teliot
teliot
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March 22nd, 2014 at 1:25:57 PM permalink
One thing I will say for our dear Friar is that he is willing to enter a hornet's nest of secular humanists and attempt to hold his own. Good for Fr. I would totally lose it if I tried to do the same on the message board at gracecentered.com
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Twirdman
Twirdman
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March 22nd, 2014 at 3:07:50 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble



How do you tell who is a sociopath? How can you say what is bad or good for me or for others without some type of grounding or authority that is universal for all people? You don't need a tablet for that but you do need something more than your feelings, personal thoughts, or the community's values.



Again a divine being is not needed for morality especially not the Christian deity.

A thought experiment say God told you to burn down the house of your neighbor being sure to kill him and his entire family because they are heretics. Do you do it or not. If you do it you are a monster if you don't then you have to say there was something that told you it was morally wrong and it cannot be God since he is the one who said to do it.

Don't say such a scenario is impossible since the bible is replete with examples of God commanding people to commit genocide what is another 6 people between friends.
FrGamble
FrGamble
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March 22nd, 2014 at 4:22:34 PM permalink
Its a good thought experiment but not for the reason you may think. First of all you can join me by replacing God with whatever you think grounds morality and go through the same torturous question. If not God maybe you think that what gives us morality is the community we live in. What if that community thinks that burning people alive is a good virtuous thing to do? Do you do it or not? And don't say that this is impossible because unlike the Bible's sparse verses which people think are examples of this type of action; human history is truly replete with much worse examples.

The answer is I would not and if I may answer for you, you would not either. The real question then becomes why wouldn't we do it? You haven't disproved there needs to be something to objectively ground our morality, in fact you just proved it. There must be something objectively true about morality that grounds it in us so strongly that we will always refuse to do what we know is "bad". But how do we know what is "bad" or "good"? If it isn't our own willy-nilly feelings, and if it isn't what the community wants, and if it isn't God - what could it be? If nothing grounds our morality then we need to stop saying anything including Fred Phelps is bad because there is no objective measure or foundation, everything becomes subjective and all is chaos.
Twirdman
Twirdman
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March 22nd, 2014 at 4:34:56 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Its a good thought experiment but not for the reason you may think. First of all you can join me by replacing God with whatever you think grounds morality and go through the same torturous question. If not God maybe you think that what gives us morality is the community we live in. What if that community thinks that burning people alive is a good virtuous thing to do? Do you do it or not? And don't say that this is impossible because unlike the Bible's sparse verses which people think are examples of this type of action; human history is truly replete with much worse examples.

The answer is I would not and if I may answer for you, you would not either. The real question then becomes why wouldn't we do it? You haven't disproved there needs to be something to objectively ground our morality, in fact you just proved it. There must be something objectively true about morality that grounds it in us so strongly that we will always refuse to do what we know is "bad". But how do we know what is "bad" or "good"? If it isn't our own willy-nilly feelings, and if it isn't what the community wants, and if it isn't God - what could it be? If nothing grounds our morality then we need to stop saying anything including Fred Phelps is bad because there is no objective measure or foundation, everything becomes subjective and all is chaos.



I never said morality was necessarily based on community. I think there are objective goods, even if we don't always know what they are, all I am saying is they do not come from God. Socrates in Euthyphro posed the question is what is good good because God loves it or does God love it because it is good. If a God exist I would say it was the second.

Just as I don't need God to define objective truths like 2+2=4 I don't need them to define morality. Utilitarianism, which I personally believe is the best source of morality, does not rely on God it relies on a single moral precept that "good is that which maximizes happiness or utility", for some definitions of happiness and utility, I believe this to be true even without any God commanding it just like I believe 2+2=4 without having any pronouncement on high. Now I will admit I may be wrong about that but it is not because a God is needed for morality to exist I would be wrong simply because I believed a false premise to be true. Just as someone who says 2+2=5 is wrong not because we need God to define addition but because he believes in a false premise.

I mean if you define God to be the source of object truth then of course you can say God is needed for the pronouncement of objective morality but you have no reason to believe that the source of objective truth has any of the characteristics you want to imbibe God with let alone those necessary for the Christian God.
teliot
teliot
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March 22nd, 2014 at 4:36:55 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

First of all you can join me by replacing God with whatever you think grounds morality and go through the same torturous question.

Morality is an artifact of natural selection, it has no grounds. This is why morality does not need religion. What we call "morality" is part of our genetic stuff, just like the propensity for illusory pattern perception.
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Nareed
Nareed
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March 22nd, 2014 at 4:54:28 PM permalink
Morality first requires a standard of value. All else flows from that.

Now, take individual human life as the standard. Why? Becasue we all want to have good, prosperous, happy lives. Essentially that's what one lives for, one's own life.

Now, what does such a life require? Taking very much into consideration a moral code is uiversal rather than eprsonal. That is, you cannot simply proclaim yourself supreme and take whatever you want from others, nor treat others in any way you want. if you do, you grant them the same right to take anything that is yours,a dn to treat you in whatever manner they wish.

With these two requirements, you can build a moral code by using reasona nd observation. No gods required.

A morality dictated by a god is entirely, 100% subjective, not to mention incongrous and very likely self-contradictory. That's why Chrisitans can spout virtuously how God or Jesus are all about love, while murdering innocent people in the Crusades and INquisition in the name of that love. In the end all such moral codes are concatenations of the opinions of whoever got to be more popular and has the more staying power. Then there's the whole picking and choosing thing we all know.
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teliot
teliot
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March 22nd, 2014 at 5:16:24 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

We all want to have good, prosperous, happy lives.

I don't care much for that equation. For me, "creative" far exceeds everything else. I wake up each day thinking "what don't I know?" or "what can I get better at?" "Good" and "happy" rarely enter my mind.
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Nareed
Nareed
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March 22nd, 2014 at 5:23:36 PM permalink
Quote: teliot

I don't care much for that equation. For me, "creative" far exceeds everything else. I wake up each day thinking "what don't I know?" or "what can I get better at?" "Good" and "happy" rarely enter my mind.



So learning somehting new makes you misserable but you do it anyway?

I can't believe that.
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teliot
teliot
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March 22nd, 2014 at 5:26:52 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

So learning somehting new makes you misserable but you do it anyway?

I can't believe that.

What would I do if not get better at, create, or learn, stuff?
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FrGamble
FrGamble
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March 22nd, 2014 at 7:20:57 PM permalink
Quote: teliot

I read a lot of Schopenhauer in my day. I like Stephen Batchelor's books on Buddhism. P.D. Ouspensky wrote some good stuff. I read "Be Here Now" by Ram Dass stoned on LSD. That was quite something. "Autobiography of a Yogi" was a bit over the top. Aristotle and classical philosophy was mostly college stuff. I really like the poetry of Billy Collins. I'm going to see him next month.

Who would you recommend?

I'd like to suggest you start with Steven Pinker's "The Stuff of Thought."



Thanks for introducing me to the poetry of Billy Collins I can't wait to read some more. Schopenhauer I've studied but not read much of and the rest of the guys I haven't heard of.

I would recommend Bernard Lonergan's "Insight: A Study of Human Understanding". A little lighter reading would be the Socrates series by Peter Kreeft. Two in particular that would be good reads for you are: "Socrates meets Hume" and "Socrates meets Kant". Both of these books are written in dialogue form and are fun. I feel like returning the favor in regards to poetry so if you haven't read any Gerard Manley Hopkins you might like him and I think you would very much like some of the short stories of Flannery O'Connor.

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