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All my atheist morals

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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Glyph wrote:
    Incenjucar wrote:
    I simply go by a blend of ethical egoism and altruistic hedonism.

    If it feels good, and doesn't fuck the world up, I do it, especially if it makes the people around me happy.

    If it feels bad, fucks up the world, or causes it for those close to me, I don't do it.

    Empathy and logic.

    Which is fine until people disagree on what will inevitably "fuck up the world" somewhere down the line.

    Ethical egoism is not a group ethical standard, it's an individual one.

    Humanity is far too stupid on average to pull it off.

    That's what humanism is for.

    Incenjucar on
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    YarYar Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    i'm still agreeing with you.
    No you're not.

    Yar on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    check the edit.

    EDIT: i'm agreeing with you that sentience is not the key issue. it's just the set of things that we consider, because nonsentient things are incapable of suffering or happiness.

    Loren Michael on
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Yar wrote:
    i'm still agreeing with you.
    No you're not.

    I think Loren's inhibitation unit would self destruct if he ever actually agreed with you Yar

    nexuscrawler on
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    YarYar Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    check the edit.
    I'm messing with you at this point. "I'm agreeing... no you're not" haha lol.

    Yes the difference in what we are saying, if there is one at all, is abundantly trivial.

    Yar on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    :D

    [spoiler:3a3f638629]i will rape your family and shave your pets[/spoiler:3a3f638629]

    Loren Michael on
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    GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Incenjucar wrote:
    Glyph wrote:
    Incenjucar wrote:
    I simply go by a blend of ethical egoism and altruistic hedonism.

    If it feels good, and doesn't fuck the world up, I do it, especially if it makes the people around me happy.

    If it feels bad, fucks up the world, or causes it for those close to me, I don't do it.

    Empathy and logic.

    Which is fine until people disagree on what will inevitably "fuck up the world" somewhere down the line.

    Ethical egoism is not a group ethical standard, it's an individual one.

    Humanity is far too stupid on average to pull it off.

    That's what humanism is for.

    I never understood some people's apprehension towards that word. As if putting stock in oneself and the possibility that we're not all 'born evil' and 'made good' by either society or god is somehow backward or blasphemous.

    Glyph on
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    RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Yar wrote:
    RandomEngy wrote:
    They're dicks because they say that religion is wrong and harmful, so therefore you should find religion? Is this like the teen smoking argument or something?
    Yeah, pretty much. I would kill a baby every time I hear someone give me that crap about the spaghetti monster, but that would be wrong. So instead I just wish that every time someone makes that argument, God converts another atheist to something devout, just to make sure that bullshit isn't successful.

    It's reductum ad absurdum and it's a perfectly valid device. The only reason you hear it so often is because "well you can't disprove it" is uttered so often on the other side. The Flying Spaghetti Monster (and other silly imaginary things) are an effective means of countering it. If you think people are dicks for using this argument, you pretty much have a problem with logic itself.

    Back on track I like utilitarianism a whole lot, but I don't think that it's right to sit in one place all day with a wire activating the pleasure region of the brain all day. Perhaps a clause to rule out artificial activation of pleasure? That seems like it would work pretty well. But then again I guess having everyone do that would lead to the collapse of civilization and the probably the death of everyone living under the wire, so maybe you don't need it.

    But I seem to remember there were some other contrived scenarios that said utilitarianism doesn't work. What were they?

    RandomEngy on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Glyph wrote:
    Incenjucar wrote:
    Glyph wrote:
    Incenjucar wrote:
    I simply go by a blend of ethical egoism and altruistic hedonism.

    If it feels good, and doesn't fuck the world up, I do it, especially if it makes the people around me happy.

    If it feels bad, fucks up the world, or causes it for those close to me, I don't do it.

    Empathy and logic.

    Which is fine until people disagree on what will inevitably "fuck up the world" somewhere down the line.

    Ethical egoism is not a group ethical standard, it's an individual one.

    Humanity is far too stupid on average to pull it off.

    That's what humanism is for.

    I never understood some people's apprehension towards that word. As if putting stock in oneself and the possibility that we're not all 'born evil' and 'made good' by either society or god is somehow backward or blasphemous.

    Wait, what?

    Which word?

    I'm basically just saying that if you've got a good dose of empathy and a reasonable head on your shoulders, which is fairly rare in combination, ethical egoism is fine.

    If you are, instead, a normal person, humanism is the way to go, because it keeps you from doing anything particularly horrific.

    Incenjucar on
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    GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Incenjucar wrote:
    Wait, what?

    Which word?

    Humanism. Someone asked me what my religion was once and I told him that, if I had to put a label, I'd probably call myself a humanist. He looked at me as if I had said Scientologist.

    Glyph on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Glyph wrote:
    Incenjucar wrote:
    Wait, what?

    Which word?

    Humanism. Someone asked me what my religion was once and I told him that, if I had to put a label, I'd probably call myself a humanist. He looked at me as if I had said Scientologist.

    Well, you have to keep in mind that humanism was one of the big giant steps in bringing secularization into being.

    Originally, it was the idea that human works had merit and were worth evaluation, rather than ONLY the Bible being so.

    And now it's a philosophy that completely leaves magic out of morality.

    Incenjucar on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    if someone asks me what my religion is, i either say "i'm an atheist" or "i don't have a religion". if i'm feeling gruff or antisocial (rarely) i will say "i don't like religion"

    Loren Michael on
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    GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Incenjucar wrote:
    Glyph wrote:
    Incenjucar wrote:
    Wait, what?

    Which word?

    Humanism. Someone asked me what my religion was once and I told him that, if I had to put a label, I'd probably call myself a humanist. He looked at me as if I had said Scientologist.

    Well, you have to keep in mind that humanism was one of the big giant steps in bringing secularization into being.

    Originally, it was the idea that human works had merit and were worth evaluation, rather than ONLY the Bible being so.

    And now it's a philosophy that completely leaves magic out of morality.

    But it doesn't completely write religion or God off the table and I think that's what keeps it approachable. Handy for those who still want to cling to their superstitions but would opt for a practical re-evaluation of their moral codes through the lense of empiricism and rational thought.

    Glyph on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Christian humanists are rather common, which makes sense, since they were the first official humanists.

    Incenjucar on
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    GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Incenjucar wrote:
    Christian humanists are rather common, which makes sense, since they were the first official humanists.

    Perhaps by name, but it's not a stretch to suggest that most every system of belief stems from some rudimentary form of dialectic synthesis. Or else it wouldn't have gained a significant following, modern day fanaticism notwithstanding.

    Glyph on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Humanism is very popular in WESTERN culture, yes.

    I'm not so sure how well it works worldwide, though.

    Some of the very basics, sure.. but.. try applying it to, say, the Aztecs.

    Incenjucar on
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    GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Aztecs were western.

    Glyph on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Glyph wrote:
    Aztecs were western.

    ...

    Western Society is not defined by compass points.

    Besides, they were more Asian than anything else, being Native Americans.

    Incenjucar on
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    GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Incenjucar wrote:
    Glyph wrote:
    Aztecs were western.

    ...

    Western Society is not defined by compass points.

    Besides, they were more Asian than anything else, being Native Americans.

    That's sort of stretching the cultural umbrella though. And I think there was more to Aztec society and belief structure than just cutting an enemy's heart out atop a step pyramid. Did you know they invented hot chocolate?

    Or maybe that was the Olmecs.

    Glyph on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Glyph wrote:
    Incenjucar wrote:
    Glyph wrote:
    Aztecs were western.

    ...

    Western Society is not defined by compass points.

    Besides, they were more Asian than anything else, being Native Americans.

    That's sort of stretching the cultural umbrella though.

    Shit load more direct than their connection to Europe and the Mediterranean.

    Incenjucar on
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    GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Incenjucar wrote:
    Glyph wrote:
    Incenjucar wrote:
    Glyph wrote:
    Aztecs were western.

    ...

    Western Society is not defined by compass points.

    Besides, they were more Asian than anything else, being Native Americans.

    That's sort of stretching the cultural umbrella though.

    Shit load more direct than their connection to Europe and the Mediterranean.

    But less direct than, say, Europe and the Middle East, which is considered part of the Orient. In other words, Asia has more in common with Western culture than with Native Americans.

    Glyph on
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    JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Place at the tableRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    You guys, there's too much "what is happiness? I think, therefore I like ham" etc going on here.

    Here is a solid basis to form a comfortable, free, modern, safe atheist society:

    That society is most likely to produce longer, more comfortable lifespans.
    Our ability as social creatures outstrips our ability as solitary creatures
    We live more pleasurable lives in a society
    We procreate more in a society
    We innovate more in a society and we better record our history.

    As our "immortality" as atheists is found in the hearts and minds of our surviors, the lives of our children, and the record of our deeds, our legacy is greater in an ordered society. As our only chance at literal immortality comes through our innovations, we are more likely to achieve it through a social setting. For humans, society is more comfortable, safer, and more likely to produce immortality. Society is the best way to ensure our genes continue to brew up better and better versions of ourselves. Society is a better avenue for evolution of both the genome and the mind of the human race.

    Also, I like hamburgers and starbucks more then bear (which is something you have to eat before it eats you if you eschew society). Bear is greasy.

    JohnnyCache on
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    SumalethSumaleth Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I see morality as a term used to describe those instincts that run counter to the instincts we have that drive for purely personal gain. In other words, the social instincts.

    I haven't thought about it at length so I don't know how well that idea plays out, but it seems that evolution would naturally create a drive for personal gain, so to work communially there would need to exist something equally strong keeping individuality in check.

    Unspoken agreements that "if you don't attack me, I won't attack you", leading to "if you give me help when I need it, I'll give you help when you need it", for example.

    Of course, the only reason for social evolution is if by working together the individual gains more than they would alone, so it's likely a complex interaction.

    I also like the simplicity of Yar's happy/sad proposition -- you add an ability for empathy to that starting point and you can go a long way towards explaining morals.

    Empathy is also a requirement for my "social instincts" thinking.

    Morality is one hell of a complex thing, that interacts with and emerges from deep within the human mind, so I don't expect we'll ever find an absolute set of morals.

    Sumaleth on
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    poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I'm sorry if I misunderstood something, but:

    Why do you think atheists should be humble and reserved and keep their head down Yar? Or do you just mean that all people should be?

    I'm not ashamed of being an atheist. I don't want to be a cock to anyone about it, but that's what I feel. Coming from a background horribly fucked (sometimes literally) by the Catholic Church, I see the Church as an evil and deeply corrupt organisation whose primary purpose is the continuation of its secular power. Why shouldn't atheists stand up and say 'religion is dangerous' if they believe it?

    And every bit of Dawkins rhetoric I've seen has been polite, reasonable and sensible. You thought of it first? Good. Lots of people haven't.

    poshniallo on
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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    poshniallo wrote:
    And every bit of Dawkins rhetoric I've seen has been polite,

    Some of it is a bit... acerbic. (Read: he really, really, really does not like religion) However, I tend to give him a free pass on it, because being painted as a sort of anti-christ, even by idiot fundies, can be irritating. Also, having your home invaded and being ambushed and bushwacked.

    Fencingsax on
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    itylusitylus Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    poshniallo wrote:
    I'm sorry if I misunderstood something, but:

    Why do you think atheists should be humble and reserved and keep their head down Yar? Or do you just mean that all people should be?

    I'm not ashamed of being an atheist. I don't want to be a cock to anyone about it, but that's what I feel. Coming from a background horribly fucked (sometimes literally) by the Catholic Church, I see the Church as an evil and deeply corrupt organisation whose primary purpose is the continuation of its secular power. Why shouldn't atheists stand up and say 'religion is dangerous' if they believe it?

    And every bit of Dawkins rhetoric I've seen has been polite, reasonable and sensible. You thought of it first? Good. Lots of people haven't.

    Please, let's not turn this into a religion thread.

    To turn this back on topic, does anyone here think that humility has an important place (or an unimportant place) in a secular humanist system of morality? Is there a virtue in humility, regardless of what one is being humble about? Or does it only make sense to be humble when you're not in a position to justifiably be arrogant?

    itylus on
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    Grid SystemGrid System Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    That's an interesting question. I'm inclined to say that humility is one of those pragmatic concerns, not a moral one. There doesn't seem to be much of a case that being arrogant in and of itself makes other people's lives much worse. If you're arrogant and can't hack it, people won't respect you (unless you can fake it) so it's in your best interests to at the very least not over-promise and under-achieve. That's the theory anyway.

    If humility is a virtue, then it's probably supererogatory, not obligatory.

    Grid System on
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    YarYar Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    RandomEngy wrote:
    It's reductum ad absurdum and it's a perfectly valid device.
    No, it just demonstrates a horribly naive understanding of what many people consider God to be. If you think the concept of God is comparable to a Spaghetti monster, you are entitled to your beliefs, but you clearly don't understand the issue well enough to be arrogant about it. The Spaghetti monster argument to me sounds like when religious people say, "If we descended from monkeys, how come we don't go 'ooo ooo ahh ah' all the time?" It's just not really all that clever.
    poshniallo wrote:
    I'm sorry if I misunderstood something, but:

    Why do you think atheists should be humble and reserved and keep their head down Yar? Or do you just mean that all people should be?
    Yeah, all people, regarding these kinds of topics.
    poshniallo wrote:
    Why shouldn't atheists stand up and say 'religion is dangerous' if they believe it?
    They can, and I think that's a great case for atheism. But it's also a much more gray area. If you're looking at the effects of religion, there's a whole lot of evidence on both sides. Religion as a means of personal happiness, community service, and so forth. But people who try to construct a rational/logical attack on faith are like people who criticize e. e. cummings for not using proper capitalization. Yeah, your logic is right, but you missed the concept entirely.
    poshniallo wrote:
    And every bit of Dawkins rhetoric I've seen has been polite, reasonable and sensible.
    In the way that rambozo was polite, reasonable, and sensible to that hippie chick.
    poshniallo wrote:
    You thought of it first? Good. Lots of people haven't.
    First? No. But just like you, I feel I am entitled to speak out against asshole rhetoric.

    Yar on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    FSM is principally useful, like the celestial teapot, for defeating the argument of "well, you can't prove that god doesn't exist!"

    it also involves pirates and puns, so it appeals to geeks.

    Loren Michael on
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    RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Yar wrote:
    RandomEngy wrote:
    It's reductum ad absurdum and it's a perfectly valid device.
    No, it just demonstrates a horribly naive understanding of what many people consider God to be. If you think the concept of God is comparable to a Spaghetti monster, you are entitled to your beliefs, but you clearly don't understand the issue well enough to be arrogant about it. The Spaghetti monster argument to me sounds like when religious people say, "If we descended from monkeys, how come we don't go 'ooo ooo ahh ah' all the time?" It's just not really all that clever.

    The argument is not directly against god. But it is against the statement oft-used to defend the concept: "well you can't disprove it so you have to respect the viewpoint." The flying spaghetti monster, invisible pink unicorn, and dragon in my garage examples are all just applications of this logic to show how flawed it is. The "monkeys" argument is similar in that in it's also an attempt at reductio ad abusurdum, but it fails because saying 'oo oo ahh ah' does not follow from having monkeys as distant descendants. However if you do really think that beliefs without evidence are valid, then that does imply FSM and invisible unicorns and dragons are also valid.

    RandomEngy on
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    YarYar Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Yeah, I'm not getting into it here. I'm out. Suffice it to say that I am an athiest who recognizes the FSM argument as crap, and my point is just that atheist dickwads are dickwads.

    Yar on
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    Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator Mod Emeritus
    edited January 2007
    Yar wrote:
    Irond Will wrote:
    Is this in reference to anyone or anything in particular, or just generalized venom?
    Well, this whole Dawkins atheist revival that seems to be going on right now. My experience in the past has always been that atheists are usually very humble and resserved and quiet about their beliefs. With good reason, that shit will still get you hanged in some counties around here, I think. Regardless, such an attitude towards such beliefs (be they faith or lack thereof) is always preferred. But lately, this dickcheese fuckstick stuff going just makes me mad. Renouncing religion on YouTube, Penn and Teller's disgustingly smug sophistry, Dawkin's sophmoric arguments that I had already considered by the third grade, and so forth, it's just icky.
    Yeah I can see that; it's not really my scene either. On the other hand, Sagan was, if memory serves, fairly respectful and all that and he got pillaried just as badly as do Dawkins and the rest.

    Irond Will on
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    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Yar wrote:
    Yeah, I'm not getting into it here. I'm out. Suffice it to say that I am an athiest who recognizes the FSM argument as crap, and my point is just that atheist dickwads are dickwads.
    This isn't news, and, get this, everyone, knows it's a crap argument. It comes up because it rebuts an even more retarded argument that, oh look, comes up oh so often.

    Stop pretending you're so enlightened compared to the unwashed wannabes or whatever illuminary role you see yourself in here.

    electricitylikesme on
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    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Let's please not turn this into a religion thread, and let's please not turn this into a Dawkins thread either. I, for one, would much prefer to discuss ethics than to argue over whether Dawkins is a visionary or a big meanie.
    ociety is most likely to produce longer, more comfortable lifespans.
    Our ability as social creatures outstrips our ability as solitary creatures
    We live more pleasurable lives in a society
    We procreate more in a society
    We innovate more in a society and we better record our history.

    Why are any of these things good? Well, for the most part because they maximize happiness and preference satisfaction, and because they minimize pain and frustration. Well, except for the procreation one--I have no idea why that's even on the list.

    There are a great deal of things that are valuable in a second-order way, such as social harmony, or sufficient food production. However, they should not be confused with what is most basically valuable--preferences and happiness. Social harmony and sufficient food production are only valuable because of the pleasant effect they happen to have upon our lives in these particular circumstances. Social harmony in a profoundly cruel and unjust society, for example, would not be good. Social harmony is not good in and of itself.

    Furthermore, evolutionary and enlightened self-interest accounts of morality are faulty. Evolutionary accounts cannot explain how something like rape, which may well be procreationally advantageous, can still be wrong. Enlightened self-interest accounts cannot account for why it's wrong to do something that you're sure you'll get away with. Self-interest does not stand in the way of stealing, provided you know you won't be punished, because your theft is an independent event from other people's. Whether you steal will not appreciably impact the chances of you being stolen from.

    Aristotelian ethics are also pretty poor. The man thought that our purpose in life was, well, to fulfill our purpose in life. For example, for the women among us that meant serving your male overlords. In addition to teleology (the purpose-based ethics) I also disagree with virtue ethics, though this one is generally less of a slam dunk--some people find the idea of "everyone getting her just deserts" quite appealing. To some degree, I suspect this has to do with everyone being convinced that they fall into the virtuous category, as opposed to all those other assholes. I, however, would categorize the reward of virtue and the punishment of vice as second order rules again--rewarding virtue and punishing vice are only good because virtuous acts tend to be pleasant and satisfying to the community, whereas vice is not, and as such we want to encourage one and discourage the other.

    For the academics out there, let me say that Kantian ethics are stupid. His derivations are not logically sound, and it is blindingly obvious that you should lie to the murderer at the door (among other things). It is only by benefit of its approximation of utilitarian morality in everyday cases that it is so often plausible. And finally, Rawls is unable to justify thoroughly why the parties in the original position would reject a utilitarian standard (or one with an ensured minimum). However, Rawls and utilitarian morality are both agreed on a large number of immediate demands for change on modern society, so it's not really a big deal. They're pointing in the same direction--a more complete equality.

    In terms of a full moral framework, I mostly follow Peter Singer (the modern J.S. Mill)--the good is that which maximizes aggregate preference satisfaction and pleasure, and the bad is, in varying degrees, everything else.

    MrMister on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Glyph wrote:
    Incenjucar wrote:
    Glyph wrote:
    Incenjucar wrote:
    Glyph wrote:
    Aztecs were western.

    ...

    Western Society is not defined by compass points.

    Besides, they were more Asian than anything else, being Native Americans.

    That's sort of stretching the cultural umbrella though.

    Shit load more direct than their connection to Europe and the Mediterranean.

    But less direct than, say, Europe and the Middle East, which is considered part of the Orient. In other words, Asia has more in common with Western culture than with Native Americans.

    Native Americans are more directly related to Asians, genetically.

    The point was: Aztecs are not "Western" in the cultural sense.

    Incenjucar on
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    Ain't No SunshineAin't No Sunshine Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I have an appreciation of utilitarianism, but I worry about how the system values utility over the agents that are supposed to be appreciating it.

    Many kinds of psychotherapy (cognitive behavioral therapies, operant conditioning, hypnotherapy) can actively modify an individual's preferences so that they better match the preferences of others. What if I used positive psychotherapies on children to teach them to grow up agreeing with me and liking only what I like? The aggregate of my family would easily be more happy that way, because we'd all agree on what things are good and what we should do on a given day. Is this moral? I'm not certain, even though there's clearly more preferences being fulfilled.

    There are the standard challenges to consider, as well: non-productive hedonism, painlessly killing the guy nobody likes while he sleeps.

    Utilitarianism does stand out among other ethical theories, but I don't know how well it stands alone.

    Ain't No Sunshine on
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    JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Place at the tableRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    MrMister wrote:
    Let's please not turn this into a religion thread, and let's please not turn this into a Dawkins thread either. I, for one, would much prefer to discuss ethics than to argue over whether Dawkins is a visionary or a big meanie.
    ociety is most likely to produce longer, more comfortable lifespans.
    Our ability as social creatures outstrips our ability as solitary creatures
    We live more pleasurable lives in a society
    We procreate more in a society
    We innovate more in a society and we better record our history.

    Why are any of these things good? Well, for the most part because they maximize happiness and preference satisfaction, and because they minimize pain and frustration. Well, except for the procreation one--I have no idea why that's even on the list.

    There are a great deal of things that are valuable in a second-order way, such as social harmony, or sufficient food production. However, they should not be confused with what is most basically valuable--preferences and happiness. Social harmony and sufficient food production are only valuable because of the pleasant effect they happen to have upon our lives in these particular circumstances. Social harmony in a profoundly cruel and unjust society, for example, would not be good. Social harmony is not good in and of itself.

    Furthermore, evolutionary and enlightened self-interest accounts of morality are faulty. Evolutionary accounts cannot explain how something like rape, which may well be procreationally advantageous, can still be wrong. Enlightened self-interest accounts cannot account for why it's wrong to do something that you're sure you'll get away with. Self-interest does not stand in the way of stealing, provided you know you won't be punished, because your theft is an independent event from other people's. Whether you steal will not appreciably impact the chances of you being stolen from.

    Orderly, safe societies are more productive then unsafe ones. Rape in humans is not particulary adventageous because it is likely to compromise the rearing of the offspring. Rape is also less likely to fertilize a particular, adventageous partner then repeatedly making sweet love to her.

    There's also an empathetic argument - that one should craft the society one would like to live in, but ignoring that, a crime against a party is not independant of other crimes simply because the party remains anonymous - not getting caught personally is not the same as not reaping any negative results. Witness the case of our poorest neighborhoods, where the squalor spills all over all the people in the area when someone 'gets away' with something - including their own environment. Of course, part of mutualism is the defense of your group - something we tend to fail at as citizens, owing, in my opinion, to an excess of trust placed in impersonal and institutional power.

    I did also go on to espouse the various points I made as atheist morals (rather then ABSOLUTE morals, which is what people on this thread seem to be gravitating toward) because I don't see how an atheist can fail to place a strong value on physical, genetic continuation and historical remembrance. The thread purports to explore uniquely atheist values, and I was hoping for some discussion of "what matters to atheists" in a manner more concrete then "what is good about good? What do I hope to get out of being good? Is it good that I want to be good?"

    The social morals of a group tend to be motivated by the beliefs of that group - in the absence of divine reasons to do or not do things, what is the BEST root for morality? Purely practical? The preservation of life? The advancement of science?

    There is no one root for all morality. Every system has mitigating factors, harmed parties. The best philosophy, in my opinion, is one that studies systems in an effort to perfect them, rather then warp them to a value, even a "positive" one. The best system I envision for humanity is one where as many people as possible reap the majority of the benefits of being a mutal creature and the majority of the benefits of being a solitary creature.

    Also, the flying spaghetti monster is not a reduction to the absurd - it's a classic argument against the placement of the burden of proof on the negative. The extended FSM dogma is an example of causation vs corrolation. There's nothing "crap" about that.

    JohnnyCache on
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    Ain't No SunshineAin't No Sunshine Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I don't see why there needs to be a dividing line between atheist ethical values and more general ethical values. Simply being an atheist doesn't necessarily make a person interested in having a historical presence, or following a value system centered on genetic inheritance. "Good, for its own sake", seems a perfectly healthy ideal for religious and nonreligious folk alike.

    Ain't No Sunshine on
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    JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Place at the tableRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Why would there NOT be a dividing line? Atheists could very well have unique and differing drives regarding certain things. Following them, in a properly free and organized society, wouldn't force anyone else to do anything different.

    There seems to be a drive here to reduce the problem, to chunk it and render a single solve. That's not what I'm interested in doing. I'm more interested in sliding the various blocks that make up secular morality around like the planes of a rubik's cube.

    JohnnyCache on
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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Yar wrote:
    Yeah, I'm not getting into it here. I'm out. Suffice it to say that I am an athiest who recognizes the FSM argument as crap, and my point is just that atheist dickwads are dickwads.
    This isn't news, and, get this, everyone, knows it's a crap argument. It comes up because it rebuts an even more retarded argument that, oh look, comes up oh so often.
    It is like using Last Thursdayism to disprove omphalism. Last Thursdayism is completely retarded for a reason.

    Couscous on
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