Not-so-skeptical skeptics

Dan & Edgar posted a good video (Warning: not for little ones) that shows the challenges of living coherently with one’s worldview when that involves denying universal morality.

One of the commenters caught my attention on a couple items:

This is just another deliberate misinterpretation of the Selfish Gene theory. It’s not about the genes of the individual, it’s about the genes of the species. It’s the reason there are worker ants and bees that do nothing but work, fight and die. They allow for their SPECIES to survive, not their individual genes.

I’d suggest that it’s not the Darwinists that have closed minds, so much as the Creationists that have closed eyes and ears. If only they’d take after the third monkey and close their mouths too.

My reply: Then why are humans — the most advanced species — so “irrational” when it comes to morality? Wouldn’t we be all in lockstep if it was all about the genes of the species? I don’t see lions debating the morality of killing gazelles.

And as another commenter noted, wouldn’t anything I do in a materialistic worldview be driven by my genes?

Then the original commenter went a different direction:

Can you point out which part of the Bible even mentions Genes? DNA? Germ Theory? Bacteria? Anything that couldn’t have been written by some wandering nomad in the desert???

Here’s my response: Cute red herring. If the Bible claimed to be a science textbook then that might be a remotely relevant point.

What I find highly informative about the Big Book O’ Atheist Sound Bites crowd is that they never bring up passages like Genesis 22:17: I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.

The ancients thought there were just over 1,000 stars. But they obviously knew there were a vast, vast amount of grains of sand. So why don’t they highlight verses like this and be skeptical of their skepticism, even if just for one time? We know there are billions of grains of sand and billions of stars. Of course the Bible wasn’t claiming the figures were precisely the same.

But why don’t “skeptics” say, “Wow, how could the author of Genesis know that there were billions of stars? That obviously wasn’t written by some uneducated wandering nomad. Maybe I should take the spiritual claims of the bible more seriously since it is accurate on something like that, and is so well supported by archeology and history.”

P.S. The Bible supports the “selfish gene theory.”  It is called original sin.  It also tells you about the cure to this eternally deadly disease.

0 thoughts on “Not-so-skeptical skeptics”

  1. It must be the sugar. I eat too much sugar and it clogs up the capillaries in my brain, and then I can’t process information properly enough to make a cognitive point. All I can say (and I know the atheists here will easily refute it) is, apart from God, Who is the author of the only moral code there is, there can be no morality, ergo, if some one has no God, he is not capable of recognizing what is moral and what is not.

    The fly in the ointment is, of course, that it doesn’t matter if one believes there is a God or not, He still exists. Therefore, we all are subject to God’s moral code, like it or not.

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  2. Neil said: “So? Who cares if we don’t survive? In a materialistic worldview that is just classic question-begging.”

    Well, I think every reasonable person cares! Anybody else is insane. Independent of any worldview people have feelings. Every parent cares about the future of their children, that is just human condition. Your statement is unrealistic.

    But thanks anyway for following my argument: Overpopulation is a threat to our survival.

    Neil said: “They [morals] come from the one true God, not “religion.” He is all about reason, btw.”

    So it is moral to stone you son to death if he doesn’t obey? The god of the OT issued rules but by modern standards a number of them are highly immoral. Anybody who orders the slaughtering of innocent women and children, e.g., is immoral to the core!

    Neil said: “Wow, you managed to be grossly illogical (you have no foundation in your worldview to say anything is immoral and expect us to care), grossly wrong (Jesus is the epitome of morality, and that is an understatement) and grossly ironic (you, the creature, are going to judge Jesus, the creator?!), all at the same time.”

    When Jesus acts contrarily to his own teachings according to your convictions he must act immorally. I’m afraid by denying this you display classic circular reasoning: “Jesus is always right so regardless of what he does he can never be wrong.”

    Neil said: “(you, the creature, are going to judge Jesus, the creator?!”

    Interesting. And you are not judging when you call Jesus or God for that matter, “good”, “benevolent” or whatever positive attributes you associate with them? Again your logic falls short. By judging them in this way, you acknoledge that “Good” is a higher entity than God.

    Now, I would like to give an answer to your central question. According to the Cathegorical Imperative that I have already stated, it is immoral to torture and kill, because if it wasn’t everybody would have the same right, this would be sheer anarchy and no society could live and survive on that state of affairs.

    In other words: If I thought that I had the right to torutre or even kill someone else I would have to concede that everybody else had the right to torture and kill me. It is that simple!

    Would I want anybody to torture and kill me? Of course not. Therefore I cannot claim the right to do likewise to other people. Straightforward logic that does not require any moral rulesetting by an outside authority.

    Just inform yourselves on the subject of moral philosophy and you will realize that the moral code that underpins human rights can be arrived at without invoking any kind of god and that – on the contrary – religions can be a hinderance to such a moral code, because they want to prune it according to their atavistic traditions. Most recent example is the attempt of “Islam to rewrite the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Is there any sane person who would not call this endeavour immoral to the extreme?

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    1. Well, I think every reasonable person cares! Anybody else is insane.

      I agree that they do care. My point is that in a materialistic wordlview their caring is irrational and without foundation. The fact that they care is evidence against their view and in favor of mine.

      So it is moral to stone you son to death if he doesn’t obey? The god of the OT issued rules but by modern standards a number of them are highly immoral. Anybody who orders the slaughtering of innocent women and children, e.g., is immoral to the core!

      Ah, the stone your kids for disobeying line. You might want to do a little research on that and what it really meant, how it was applied, etc..

      When Jesus acts contrarily to his own teachings according to your convictions he must act immorally.

      Where did He violate his own teachings? You need to demonstrate that first. I’ve read the Bible a few times and didn’t catch that part 😉 .

      you acknoledge that “Good” is a higher entity than God.

      I don’t follow that. I’m just describing him as He really is.

      According to the Cathegorical Imperative that I have already stated, it is immoral to torture and kill, because if it wasn’t everybody would have the same right, this would be sheer anarchy and no society could live and survive on that state of affairs.

      Once again, you have begged the question. If the universe came into being as you suggest, and life came from non-life and evolved to what we see today, which non-designed chemical reaction(s) established the philosophical Cathegorical Imperative as a universal law? You also beg the question in saying that anarchy is bad and that society couldn’t live and survive. Just because we know that would be bad doesn’t explain why it really is in your worldview.

      Straightforward logic that does not require any moral rulesetting by an outside authority.

      The “selfish gene” talk only works to a point. As soon as someone realizes they have power over others and the risks of retribution are low (as in the video) they can and will do all sorts of things. And you have no foundation to say they are immoral. Again, pretend you’re the guy in the chair. Picture yourself reasoning with him and telling him why he isn’t being moral.

      Re. Islam – of course I oppose that. But my worldview has an explanation for it (false religions are Satanic in origin). A materialistic worldview has no reason to apply universal morality to Islam. Who are you to judge another society and what they do inside it? And if their society doesn’t think it is immoral to force their views on other societies, who are you to object? Why would your morality trump theirs?

      You and I know what they are doing is immoral. The difference is that my worldview has a clear explanation and yours does not.

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  3. Jason, the ‘overpopulated earth’ theory was debunked two decades ago. Most demographic models see the world’s population peaking around 2020 and declining beyond this.

    Mark, as for your definition of morality, I am about to modify it. My definition of morality consists of forcing people to accept my way of life and belief, or, if they refuse, I force them to pay a hefty tax every year until they die, or, if they refuse that, I execute them.

    Approximately one billion people today live under my definition of morality. They all agree with me, and further, if you at some point decide that our morality is not for you, we execute you.

    Come live in my country, and we will show you that morality is relative and you have no right to say we are wrong.

    Bring cash.
    ——-
    In case you are confused, and I believe that you have been confused for some time now, I am being facetious. The ‘morals’ I just described are not morals at all – they are tactics used to control people. This is Islam, and it is false. However, it serves as a good example of your inability to define morality apart from God – if you try, you end up agreeing that there is no good/bad behavior for all people, because no one can define it. You are forced to agree with the people who would cut off your own head, even though you are living peacefully.

    Once upon a time, about 5 years ago, Theo Van Gogh was living peacefully. A man cut his throat, shot him and stabbed a letter to his chest one day. This man acted on the morality given to him by his false religion. This man’s religion does not agree with you that living peacefully with one’s neighbors is moral. In fact, this man and millions who share his worldview argue that living in peace with neighbors who do not believe like they do justify’s war, and this war is morally good.

    Why are they wrong?

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  4. Neil

    I’ve been sticking to the topic very tightly, in spite of some efforts to pull me off.

    To answer your questions:
    1. Yes, morals are relative to society. If a society’s morals say it is ok to force their morality on others and they do so, then no, it is not immoral to them. Certainly, however, it is immoral to the society being inflicted with morals foriegn to their own.

    The fact that morals are relative to the society/religion explains very much about world history and why many wars are fought. Frankly, I’m shocked you’re not seeing the point.

    The United States, right now, is involved in such a war. We are attempting to create a democracy where it is not wanted. I ask you, Neil. It that immoral? I’d love to hear your answer to this.

    2. Of course the torturer / killer in the video, if he follows through with his threat and kills the man, is doing something immoral. What has the victim done to deserve the death penalty? There is no evidence to suggest the victim is harming society. Unless, of course, you consider different ideas to be a sin. But of course, we as a human society have evolved to the point where different ideas aren’t immoral, right?

    No, we haven’t. Have we? Otherwise, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    Do I have to know what society the victim is in to make that assessment? The video plainly points out that he is in a society that believes it is wrong to murder. The torture, however, has different morals than the victim.

    The video is clearly making the point that different societies have different morals. I know that’s not the intention of the producers. Nevertheless, the fact that different morals exist is on display for anyone willing to see it.

    Besides, in the video, we’re looking at two societies of one, which is not possible. Like I said, the video is nothing more that using one absurdity in an attempt to point out another absurdity.

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    1. Hi Mark (2) (the sequel!),

      Certainly, however, it is immoral to the society being inflicted with morals foriegn to their own.

      Agreed, but we also appear to agree that in your worldview we have no reason to criticize the dominant society — which in your example would be the U.S. (that should answer your Iraq question). And your example seems to imply that the morality of a society is clearly defined. But of course societies are hard to pin down. What is magical about a border that creates a society? What about disagreements within the society?

      Our “society” (or at least its leaders) changed its view on abortion in 1973. But I submit that abortion was either always moral or always immoral. Its morality doesn’t change as laws go back and forth.

      Of course the torturer / killer in the video, if he follows through with his threat and kills the man, is doing something immoral.

      How can you say that if you don’t know what society he is in? Maybe the victim was visiting another country where this was OK. And why should he care what his own society says? You know, survival of the fittest and all that. He appears to be the most “fit” in that situation.

      The video points out that the victim’s wordlview has no ready answers for the killer.

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  5. The problem with mark(2)’s argument, and you will never get him to see/realize/admit this, is it a vacuum, macro view of morals. He is basically arguing that you have to take each act individually and weigh it against his standard of morality.

    For instance, if I am in a Mexican stand-off with someone, they have a gun to my child’s head and I have a gun trained on them, his view is that my shooting this would be murderer against his standard of morality because the act in and of itself doesn’t “promote a peaceful, orderly society”. My act would be immoral based on that ground because it is not peaceful. He has already argued (successfully in his mind apparently) that the end (saving my child) never justifies the means (shooting the perp in the head). Since shooting the perp in the head is anti-peaceful it is immoral even if the greater good (saving my child and preventing the perp from doing anything like that ever again) ends up accomplishing peace and order.

    The world doesn’t work in an Utopian, macro manner like that. Every decision must be weighed and measured. What standard do we weigh and measure against? Mark(2)’s? I think his standard has already been proven insufficient, though he won’t admit to that.

    Therefore we must ascend to a higher standard of morality and that is God’s. In the end Mark(2)’s search for an alternative standard is an effort to deny God’s standard. Therefore, he argues for subjective morality which has been proven to be no standard at all in the annals of human history.

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  6. Neil said: “I don’t follow that. I’m just describing him as He really is.”

    Oh, my! You of all people KNOW what God is like? Rational people cannot even decide if there is a god. Let alone provide this alleged entity with any characteristics.

    Neil said: “You and I know what they are doing is immoral. The difference is that my worldview has a clear explanation and yours does not.”

    Any believer’s worldview claims to have a clear explanation. Every Muslim, Jew, Chrisitan, Sikh, a.s.o. blindly follow their “sacred” book fpr their morals. The only problem is that these morals are not congruent and even partly mutually exclusive.

    The Golden Rule is based on reason and thus universal, because every human being has the capacity of being reasonable. It is a sad thing that the majority of believers make no use of this capacity.

    Neil said: “And you have no foundation to say they are immoral.”

    Any person that for themselves claims rights and privileges that they simultaneously deny others, to my mind act immorally.

    Eating meat on a Friday is not immoral, unless eating meat on any day can be considered immoral.

    Neil said: “…which non-designed chemical reaction(s) established the philosophical Cathegorical Imperative as a universal law?”

    Reason!

    To answer your question about Jesus’s immoral action (just one example):

    Matthew 21:18-22

    Mark 11:12-14, 19-25

    Jesus is cursing and also abusing his supposed powers.

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    1. Oh, my! You of all people KNOW what God is like? Rational people cannot even decide if there is a god. Let alone provide this alleged entity with any characteristics.

      Of course I can. I don’t know everything about God, but He revealed plenty to us in his word. Just because so many people suppress the truth in unrighteousness doesn’t mean I can’t understand plenty about him from the Bible and his creation.

      The Golden Rule is based on reason and thus universal, because every human being has the capacity of being reasonable.

      But you keep going in circles. That point doesn’t make sense to me. The killer in the video uses reason, so by your logic wouldn’t his conclusions be universal?

      Any believer’s worldview claims to have a clear explanation. Every Muslim, Jew, Chrisitan, Sikh, a.s.o. blindly follow their “sacred” book fpr their morals.

      I’m not sure why you slip in ad homs like “blindly following.” You really don’t have to do such things if you are confident in your views.

      Yes, many religions claim to be true. I examined their truth claims. Only Christianity fully corresponds to reality.

      Reason is a chemical reaction in your view. Feel free to describe how it transcends the universe, as the existence of logic is another indication of the reality of God.

      Re. Jesus alleged immoral action: I don’t follow that. For someone who can’t provide a single reason why the guy in the video shouldn’t be killed you are going to chastise the creator of the universe for killing a fig tree?

      Keep in mind that in the Christian worldview (and in reality), Jesus is God. He can do things that would not be moral for you or me – just as the state can perform capital punishments and you and I can’t (legally, at least).

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  7. Neil

    Guys, I’m not arguing in favor of a subjective morality. I’m merely “telling it like it is.” Subjective morality is all we have because of different religions and societies.

    Until you get the entire world to believe the same standards, you’ll never reach that “Utopia” that Lone Wolf mentions. And – of course – we know that will never happen. Sorry to shine the light of reality on your parade.

    I’m only the messenger, please don’t shoot me!

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  8. Mark, if you’d leave stereotype land for a few minutes and focus on what I’ve written it would be more productive.

    I’m not saying you like subjective morality. I’m saying that you haven’t provided one good reason for the victim in the video to use to explain why he shouldn’t be killed.

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  9. Mark(2), you miss the point. Whether or not the entire world believe the standard or not, THERE IS AN UNIVERSAL STANDARD OF MORALITY. Period.

    The issue you raise is not a difference in the standard of morality, but societies refusal to live up to the universal standard. That in no way removes the truth of the existence of such an universal standard.

    Those of us that argue for an universal standard of morality created by our Creator are not trying to say people are forced into obedience to it. We all are free-will agents and can choose to live according to the standard or opposed to the standard.

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  10. Our Declaration of Independence states that “We are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, …”
    Were the founding fathers wrong? With this moral realization and acceptance, the United States is the closest nation to following God’s universal morality. If we fail to continue to do this, we will end up as Jesus said Israel would.
    In the symbolism of the Scriptures, a fruitless, withered tree was worthy of nothing more than being cut down (cf. Psa. 90:6; Hos. 9:16). “Withering” was a symbol of imminent death (Joel 1:12). (Matthew 21:18-19; 20-22 and Mark 11:12-14; 20-25)

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  11. Rights and privileges are determined by circumstance and also by authority. I have no right to demand I ride on Air Force 1 because the president does. Adults watch a show and deny their children the same. A priest denies communion to a pro-abortion politician but takes communion himself.
    God chooses to reveal Himself to some and denies others for the greater good. We do not have a “right” to every spiritual gift or the gift of salvation for that matter. However, God has chosen to give everyone freedom to choose good or evil. Through the the Church He has demonstrated many behaviors that are good or evil. God created the universe and He created you. He created moral law. God created consequences for our behavior that are indelible.

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  12. You Said, “Your refusal to admit that morals are relative to the socitety in which they exist is the point you and others can’t seem to grasp”. If that is the case then you have failed [again] to answer the original issue of this post, why shouldn’t “Buster’ be killed? If morality is relative to society and a society thinks “Buster” deserves the slice then why would the opinion of a society that he should live be entitled to any more weight ?
    I [and the others] know that morality[if it is to me more than just someone’s opinion] comes from God and is the same at all times for all people. If it doesn’t then there is no morality. Any thing goes. If you haven’t I hope you will read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. He explains this in much greater detail.

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  13. You guys are so two dimensional in your thinking. Just like so many others in the world that subscribe to a different religion, you believe you have all the answers and the foundation to all life and morality.

    How can two “societies” manage to get along when their morals are so different? Their God has all the answers just as yours does.

    Neil, one of your replies above is very telling, “Yes, many religions claim to be true. I examined their truth claims. Only Christianity fully corresponds to reality.” Ah, you *do* admit that other religions claim to be true. Yet you examined the claims and determined that Christianity is the only “real” religion. Well, the world is all ok now, everyone. Neil almighty has discovered all the answers for us.

    Come on, Neil. Other people have examined different faiths and have come to different conclusions than you. With the same amount of passion, belief, and conviction, they believe *their* morals are more correct than yours just as you believe yours are more correct.

    How can you be so sure that your views are correct? I believe that religion has closed your mind to other possibilities.

    You believe that *your* morals as universal. Well, guess what. They aren’t. How can they be when so many others believe differently than you?

    Jason was hitting on something when he brought up the Golden Rule. You, very arrogantly refuted his point. However, nearly all religions agree on the Golden Rule. The Buddhist sacred literature says, “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” Islam teaches, “That which you want for yourself, seek for mankind.” Confucius said, “Do not impose on others what you do not desire others to impose upon you.” Jesus preached, “All things therefore that you want people to do to you, do thus to them.” All of the world’s major religions embrace some version of the Golden Rule.

    The Golden Rule is based upon two basic convictions. First, that all human beings have dignity. That is why one should take the feelings of others into account. Second, that there is such a thing as right and wrong based on eternal truths. That is what enables us to say that the Golden Rule is Golden — that it applies no matter what the particular situation may be, and for all time.

    Now I know you’ll try to tear the previous paragraph apart by bringing the origins of dignity and “eternal truths,” etc. No need to start down that path. Regardless of what you might believe about the supernatural, there are good reasons, having nothing to do with the supernatural, for believing in both the dignity of human beings and the existence of eternal moral truths.

    Why is it that all of the world’s religions, though they disagree about theology, agree on the Golden Rule?

    So there you have it. There *is* a universal moral truth after all. It all comes down to society. Societies exist, therefore there must be order. Without a moral code, there is no order. Religion may strengthen your moral fiber, but it is not the creator of morals. There are far too many religions in existence for one of them to claim ownership.

    The killer in the video knows he himself would not want to be murdered, therefore, his reasoning is flawed – and he knows it. Therefore, he knows he is being immoral. He just doesn’t care.

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  14. Ah, you *do* admit that other religions claim to be true.

    I’m just stating the obvious. That isn’t much of an admission, just a point that religious plurarlism (in the sense that all religions are equally valid paths to God) is idiocy.

    Other people have examined different faiths and have come to different conclusions than you. With the same amount of passion, belief, and conviction, they believe *their* morals are more correct than yours just as you believe yours are more correct.

    How can you be so sure that your views are correct? I believe that religion has closed your mind to other possibilities.

    Because I think Christianity corresponds to reality and their religion does not, just like you think atheism corresponds to reality and religions do not.

    You’re just playing the passive-aggressive tolerance game here. You think you’re right. I think I’m right. Only I don’t mock you for thinking you’re right. I just point to the evidence. You point to evidence (sort of) but spend more time trying to mock me for believing I’m right.

    Here’s a simple example. Virtually all historians, Christian and non-Christian, think a real person named Jesus died on a Roman cross roughly 30 A.D. Sources outside the Bible reference this, and of course the Bible is spectacularly clear. The documents – especially the Bible – are extremely well preserved relative to any other work of antiquity.

    Islam, on the other hand, has just one source of evidence saying that Jesus did not die on the cross. The Koran is quite clear that this is the Muslim view. But this was only found in an alleged revelation to one person, and that happened over 500 years after the fact. Is it possible that the Koran version is true? I suppose so, in a hyper-technical sense. But is it probable? Hardly. Any serious historian would scoff at that “evidence.”

    So there’s one simple example of why I find Christianity to be credible where Islam is not. It is a key element of both religions and very well documented.

    I have lots and lots more of those. You prefer to sidestep the issues and say that religion has closed my mind. Hardly. I’ve examined more objections to Christianity than most people.

    Of course I agree with the golden rule. I know who created it. I’m just pointing out that materialists like the victim in the video have no way to explain why the killer should care about it or be bound by it.

    Societies exist, therefore there must be order.

    That doesn’t follow. Societies don’t have to exist. We could have all died out long ago and that wouldn’t have been moral or immoral.

    Once again you’ve gone in circles and begged the question. We don’t have to have societies. We don’t have to have order. The killer is not obligated to follow your universal rule . . . unless there is a universal rule-giver.

    Laws require lawgivers. Yes, there is a golden rule. It is universal. You said so yourself.

    But in a nothingness to molecules to life to humans worldview, you have no rational way to explain it.

    I think it points to God.

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  15. Mark,

    “Just like so many others in the world that subscribe to a different religion, you believe you have all the answers and the foundation to all life and morality.”

    How ironic that you imply that you hold the all the answers and yet believe you are not two dimensional in your thinking.

    “The killer in the video knows he himself would not want to be murdered, therefore, his reasoning is flawed – and he knows it. Therefore, he knows he is being immoral.”

    You assume that the would-be killer would not want to be killed, but you have no proof of it.

    Here you are confusing wants with morals. What if the wannabe killer wants to be killed? He may have some idea that by being killed he is going to paradise to be with some virgins. By your reasoning (I apply the term loosely) it would be a moral good to kill a person that wants to be killed.

    “Societies exist, therefore there must be order.”

    This statement is rather false and pointless, as there are numerous examples of societies existing without order or law or government.

    “There are far too many religions in existence for one of them to claim ownership.”

    This is false as well. There could be an infinite number of competing belief systems without ever denting Neil’s ideas regarding truth. The simple answer is they can’t all be true. This is why Neil explained his investigation and conclusion regarding their truthfulness. They were weighed and measured and found wanting.

    Truth, by definition, is exclusive.

    Your solution to the moral problem of losing your head in my country is laughable. It’s wrong for you to lose your head but right for the citizens of my country to take it. A claim and it’s opposite cannot both be true – this is the law of non-contradiction. Your solution is false.

    Try again.

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  16. mark(2),

    You speak in circles. There is no logic to any of it. That is an observation not an insult. You call societies determination of morality a “universal” standard, but that is the very definition of a subjective standard. Yet you continue the discussion as if that isn’t the case. I think you do that because you know that if you admit your definition is subjective that you have lost the debate.

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  17. Lone Wolf

    I called society’s determination of morality a *subjective* standard. The Golden Rule is a universal *individual* standard. However, a society could not operate without it.

    Adam, you say that my contention that societies exist, therefore there must be order is “false and pointless, as there are numerous examples of societies existing without order or law or government.”

    Umm – Name one. A society by definition must have enough order to benefit the individuals within. Otherwise, it is not a society. Pointless? LOL. That is the whole point. Miss it, and you don’t even belong in this conversation.

    BTW Neil, I spend very little time mocking you. But, hey, what’s a good conversation without a little mocking on both sides?

    Adam, you said “Your solution to the moral problem of losing your head in my country is laughable. It’s wrong for you to lose your head but right for the citizens of my country to take it. A claim and it’s opposite cannot both be true – this is the law of non-contradiction. Your solution is false.”

    My solution? I don’t remember comming up with one. I’m also very sure I didn’t bring up the notion of loosing heads! I do remember pointing out that if Neil were to live in Iran or Iraq, he would find that he is immoral – according to others in his new society. But to follow through with your thought, if Neil were to loose his head, at least he would die with the comfort of knowing he was right and they were wrong.

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  18. I’ll do better than name one, sir.

    To name a few societies that existed without Law and Order, do some historical research. The Roman withdrawal from Britain created a society without law and order for over 300 years. Followed by the Roman withdrawal from Spain, Gaul, Germany…all societies without law and order. The conquest of the new world saw the breakdown of several empires and societies into a period of chaos and anarchy for several hundred years. The collapse of the Mongol Empire. Zimbabwe, the Congo and Somalia are all modern societies without law and order. The Sahel area of the Sahara desert is de facto without law and order. Lebanon is a society largely without order, so is Gaza. The general systems collapse occuring around 1100 BC in the Levant is a great example of a several distinct societies without law and order.

    I could go on.

    By now I hope you get the point. A society by definition does not have to contain enough order to benefit anyone. The term ‘society’ is an extremely loose definition that basically means a club of people who share a culture, possibly language, some sort of economy. Any large group of people who are similar in several ways can be a society. A government has laws. A system has order. Societies need neither to exist.

    You posted your ‘solution’ here:

    “1. Yes, morals are relative to society. If a society’s morals say it is ok to force their morality on others and they do so, then no, it is not immoral to them. Certainly, however, it is immoral to the society being inflicted with morals foriegn to their own.”

    I brought up the notion of losing headsin response to your challenge for someone to modify your definition of morality. I will re-post it so you may have another opportunity to respond, as you tellingly didn’t try to the first time.

    “Mark, as for your definition of morality, I am about to modify it. My definition of morality consists of forcing people to accept my way of life and belief, or, if they refuse, I force them to pay a hefty tax every year until they die, or, if they refuse that, I execute them.

    Approximately one billion people today live under my definition of morality. They all agree with me, and further, if you at some point decide that our morality is not for you, we execute you.

    Come live in my country, and we will show you that morality is relative and you have no right to say we are wrong.

    Bring cash.
    ——-
    In case you are confused, and I believe that you have been confused for some time now, I am being facetious. The ‘morals’ I just described are not morals at all – they are tactics used to control people. This is Islam, and it is false. However, it serves as a good example of your inability to define morality apart from God – if you try, you end up agreeing that there is no good/bad behavior for all people, because no one can define it. You are forced to agree with the people who would cut off your own head, even though you are living peacefully.

    Once upon a time, about 5 years ago, Theo Van Gogh was living peacefully. A man cut his throat, shot him and stabbed a letter to his chest one day. This man acted on the morality given to him by his false religion. This man’s religion does not agree with you that living peacefully with one’s neighbors is moral. In fact, this man and millions who share his worldview argue that living in peace with neighbors who do not believe like they do justify’s war, and this war is morally good.

    Why are they wrong?”

    Still waiting for an answer to that.

    Your solution is self-contradictory and therefore meaningless. You posit that it is both morally good for Society A to impose their morals on Society B because that is their moral code, but it is immoral for Society B to be morally imposed upon. This is a self-contradiction and a fairly obvious one at that.

    If Neil were to die in Iran or Iraq because he was immoral, he would not be right. According to you he would be immoral, and therefore wrong, as what is moral is right and what is immoral is wrong.

    I am getting dizzy from chasing tails with you. If you can’t concede that your argument is self-contradictory there is no point in discussing this with you further.

    Like

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