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Thread: Change in religious views

  1. #346
    U19 Vice-Captain Munificent_Fool's Avatar
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    Craig is full of ****. I don't care if science proves inadequate at the task of determining and explaining morality. The claim that it is explained by an interventionist deity is baseless to precisely the same degree as the claim of his/her/its existence in the first place.

    It is god of the gaps, plain and simple, I don't care how many times he says otherwise.

    And I'd like to see him sit there and, line by line, explain the supposedly objective morality to be found in the texts of his religion.
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  2. #347
    Hall of Fame Member weldone's Avatar
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    Some of the things religious people say are unbearable. "Whatever God does is for good only" doesn't sound like a tolerable statement after you've lost someone close.
    Last edited by weldone; 03-08-2018 at 05:11 PM.
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  3. #348
    Hall of Fame Member Ikki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hendrix View Post
    The only way I can reconcile your views here is if you describe yourself as a postmodernist - or that you would be if you didn't believe in god. I am not a postmodernist. The bolded statements I do not agree with. I do not question objective reality - this is something that you seem to be doing.
    I'd consider a postmodernist the exact opposite of what I am and you don't need to believe in god not to be a postmodernist. A lot of postmodernists don't believe in god however.

    You said you're a nihilist. You cannot determine objective reality/truth or think it doesn't exist. It's a value proposition and you supposedly don't believe in values. I hope you're catching on to how you're really not a nihilist. You previously claimed we have innate morality and that we determine how to act based on our understanding of this - this is literally the opposite of nihilism, even the epistemological variant.

    Objective morals? Well, as I already stated that depends on how you frame them. - but a "subjective" set of rules can still be theoretically objective, in the sense that a set of criteria, if comprehensive enough, can be applied in such a way that they come out with an accurate measure each time. For example, that is the intention of law. It is never perfect, but the intent is that a subjective set of rules attempts to be comprehensive enough to pass a judgement on as many situations as possible, as objectively as it can be. Just because it's not perfectly objective doesn't mean that it can't be objective.
    You've just described religion mate . Well done.

    More simply, a tall person might be subjectively considered short by Lebron James - but they are still objective 6'3". The opinion is subjective, but the measure is objective.
    This is a poor example. The distinction would be to ask what is tall, not what is 6'3". 6'3" is a numerical value based on objective measure (this is debatable as well but it's a tedious point for this debate so moving on), tall is not.

    This is the same with morals - what's considered right or wrong may remain subjective, but with an objective set of morals and an informed decision on where to place the balance, you can theoretically have an objective measure if your definitions are comprehensive enough that they cover all possible scenarios - again, an impossible task, but the measure still exists. A relativist and some post-modernists would say that the measure is all relative and therefore no judgement would be accurate.
    There are no objective measures for morality. It will always be subjective because the perimeters you're choosing are arbitrary to decide whether it is good or bad. There is no scientific or empirical reason that makes it moral. You can measure a cup but not what you should do with it, so the measure is useless in setting moral perimeters - moral in the sense of informing you how to act. Your post-modernist example doesn't apply here. You want to use the postmodernist fallacy of doing away with standards to imply that religion is doing the same thing when it isn't - it is clearly giving you a standard on how to live. But the truth embedded in that and the truth embedded in things we usually measure in the scientific/physical realm are different things.

    Because the owner gives the dog food, and dogs aren't intelligent enough to understand the exploitative nature of the relationship.
    Yes, the dog gets excited just to see you, cries when you cry - in general empathises with your moods - because it is a stupid animal that just wants to eat. And you previously claimed how I had little regard for animals.

    Or you can realise that a dog is just an animal like you with the capacity to appreciate patterns in behaviour which indicate love. Such as your looking after it, making sure it is fed and healthy, give it companionship and direction. I'm not sure whether it's hippie or religious to say: but the more you realise love is a factor in how living beings interact, the more meaning you will gain from this world. Unfortunately, love is often as hard to describe as god but fortunately useful all the same.
    Last edited by Ikki; 04-08-2018 at 01:17 AM.
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  4. #349
    International Coach hendrix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    I'd consider a postmodernist the exact opposite of what I am and you don't need to believe in god not to be a postmodernist. A lot of postmodernists don't believe in god however.

    You said you're a nihilist. You cannot determine objective reality/truth or think it doesn't exist. It's a value proposition and you supposedly don't believe in values. I hope you're catching on to how you're really not a nihilist. You previously claimed we have innate morality and that we determine how to act based on our understanding of this - this is literally the opposite of nihilism, even the epistemological variant.
    Dude you're still not getting this. I don't know if there's a language barrier or whether you're not taking the time to properly read what I'm saying. Innate morality is an inborn sense of right and wrong due to our biology - societal and biological evolution. Innate morals doesn't mean there's meaning or greater purpose to them.

    Something existing is not the same as something having meaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    You've just described religion mate . Well done.
    Yes, part of religion is a subjective set of morals - mostly inconsistent and far from comprehensive, but sure, part of it is a set of values that aims to determine the morality of a given person or scenario. Of course, it also includes erroneous and unnecessary beliefs, but sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    This is a poor example. The distinction would be to ask what is tall, not what is 6'3". 6'3" is a numerical value based on objective measure (this is debatable as well but it's a tedious point for this debate so moving on), tall is not.
    You not understanding the point doesn't make it a poor example. The value is objective, the opinion is subjective.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post

    There are no objective measures for morality. It will always be subjective because the perimeters you're choosing are arbitrary to decide whether it is good or bad. There is no scientific or empirical reason that makes it moral. You can measure a cup but not what you should do with it, so the measure is useless in setting moral perimeters - moral in the sense of informing you how to act. Your post-modernist example doesn't apply here. You want to use the postmodernist fallacy of doing away with standards to imply that religion is doing the same thing when it isn't - it is clearly giving you a standard on how to live. But the truth embedded in that and the truth embedded in things we usually measure in the scientific/physical realm are different things.
    No dude, I'm doing the opposite of using a postmodernist idea. You are actually doing that with what you're arguing here. It is bizarre.

    Anyway, I don't care whether you're making a postmodernist argument because I don't have a particular problem with that - I don't really care whether there are objective measures of morality or not. The point that I laid out and will repeat for the umpteenth time is that just because we can't measure something perfectly or come up with a completely comprehensive set of definitions, doesn't mean that a set of morals can't be defined and then applied.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    Yes, the dog gets excited just to see you, cries when you cry - in general empathises with your moods - because it is a stupid animal that just wants to eat. And you previously claimed how I had little regard for animals.

    Or you can realise that a dog is just an animal like you with the capacity to appreciate patterns in behaviour which indicate love. Such as your looking after it, making sure it is fed and healthy, give it companionship and direction. I'm not sure whether it's hippie or religious to say: but the more you realise love is a factor in how living beings interact, the more meaning you will gain from this world. Unfortunately, love is often as hard to describe as god but fortunately useful all the same.
    Complete in utter hypocrisy. My care for animals involves not chopping off it's testicles and keeping it as my human emotional plaything because I respect it enough to not turn it into a doormat.
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  5. #350
    Hall of Fame Member Ikki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hendrix View Post
    Dude you're still not getting this. I don't know if there's a language barrier or whether you're not taking the time to properly read what I'm saying. Innate morality is an inborn sense of right and wrong due to our biology - societal and biological evolution. Innate morals doesn't mean there's meaning or greater purpose to them.

    Something existing is not the same as something having meaning.
    Firstly, how do you believe in such a thing without proof? You are just assuming there is innate morality. Secondly, there is then a choice between actions: following this innate moral guidance or not.

    If you are a nihilist: proposition A and proposition B cannot be distinguished because per the definition of nihilism there is no value to either of them or the values cannot be discovered which means we are making the choice foolishly or blindly either way. If you have innate morality, you are saying we intuitively know which decision to make because we have this function biologically. Ergo, value exists.

    Previously, you tried to determine a moral way of trying to determine how to treat animals. You cannot do this if you are an actual nihilist because the moral way to act either doesn't exist or is not distinguishable because we cannot ascertain the values.

    You aren't a nihilist because you wake up every morning choosing to live a certain way based on the value you are giving between choices you can make and you're not making random choices.

    Yes, part of religion is a subjective set of morals - mostly inconsistent and far from comprehensive, but sure, part of it is a set of values that aims to determine the morality of a given person or scenario. Of course, it also includes erroneous and unnecessary beliefs, but sure.
    Except you cannot claim any of that because something that is in error or unnecessary requires a comparison based on value-given features. A true nihilist cannot distinguish the murderer from the life saver because there is no value to that person's actions or to life, or that even if such values exists they are indeterminable.

    The point of religious people is that: they realise we cannot ever ascertain perfect and complete information regarding how to act however we can create stories to reveal certain moral codes that provide an accurate measure for what is truthful in the sense to live a good life.

    You not understanding the point doesn't make it a poor example. The value is objective, the opinion is subjective.
    Yes, but there are no objective values about distinctions on what is tall - these are relative and contextual. Whether something is 6'3" is a fact. You are conflating the two distinctions of truth.


    No dude, I'm doing the opposite of using a postmodernist idea. You are actually doing that with what you're arguing here. It is bizarre.

    Anyway, I don't care whether you're making a postmodernist argument because I don't have a particular problem with that - I don't really care whether there are objective measures of morality or not. The point that I laid out and will repeat for the umpteenth time is that just because we can't measure something perfectly or come up with a completely comprehensive set of definitions, doesn't mean that a set of morals can't be defined and then applied.
    I'm not making a postmodernist argument clearly. I said you are levelling a fallacy attributable to postmodernists - in that they are removing standards by saying all interpretations are equally the same or flawed because we don't have a full objective truth. The point of religion is not to dismiss science because it falls short in certain areas. It is because it does not apply to moral truth - it's the wrong tool (this is your mistake when you accuse it of postmodernist thinking). This then leaves the question of our flawed understanding of morality which doesn't suggest that all interpretations are equal as religions clearly reveal a set of ways to live. The religious books are not only revealing how to act but how not to act and in doing so creating a standard that sits atop other standards. If religion was postmodernist, it would imply that any belief is valid.

    Complete in utter hypocrisy. My care for animals involves not chopping off it's testicles and keeping it as my human emotional plaything because I respect it enough to not turn it into a doormat.
    But you're a nihilist supposedly...so chopping off its testicles or keeping it as your emotional plaything cannot be described as bad. You believe that no such values exist or can be ascertained - even your biological impulse for compassion has no bearing on whether such actions are good or bad because even though you might have this innate response, it doesn't follow that it has meaning per your own statement in the above.

    My friend, it's time to put this ideology to the waste bin. Whether you want to admit it to yourself or not, you're not a nihilist. Thankfully, I would add.
    Last edited by Ikki; 04-08-2018 at 03:35 AM.

  6. #351
    International Coach hendrix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    Firstly, how do you believe in such a thing without proof? You are just assuming there is innate morality. Secondly, there is then a choice between actions: following this innate moral guidance or not.

    If you are a nihilist: proposition A and proposition B cannot be distinguished because per the definition of nihilism there is no value to either of them or the values cannot be discovered which means we are making the choice foolishly or blindly either way. If you have innate morality, you are saying we intuitively know which decision to make because we have this function biologically. Ergo, value exists.
    - innate morality having been shown by human and animal experiments
    - no, you do not understand what nihilism is.
    - there is no inherent or true meaning to them - if you do something bad, that's only bad based on biological or human or societal morals. There's no such true badness. I.E. whether I'm a mass murderer or Gandhi doesn't actually have any true meaning. The fact that I would rather be Gandhi is due to my human and societal morals - but these things don't determine truth, they are just human morals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    Previously, you tried to determine a moral way of trying to determine how to treat animals. You cannot do this if you are an actual nihilist because the moral way to act either doesn't exist or is not distinguishable because we cannot ascertain the values.
    I am applying human morals in a way that makes sense to me as a human. In terms of its actual meaning?

    It doesn't matter what I do. I could press a nuclear switch and blow up the entire world. There is no actual meaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    You aren't a nihilist because you wake up every morning choosing to live a certain way based on the value you are giving between choices you can make and you're not making random choices.
    This is known as absurdism. I know that my choices do not actually matter or mean anything. I apply them anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    The point of religious people is that: they realise we cannot ever ascertain perfect and complete information regarding how to act however we can create stories to reveal certain moral codes that provide an accurate measure for what is truthful in the sense to live a good life.
    Ikki, that is not the point of religious people. That is the point of every person who ever lived in society. Don't give religion credit for something that every human does. and has nothing to do with the presence or absence of a god.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    Yes, but there are no objective values about distinctions on what is tall - these are relative and contextual. Whether something is 6'3" is a fact. You are conflating the two distinctions of truth.
    The objective value is that the person is 6'3. 6'3 is a value. Having blonde hair is a value.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    I'm not making a postmodernist argument clearly. I said you are levelling a fallacy attributable to postmodernists - in that they are removing standards by saying all interpretations are equally the same or flawed because we don't have a full objective truth. The point of religion is not to dismiss science because it falls short in certain areas. It is because it does not apply to moral truth - it's the wrong tool (this is your mistake when you accuse it of postmodernist thinking). This then leaves the question of our flawed understanding of morality which doesn't suggest that all interpretations are equal as religions clearly reveal a set of ways to live. The religious books are not only revealing how to act but how not to act and in doing so creating a standard that sits atop other standards. If religion was postmodernist, it would imply that any belief is valid.
    - All beliefs are invalid - hence why I'm a nihilist. Actually, I need to phrase that better - I reject all belief.
    - I have never said that science explains morality.
    - Religion is one way of describing a set of moral codes
    - Stories have always been a mechanism for explaining morals probably as long as humans have been able to think and communicate abstractly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    But you're a nihilist supposedly...so chopping off its testicles or keeping it as your emotional plaything cannot be described as bad. You believe that no such values exist or can be ascertained - even your biological impulse for compassion has no bearing on whether such actions are good or bad because even though you might have this innate response, it doesn't follow that it has meaning per your own statement in the above.
    These things can be described as "good" or "bad" based on human (societal and biological) definitions of morality. But "good" or "bad" have no true meaning. It doesn't matter whether I'm "good" or "bad". I'd like to be "good" for completely human reasons that have no meaning outside of my and my fellow world's existence. So my desire is just a biologically and socially constructed thing that has no inherent meaning.
    Last edited by hendrix; 04-08-2018 at 04:50 AM.

  7. #352
    Hall of Fame Member Ikki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hendrix View Post
    - innate morality having been shown by human and animal experiments
    - no, you do not understand what nihilism is.
    - there is no inherent or true meaning to them - if you do something bad, that's only bad based on biological or human or societal morals. There's no such true badness. I.E. whether I'm a mass murderer or Gandhi doesn't actually have any true meaning. The fact that I would rather be Gandhi is due to my human and societal morals - but these things don't determine truth, they are just human morals.
    - You cannot claim innate morality exists because there is no proof determinable to you - so why do you as a nihilist posit this?
    - If there is no true inherent meaning to this innate morality why does it exist, firstly, and secondly, why does it then matter how animals are treated?

    You can't hold these positions if you're a nihilist. That is just patently obvious.

    I am applying human morals in a way that makes sense to me as a human. In terms of its actual meaning?

    It doesn't matter what I do. I could press a nuclear switch and blow up the entire world. There is no actual meaning.
    But there is no sense, remember? Sense requires putting value on a thought process otherwise there would be inaction or just randomness (and even that requires some value input). Because such a value is indeterminable (whether it even exists) to a nihilist you clearly cannot make sense of which action to follow unless you place some value on those moves you make. Meaning, you only live the way you do because you do not follow a nihilistic interpretation of the world.

    If there was the actual nuclear switch in front of you, you would faint before you'd even press the button. That's because you don't believe in nihilism, it doesn't inform your actions, you do not treat the world randomly. Much like the rest of nature, of which you are part.

    This is known as absurdism. I know that my choices do not actually matter or mean anything. I apply them anyway.
    So you posit that you randomly apply choices and that they just so happen to mirror how a civilised person living in a western society would act? How convenient.

    You wake up in the morning because you know it matters. You eat because you know it matters. You do good things because you know it matters. If you didn't, you'd be a sociopath.

    Ikki, that is not the point of religious people. That is the point of every person who ever lived in society. Don't give religion credit for something that every human does. and has nothing to do with the presence or absence of a god.
    This is funny because a lot of atheists tend to hammer religious people for believing in things without proof or to the level acceptable via science. And yet in their attempt to realise morality through science, they suddenly don't have any better standard for results of finding that out than religion.

    This brings us back to why Peterson claims that we are all actually religious - we are following the wisdom passed on down to us, even with its flaw because we realise there is truth within the stories. That's how he posits that an atheist or nihilist isn't really one - much like my claim for you - because they do not act out in the world any different to a religious person.

    The objective value is that the person is 6'3. 6'3 is a value. Having blonde hair is a value.
    Yes but the question isn't, "how many inches is the glass?" It is, "what should I do with the glass?" That's the religious distinction. Science can inform you on something physical, but it cannot inform you how to act once you get to the bare bones of it.

    So asking someone a question such as "is he tall?" cannot be answered by "he's 6'3"". Tall is an indeterminable distinction that requires context. If everything is 100 foot tall, the answer is different.

    And that's the trouble with life: it is contextual, to the point of the individual's subjective assessment which has to calculate numerous conscious and subconscious contexts.


    - All beliefs are invalid - hence why I'm a nihilist. Actually, I need to phrase that better - I reject all belief.
    - I have never said that science explains morality.
    - Religion is one way of describing a set of moral codes
    - Stories have always been a mechanism for explaining morals probably as long as humans have been able to think and communicate abstractly.
    -That's what you claim, your actions speak differently. Which is why I bring up the noted discussion on how to treat animals. You genuinely believe there is a right way, which is why you got so heated when other ways were described. You are not a slave to random, you have sense. If you didn't, you wouldn't have the wherewithal to deny a command, coming from me on the other side of the internet, to leave your house and camp in the bush with no tools for the rest of your life. You posit values to such a proposition to then act out your way of living in the world.

    - Religion is one way, but the point of religion is that it is the right way. A postmodernist wouldn't make this distinction as all ways would be valid.
    -Yes, and that's what is religious about them.

    These things can be described as "good" or "bad" based on human (societal and biological) definitions of morality. But "good" or "bad" have no true meaning. It doesn't matter whether I'm "good" or "bad". I'd like to be "good" for completely human reasons that have no meaning outside of my and my fellow world's existence. So my desire is just a biologically and socially constructed thing that has no inherent meaning.
    Ok: explain how you derive good and bad from your biology. You just said in the above "I have never said that science explains morality."

    Remember, you cannot impute any values yourself. Therefore, the possible argument of "if it hurts it's bad" is not a sufficient explanation for biology in determining good or bad because whether you live or not has no meaning if you actually believe what you're suggesting.

    Society does help us determine bad and good but not always because in reality we are just transmitting that information as opposed to being the source of that information. People do wrong/evil things all the time under the banner of good, just because other people are saying so, doesn't make it so.
    Last edited by Ikki; 05-08-2018 at 02:10 AM.

  8. #353
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Guys I feel I've seen this exact argument before, can we move on

  9. #354
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Like I don't want to step on a discussion but this does all feel very circular here

  10. #355
    Hall of Fame Member Ikki's Avatar
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    Yeah fair enough, we've probably said it in different ways. I tend to think with these discussions often things framed in different ways can have an inspirational quality to them in seeing something differently. But fair enough if it is getting repetitive.

  11. #356
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Oh yeah but the nihilism stuff especially is starting to give me deja vu

  12. #357
    International Coach hendrix's Avatar
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    I've been over this many times with Ikki. I accept that it's a difficult topic to explain properly and we're just going round in circles.

    No hard feelings Ikki mate.

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