• Banno
    13.5k
    Well, as a statistics guy, I must remark that that is rather unscientific.Merkwurdichliebe

    Self-serving crap. Pews set out their method clearly. They know what they are doing.
  • Athena
    1.4k
    This is an ancient perspective that usually sees evil as a matter of acting against nature. The effect is a loss of vitality.

    A drawback of this view (for some) is that it means that if the sinner does "get away with it" as you put it, then it couldnt have been evil in the first place.

    In fact, with this 'cause-and-effect-morality', one comes to understand what was good or bad in retrospect, by seeing who came to bad ends.

    A sibling outlook is a feature of a Christian story about a Jew who was robbed and beaten. His fellow Jews saw him and walked on by. They assumed he must have done something wrong to end up that way. The Good Samaritan comes along and makes no such judgment. The Samaritan has a less materialistic moral perspective.

    Morality is more complicated and conflicted than it looks at first glance. For us, its a fusion of several different cultural views.
    frank


    2+2+4. There is no evil in the equation. What happens is the consequence of the action and there is no evil in the equation. However, if we know we are doing wrong, that weakens us the same as believing we are virtuous makes us strong. That is just the psychological effect of our thoughts, no evil force in the equation.

    For sure, cause and effect morality, as well as religious morality, means learning from parents, teachers, friends, experience. It would be an unusual person who gets through life without regrets. If we are lucky, before we get into trouble we learn from reading, or learn from listening to our elders or when our peers are mature we can learn from them, we can even learn from the bad example of others. For sure because we are not born with this knowledge it is challenging to be a human. An advantage of cause and effect morality is the ability to have good judgment for today. That does come from holy books written in ancient times.

    Very importantly, the person who does wrong does not get away with it. Where did I say we can get away with doing wrong? The person may not be unaware of the action causing harm, and in that case, the person will repeat the wrong, until made aware of the wrong. In some cases, the wrong will be the result of subconscious distress or it may be a bad habit that is very difficult to break, so more is needed than just knowing eating than cookie will mean gaining weight, or whatever is unwanted. The point is we pay a price for our wrongs if we are aware of that or not and a wrong such as slavery may not enter the wrongdoers' consciousness for 3 generations but sooner or later the wrong will enter our conscioness and we will have to pay the price.

    Declaring God wants us to go to war with "those people", and entering the war believing we are doing the will of God, will have bad consequences. It is our children and their children who have to pay for our wrongs. Believing in a God, does not prevent us from doing wrong. It is developed moral judgment that prevents wrongs.
  • Athena
    1.4k
    For the nonbeliever, moral principle can only be sourced from within as personal opinion,Merkwurdichliebe

    Liberal education is education for good moral judgment and it results in a much higher morality and has done far more for humanity than religion. Our life span has doubled and in the US few die of starvation, and if they stopped listening to their preachers and Trump, they would stop spreading a deadly virus! Life long liberal education is far superior to being dependent and as a child who must be rewarded or punished to do the right thing.

    Praying to this God to feed the starving people, or shelter the homeless will not get the job done because He did not build Noah's ark and He does not send birds to feed straving people. It is our responsibility. We have advanced civilization by accepting our responsibility to do so.

    I am afraid "believers" hold many false ideas.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    Lying is another example. Most of us get away with a lie or two, but this destroys trust, and once trust is destroyed, a lot more goes wrong. Or worse a person's lies can result in the deaths of millions of people. Our wrongs affect others and can even impact life in a big way.Athena

    This is a great example. For the nonbeliever, that which makes trust inherently right is that one can list reasons. But one can list reasons for lying as well. Then we must go to the reasons to see what they say. Ultimately, for the nonbeliever, there can be nothing inherently right or wrong, it all hinges on reason. Then we can go even further and list reasons for our reasons. In ethical argument between two nonbelievers (one who is truthful, and one who is a liar), concessions and exceptions will be made on each side for the rightness of truthfulness and lying - hence the relativism of morality for the nonbeliever.

    This also highlights the character of dogmatism, that the believer needs no reason for his morality - it is a self-evident truth as far as he is concerned. I think this is what pisses off nonbelievers most about believers.

    How many people died because the tobbacco industry lied? What is the affect of the oil industry lying about the consequences of extracting and burning oil? A limited consciousness that leaves a person to believe s/he can away with lying is a terrible thing.Athena

    People got rich during their own lifetimes, from tobacco and oil, I'm sure they thought it was the right thing to do. And, I agree that a person who believes he can away with lying is, indeed, a terrible person. But I doubt such a person, one who sincerely holds to that morality, thinks so.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    Lying is another example. Most of us get away with a lie or two, but this destroys trust, and once trust is destroyed, a lot more goes wrong. Or worse a person's lies can result in the deaths of millions of people. Our wrongs affect others and can even impact life in a big way.Athena

    This is a great example. For the nonbeliever, that which makes trust inherently right is that one can list reasons. But one can list reasons for lying as well. Then we must go to the reasons to see what they say. Ultimately, for the nonbeliever, there can be nothing inherently right or wrong, it all hinges on reason. Then we can go even further and list reasons for our reasons. In ethical argument between two nonbelievers (one who is truthful, and one who is a liar), concessions and exceptions will be made on each side for the rightness of truthfulness and lying - hence the relativism of morality for the nonbeliever.

    This also highlights the character of dogmatism, that the believer needs no reason for his morality - it is a self-evident truth as far as he is concerned. I think this is what pisses off nonbelievers most about believers.

    How many people died because the tobbacco industry lied? What is the affect of the oil industry lying about the consequences of extracting and burning oil? A limited consciousness that leaves a person to believe s/he can away with lying is a terrible thing.Athena

    People got rich during their own lifetimes, from tobacco and oil, I'm sure they thought it was the right thing to do. And, I agree that a person who believes he can away with lying is, indeed, a terrible person. But I doubt such a person, one who sincerely holds to that morality, thinks so.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    I don't think you answered the question. What is being judged, the person or the act?Athena

    For the believer, ethical judgement falls upon both. The decision and the person are inseparable. An ethical decision is a matter of will, it cannot be accidental or unintended, hence the decision cannot be taken back or done over.
    The only recourse from a wrong decision is tied into his individual eschatology, that is why concepts like forgiveness, sacrifice, repentance &c. are so important to believers.

    For the nonbeliever. It is only the act that is judged. Even reputations are built upon cummulative acts, so that one with a bad reputation has it merely on account of perpetrating acts which disagree with other people. In contrast, each moment of ethical decisiveness is vital to the believer's repututaion, but not with other people, rather, with himself and his eternal judge, for one wrong decision could potentially result in eternal damnation.

    Hope I answered it better.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    Well, words have whatever meaning we assign them. But, to address your question, as a start I would offer that religion is about our relationship with reality, whereas other methodologies such as science concern themselves with facts about reality.Hippyhead

    So we'd better do a good job assigning that meaning.

    I agree more or less. I might say: religion pertains to a direct relation to existence and is quite simple sounding, and the non-religious pertains to an interpretation or abstraction of reality and it gives us an indirect relation to existence.


    First, discussion of religion can be greatly improved on philosophy forums if we can get past the extremely common assumption that religion is almost exclusively about belief, ideological assertions.Hippyhead

    I understand religion to be about many things - there is no question that religion is multifaceted.
    Perhaps you could enlighten me. What is more fundamental to religion than belief?

    Next, it seems to me that, generally speaking, there is considerable more acceptance of doubt in religious communities than is typically demonstrated by atheists and philosophers.

    Religious communities often doubt sound science. Is that what you mean?

    As one example, the Catholic saint Mother Teresa spoke honestly about the deep doubts that she experienced. I don't see that happening too often with atheist philosophers.

    I would say philosophy begins with doubt. And nobody has done philosophy without first doubting.

    And, from the athiests I've conversed with, I would call them some of most skeptical people to ever walk the earth.

    And about Mother Teresa, she may have doubted, and doubted deeply, but she was a believer (according to the accounts). Take Steven Hawking, a known athiest, he had beliefs about things, but he wasn't a believer.

    BTW, in case it matters, I'm not religious.

    No, it doesn't matter.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    The key is that religious belief is a conviction, impossible to change by any other notion or reasoning.
    — Merkwurdichliebe

    Ok, sorry, not really meaning offense or trying to start a food fight, nothing personal intended, but this is just rubbish.
    Hippyhead

    No worries, you're all good. But you are only telling me your subjective preference. Why is it the case that religious belief is not impossible to change by any other notion or reasoning? I would say that is the very thing that separates religious belief (of the believer), from the nonreligious belief (of the nonbeliever). How is this not the case? I'm curious.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    Okay, let us address dogma and authority.

    dog·ma
    /ˈdôɡmə/
    Learn to pronounce
    noun
    noun: dogma; plural noun: dogmas

    a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.
    Athena

    Good. I wonder...of an authority that lays down a principle as inconvertably true, would that authority have the authority to convert said principle into something else? Or would the incontrovertability of the principle trump the authority? I wonder. There seems to be a disparity between authority and principle, one must needs outweigh the other.

    What does one study to be a religious authority?

    I don't know.

    What does one study to understand reality?

    I don't know.

    [/quote]I think science and the liberal arts give us much better moral judgment than the God of Abraham religions... Democracy is self government and it is everyone's responsibility to serach for truth. This is totally different from relying on authority above the people.

    This issue of authority is a screaming problem right now and lives are on the line.[/quote]

    I think both give us shit for morality. And democracy is a system for the weak and inferior - it's a a game for ignorant mobs, as evince by the 2020 presidential election.

    But I like that you are working on becoming your own authority. Keep it up.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    What you miss in this analysis is that the religious person still has to choose. They are not in a different position to the non-religious in that regard. So if the choice of a non-believer is in some way arbitrary, so is the choice of the believer.

    You cannot avoid responsibility for your moral choices by blaming god
    Banno

    I don't think you understood me, maybe I didn't explain it clearly enough. I forgot about your intellectual handicap, let me dumb it down for your. The choice of the believer IS arbitrary for the nonbeliever, but for the believer the choice is of vital interest, because it affects his place in eternity, a thing he believes in. For a nonbeliever, his choice is arbitrary in the sense of its triviality, afterall, his decision is only pertinent to the context to which it relates, it has no relevance beyond that. This means the believer actually believes he will be held responsible for every decision, whereas the nonbeliever believes he will be held responsible only for the decisions that hold weight in relation to a particular context.
  • Banno
    13.5k
    Ah, thank you for the condescension. So '...the believer actually believes he will be held responsible for every decision...' - you only do the right thing because you fear punishment. As was said.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    Why isn't this equally true of the believer? They also have a choice, to believe or no. But in their case they pretend that they hand the responsibility over to someone else.

    The argument you present here reeks of special pleading
    Banno

    I didn't say it wasn't true of the believer. Did I?

    Whenever I plead to you it is special, and it is special because it reeks for you.
  • Banno
    13.5k
    What?

    Special Pleading

    "...but not when it hurts my position."

    ....moral principle can only be sourced from within as personal opinion, except for the opinion that god told me what to do...
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k


    Oh no! Little banno is upset. Somebody get him his bottle before he starts whining.
  • frank
    8k
    Very importantly, the person who does wrong does not get away with itAthena

    Woody Allen made a movie called Crimes and Misdemeanors in which a guy has his girlfriend murdered, but never experiences any adverse consequences.

    Do you reject this plot? Or would the murder be ok in this case?
  • Banno
    13.5k
    Oh no! Little banno is upset. Somebody get him his bottle before he starts whining.Merkwurdichliebe

    So a personal insult is an improvement on special pleading in your moral system.

    Nice, that. Shows its power.
  • frank
    8k

    A delusion is a brick wall...
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    Liberal education is education for good moral judgment and it results in a much higher morality and has done far more for humanity than religion. Our life span has doubled and in the US few die of starvation, and if they stopped listening to their preachers and Trump, they would stop spreading a deadly virus! Life long liberal education is far superior to being dependent and as a child who must be rewarded or punished to do the right thing.Athena

    You are kinda getting off topic. There's no reason liberals can't be the most moral people ever. I personally think all those ideologies like liberalism, conservatism &c. are antiquated shit. fit for inferiors and clods. But I could be wrong, it's a terrible tragedy.

    We have advanced civilization

    I strongly disagree

    I am afraid "believers" hold many false ideas.

    That's obvious, they're believers! Lol
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k


    Huh? Are you saying something? Rubbish
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    So a personal insult is an improvement on special pleading in your moral system.Banno

    Personal insult? I wasn't personally insulted.

    And you haven't demonstrated evidence of special pleading in the case you specify. You have merely made an allegation. Where specifically is the special pleading?

    I predict you will not answer, but keep whining about your inability to comprehend.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k


    When your stranded on the lowest tier of philosophical acumen, everything becomes a brick wall.
  • frank
    8k

    I think morality is a massive engine of emotion. Take away the absolutes and things get sketchy.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    Do you reject this plot? Or would the murder be ok in this case?frank

    By the criterion of the nonbeliever, it is ok. By the criterion of the believer, it isn't. Keep 8n mind, this is an extremely simplistic answer
  • frank
    8k

    I have a thing for silent, forgotten victims. I dont guess it's really a matter of morality, though. Actually I dont know what it is.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    Merkwurdichliebe
    I think morality is a massive engine of emotion. Take away the absolutes and things get sketchy.
    frank

    I would not disagree, whether religious or not, morality is definitely a matter of passion. Whether it goes one way or the other depends on the reason versus faith.

    And that is the key distinction. The believer believes in something absolute, absolutely. Whereas the nonbeliever believer doesn't.
  • frank
    8k
    And that is the key distinction. The believer believes in something absolute, absolutely. Whereas the nonbeliever believer doesn't.Merkwurdichliebe

    :up:
  • Banno
    13.5k
    Here's the rub of the OP: belief in god accrues no virtue.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    I have a thing for silent, forgotten victims. I dont guess it's really a matter of morality, though. Actually I dont know what it isfrank

    If nothing else, its definitely cool. And being reasonless, we can ask if you believe it to be an incontrovertible truth or not? If so, I would call such a belief "religious in nature", but not necessarily religious as such, that is, holding such a belief will not make you a believer.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    belief in god accrues no virtue.Banno

    For the unbeliever, true. For the believer, not true. There are definitely things that separate the believer and the nonbeliever. One of those things is that morality comes from god.
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