posted by Belle Rose on April 15, 2015 at 1:00am 3 Comments

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