Simon Paynton
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Simon Paynton's Discussions

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

What do women want?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Simon Paynton Mar 20, 2013. 242 Replies

This is what I need to know.  I don't want to comment, only listen. Continue

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Latest Activity

Simon Paynton replied to Unseen's discussion 'An atheist has to be a moral/ethical relativist'
"I'm not sure how you define empathy.  There seem to be a lot of different meanings of the word.  I take it to mean the awareness of another person's internal state, and possibly feeling the same feelings as them.  In that…"
2 hours ago
Simon Paynton replied to Unseen's discussion 'An atheist has to be a moral/ethical relativist'
"I think you're right, the Golden Rule is fundamental to human interaction, we all use it most of the time without even realising, and it's based on empathy.  It's motivated by the desire to treat people well, and it helps us…"
7 hours ago
Simon Paynton replied to Unseen's discussion 'An atheist has to be a moral/ethical relativist'
"Empathy is also "fellow feeling", is it not.  In my experience, this emotional empathy is strongly tied to feelings of compassion.  The other kind, cognitive empathy, where you understand in your mind the internal state of…"
yesterday
Simon Paynton replied to Unseen's discussion 'An atheist has to be a moral/ethical relativist'
"I always think it's quality of life that we need to maximise.  We can't be any more specific than that, because each case is different.  Quality of life is ultimately in the service of, although it may be very distantly,…"
yesterday
Simon Paynton replied to Unseen's discussion 'An atheist has to be a moral/ethical relativist'
"We humans depend on each other and have to work together in order to survive.  I think those are the basics of natural morality.  I'm not sure that empathy is enough in itself to get people to behave well, although it does have a…"
yesterday
Simon Paynton replied to CAPTAIN OBVIOUS's discussion 'Column by David Brooks...thoughts?'
""Kant, Popper, Scruton and Rawls"  - I've seen some Kant, I'll look up what the others have got to say.  "Please do."  - it is basic and incomplete as a way to live your life because it's just a…"
Thursday
Simon Paynton replied to CAPTAIN OBVIOUS's discussion 'Column by David Brooks...thoughts?'
"I agree with this.  What exactly is the best way to teach morality?  We have 1) life experience 2) a teacher 3) formal instruction.  Some of this can be addressed in print.  Virtue ethicists talk about somebody being morally…"
Thursday
Simon Paynton replied to CAPTAIN OBVIOUS's discussion 'Column by David Brooks...thoughts?'
""Really? From scratch?"  - yes, I have.  I can show it to you if you like.  "nobody's produced an elegant consistent moral system that can be used in everyday life.  Then you haven't really read many…"
Thursday
Simon Paynton replied to CAPTAIN OBVIOUS's discussion 'Column by David Brooks...thoughts?'
"In morality, rules can tell us what works. "
Wednesday
Simon Paynton replied to CAPTAIN OBVIOUS's discussion 'Column by David Brooks...thoughts?'
""codify our secular morality"  - I don't mean I want to produce a book of laws for atheists to follow.  What I mean is to make a formal model of morality that has clarity and order. "
Wednesday
Simon Paynton replied to CAPTAIN OBVIOUS's discussion 'Column by David Brooks...thoughts?'
"I'll answer some of your points.  "Current morality is based on Christian morality"  - Jesus remains a very influential figure in this regard, but he's only one source among many of modern moral…"
Wednesday
Simon Paynton replied to CAPTAIN OBVIOUS's discussion 'Column by David Brooks...thoughts?'
"That's a pretty tricky theological debate.  I probably don't have a good understanding of what Christians mean by God.  I think people talk about a universal consciousness or spirit giving life to everything, and this is a…"
Tuesday
Simon Paynton replied to CAPTAIN OBVIOUS's discussion 'Column by David Brooks...thoughts?'
"I agree, I think it's the relationship of the individual to something universal that they find sacred.  There's no reason why it has to be supernatural, although it can just as easily be.  I think we would find that they are…"
Tuesday
Simon Paynton replied to CAPTAIN OBVIOUS's discussion 'Column by David Brooks...thoughts?'
"Actually, Christianity has the moneylenders incident which is an example of Jesus standing up for himself.  But Nietzsche complained that they have a slave mentality. "
Feb 23
Simon Paynton replied to CAPTAIN OBVIOUS's discussion 'Column by David Brooks...thoughts?'
"David Brooks, along with some moral philosophy I read recently, has made me see that there's a need for organized moral instruction for atheists.  This is because religious people receive it automatically as part of their religion, and…"
Feb 23
Simon Paynton replied to Belle Rose's discussion 'LDS Missionaries lives threatened...and they escape seemingly unscathed'
"I imagine they're as proud as punch, and they're celebrities within the Mormon scene.  In Christianity there seems to be this pride in being persecuted for the faith and being a martyr, just like Jesus, and although it seems…"
Feb 23

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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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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

 
 
 

Blog Posts

Kids Logic

Posted by Mai on February 28, 2015 at 5:33am 3 Comments

Forever Cursed

Posted by Nerdy Keith on February 25, 2015 at 8:00pm 4 Comments

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