Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Objectivitees on Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:12 pm

I'm going to give you another chance to answer the questions that you keep ignoring:
Or what?

1. If the concept of evil developed simply from a rough meaning of 'person who can cause (deliberate) danger to other humans', then why would God be required for people to use that term in a way that is useful in communicating this idea to other people?
I never said God was "necessary". Don't put words in my mouth, when you do that, you create a straw man argument. I said you can't even define "evil" without a presumption that God exists. This is because if values (morals) are subjective, then the expression of them becomes nothing more than the expression of the individual's OPINION. If there is literally no "standard" by which to compare a behavior to determine whether it is good or bad, then there is no good or bad, there are only opinions. You (Atheists) are claiming there is no standard when you claim that values are "subjective".

2. When you say a person would have 'no right to object to rapists' does that also mean they would have 'no right to stop rapists'?" If so, that doesn't really make sense. Do you think diseases are 'evil'? Most people don't. Does that mean they 'have no right' to innoculate their kids against diseases? When you say it would be 'irrational to object to behaviour x' do you mean it would be 'irrational to stop behaviour x'?
Yes. Logic dictates that in a world where there are no values, there are no rights. In order to claim a right, there has to be something one values. Since you claim there are no values, (the logic of claiming morality subjective) Acting in a way that contravenes one's stated beliefs is irrational. This you do when you say there is no absolute nature to morals, yet act daily as if there is. If every value (moral) is only someone's opinion, no value is better or worse than any other value, making them all the same. Since the definition of good or evil requires distinctions between values to in order to be relevant, and subjectivity removes the distinctions, it follows that there is no such thing as good or bad. there is only your opinion.

Can you explain what you mean by irrational?
I just did.

Because to me there is nothing irrational about stopping harm happening to someone else whose safety you value.

It's only irrational if you believe there are no values. I'm not saying you have no values. I'm saying the values you have are inconsistent with your claim that values are subjective. Atheism presupposes no meaning to "evil". You are an Atheist. Despite this, you believe evil exists. Your belief in evil is irrational given your Atheism. I agree with you there is nothing irrational about preventing harm to someone you value, but that's only because I have a worldview that allows me to define "harm" (evil) and therefore act consistently with my values.



So far, every hypothetical scenario you set up that is supposed to illustrate an atheist acting irrationally, instead shows them acting very rationally.
No, they don't, it only appears to you that way because you don't understand my argument.

Can you try again? Give me a scenario involving at least one atheist, and tell me what irrational behaviour you think the atheist would exhibit,...
I didn't say they "would" behave in an irrational way given that values do exist absolutely. I said they act inconsistently with the way they should act given morals being subjective. the "one " Atheist you ask for is you. The example is: You have values you think everyone else should respect. If values are subjective, then they are all equal, and there is no reason to expect others to respect yours. They have an equal expectation you respect theirs. Problem comes when theirs or yours offend. But frankly, if values (morals) are subjective, we can't even define 'offend'.

then tell me what behaviour he would exhibit if he was behaving rationally.
When he saw someone forcing their values on another, he should shrug his shoulders and say (as I pointed out to snafu) "might makes right".

Be warned though, I am unlikely to be convinced if the 'rational' behaviour involves him letting people rape his kids, or anything like that. That would suggest to me that you don't really understand what 'raional' means.
I know what rational means. I would never let anyone rape my kids, and neither should you. The difference between us is that I have a logical reason to object to the rape of my kids, because I can rationally define "evil" therefore when I object and intervene I do so on the basis that rape is not good not just because it is my opinion it is not good, I do so because it really is not good. You do so only because it is your opinion it is not good.
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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Objectivitees on Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:23 pm

I stop things harming my sister because I don't want my sister to be harmed, this goes regardless of whether the harming agent can be labeled 'evil', or whether it's caused by an accident or a wild animal or whatever.

Right, and that's simply your opinion, it's not because there actually is a right or wrong. You don't believe there is a right or wrong because you believe morals are subjective. If there's no actual right and wrong, there's no REASON for you to have made that particular choice. Acting without reason by definition is irrational. That's what you can't seem to understand.

As for your claim, I don't offer anything "superior" that's only because you missed the part where I told you that assuming there is an absolute basis for morality (as I do) is superior to assuming there is no absolute basis for it. (as you do)

The founding documents of my country clearly spell out the reasons for the establishment of the country, the one in question namely, that rights come from God, not government, are spelled out in the declaration of independence, not the constitution as I mistakenly stated. This in no way makes my point irrelevant, my country's form of government still presupposes rights from God not government, and government's job is to protect God given rights, not create rights. Go read it for yourself. Your constant harping on a technical point is childish.
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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Objectivitees on Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:32 pm

Why am I outraged after the fact that someone's done something bad?

This one sentence shows you don't understand my argument. I never asked why you are outraged...I'm asking why you believe it's bad?
My argument deals with your beliefs inability to rationally define terms with respect to morality where no morality exists.

Wow, and you think I don't understand your argument.


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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Neon Genesis on Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:39 pm

Why does Objectivees seem to think God has no opinions of his own?

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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Objectivitees on Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:52 pm

Neon Genesis wrote:Why does Objectivees seem to think God has no opinions of his own?
I dare you to point out where I said that.
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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Neon Genesis on Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:37 pm

[quote="Objectivitees"]

The founding documents of my country clearly spell out the reasons for the establishment of the country, the one in question namely, that rights come from God, not government, are spelled out in the declaration of independence, not the constitution as I mistakenly stated. This in no way makes my point irrelevant, my country's form of government still presupposes rights from God not government, and government's job is to protect God given rights, not create rights. Go read it for yourself. Your constant harping on a technical point is childish. [/color]
So you think that the government should not create rights for anyone not a Christian and only Christians should have rights? The Declaration of Independence says
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The god being referenced here is not Jesus Christ, it's Nature's god, the god of deism which the Founding Fathers believed in. Nowhere in the Declaration of Independence does it say Christianity creates rights and it's the government's role to protect Christianity at the expense of everyone else. And when you say "the founders of my country" are you somehow implying that atheists are not Americans?

I dare you to point out where I said that.
Your argument if I'm understanding it correctly is that without your god, we have no objective moral standards and morality is nothing more than our arbitrary personal opinions, which implies you think God has no personal arbitrary opinions about morality. But then since you deny you never said that, you must be admitting that Christianity's morals are arbitrary personal opinions.

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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Objectivitees on Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:39 pm

So you think that the government should not create rights for anyone not a Christian and only Christians should have rights? The Declaration of Independence says

No, I did not say that, and i tire of you intentionally misrepresenting what I am saying to twist it to your tortured version of my argument. The point made was in reference to the document proclaiming that rights come from God, not from government. It had nothing to do with me believing only christian have rights. how the hell do you get that from anything I wrote? I am tired of your intentional misrepresentation of what I write.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.The god being referenced here is not Jesus Christ, it's Nature's god,
I never said it referenced Jesus Christ. I said it claimed rights come from God, not government.

the god of deism which the Founding Fathers believed in.

This is a really tired argument made only by people ignorant of history, who have an agenda to remove any trace of Christianity and the role it played in the founding of the United States.



Nowhere in the Declaration of Independence does it say Christianity creates rights and it's the government's role to protect Christianity at the expense of everyone else.

Again, I didn't say it says Christianity creates rights, I said it recognizes that God creates them. Nor did i say at the expense of everyone else. So consistently off topic.


And when you say "the founders of my country" are you somehow implying that atheists are not Americans?

Of course not. Your ignorance of context, and history are exceeded only by your eisegesis.

Your argument if I'm understanding it correctly is that without your god, we have no objective moral standards and morality is nothing more than our arbitrary personal opinions, which implies you think God has no personal arbitrary opinions about morality.

You aren't understanding it correctly, this is because you keep introducing concepts that are not supported by the actual context and meaning of what I have written or referenced, ignore my attempts to bring you back on track, and pretend that your 'refutation' of (what aren't really) my points are valid. Your agenda and eisegesis blind you to what I am actually saying.



But then since you deny you never said that, you must be admitting that Christianity's morals are arbitrary personal opinions.
I do deny it, and since you couldn't quote me doing so, and relied only on your eiesegetic interpretation of my text in order to arrive at your inaccurate use of logic's incorrect conclusion, instead of it's actual meaning, it's doubtful that you will ever understand that my denial stands unrefuted by you.

I tire of you greatly, unless you can contribute to the discussion as snafu, (and occasionally orion) do, on to my iggy list you shall go. I will waste no more of my valuable time trying to obtain substance from you.
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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Neon Genesis on Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:56 pm

[quote="Objectivitees"]



This is a really tired argument made only by people ignorant of history, who have an agenda to remove any trace of Christianity and the role it played in the founding of the United States.
It's only "tiresome" to revisionists who are trying to rewrite the history of America to turn it into a theocracy and are frustrated that nobody buys into their myths. So you're saying Thomas Paine never wrote the Age of Reason which attacked Christianity, John Adams never said it was the best of both worlds if there was no religion, and Thomas Jefferson never wrote the Jefferson Bible which removed all the miracles of Jesus? All of that is just part of a liberal atheist conspiracy to remove Christianity from American history? They were all fundamentalist Christians who conveniently think like you? So now we have Jesus Christ, the 12 apostles, and the divinely inspired American founding fathers?

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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  snafu on Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:16 pm

Hi objectivitees,
I don't have a lot of time at the moment, so will not be able to give a full reply to you for a while. Apologies.

I do notice however, that you didn't spell out what the objective morality actually is, viz. my final request to lay cards on table. Did you mean to not answer that question? You had a go at me about my phrase "stacks up" etc... but didn't tell me about what the objective morality is that you argue for.

Would appreciate if you have the time to spell it out.
regards
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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Objectivitees on Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:52 pm

snafu wrote:Hi objectivitees,
I don't have a lot of time at the moment, so will not be able to give a full reply to you for a while. Apologies.

I do notice however, that you didn't spell out what the objective morality actually is, viz. my final request to lay cards on table. Did you mean to not answer that question? You had a go at me about my phrase "stacks up" etc... but didn't tell me about what the objective morality is that you argue for.

Would appreciate if you have the time to spell it out.
regards
snafu

Thought I was clear my argument isn't that I know what the objective morality is, but rather that it must exist, because the notion it is subjective results in the absurdity that we can't even define it, therefore making all attempts to do so literally meaningless, and in effect (practical application) non-extant. So the short answer is yes, I intentionally did not answer you with the answer you want, one because it is not relevant to my argument, and two, may only be an attempt to divert the argument to a defense of my morals. My answer is and remains as many times as you and others ask, that the the critique on the claim morality is subjective is valid whether I do or don't know of that which the objective standard is comprised.

Take your time with you response, you've been patient with me, I can be patient with you.


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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Objectivitees on Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:01 pm

[quote="Neon Genesis"]
Objectivitees wrote:



This is a really tired argument made only by people ignorant of history, who have an agenda to remove any trace of Christianity and the role it played in the founding of the United States.
It's only "tiresome" to revisionists who are trying to rewrite the history of America to turn it into a theocracy and are frustrated that nobody buys into their myths. So you're saying Thomas Paine never wrote the Age of Reason which attacked Christianity, John Adams never said it was the best of both worlds if there was no religion, and Thomas Jefferson never wrote the Jefferson Bible which removed all the miracles of Jesus? All of that is just part of a liberal atheist conspiracy to remove Christianity from American history? They were all fundamentalist Christians who conveniently think like you? So now we have Jesus Christ, the 12 apostles, and the divinely inspired American founding fathers?


No, I'm saying that two guys who might possibly be considered deists, (as compared to the historical evidence that demonstrates the overt faith of the others) don't a majority of our founding fathers make. Thomas Paine never held office, did not sign the Declaration of independence or the Constitution, and you citing him here shows your ignorance of these facts, and the fact that you are the revisionist who wants to write out the part Christianity played in the founding principles of The United States.

Thomas Jefferson removing the "miracles" of Jesus does not indicate he disagreed with the moral principles the Bible expounds outside those miracles, does it?

And the reference to best of both worlds by Adams implies that while he may have disliked religion itself, and wished it were gone, "both" implies that he still wanted the moral values of the christian religion without the religiosity of it.

Ba ha ha ha ha. This is absolutely the last time I will respond to you about this off topic subject. I baited you into making this claim just so I could point out Thomas was not part of the government. You are so predictable.
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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Neon Genesis on Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:07 am

http://www.positiveatheism.org/writ/founding.htm

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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Orion on Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:34 am

Objectivitees wrote:
Neon Genesis wrote:Why does Objectivees seem to think God has no opinions of his own?
I dare you to point out where I said that.
I'll go ahead and dare:
Objectivitees on Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:56 pm wrote:God doesn't have opinions.
Oops...


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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Orion on Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:17 pm

Objectivitees wrote:shows your ignorance of these facts"
I would have thought Object should be wary of chiding others for their ignorance on these matters. Last month I pointed out that we get our rights from whichever state we live in. If the state says you have no right walk on the grass, then it's a statement of fact to say 'I do not have the right to walk on the grass'.

He replied:

Objectivitees wrote:[Read your constitution a little more closely. God gave the rights, government protects them.
That was Jan 8. Given that my country doesn't HAVE a constitution, his point was moot. I then asked many times where God is mentioned in the US constitution.

Despite the fact that his statement was prefaced by him telling ME that I hadn't read it closely enough, it took till this week for him to admit that he was getting confused with the Declaration of Independence, whilst calling my childish for asking him to admit his mistake. (Of course my country doesn't have a Declaration of Independence either, so he still hasn't showed that my rights come from God).

So it was HIM who hadn't been reading carefully enough. Of course, there was no apology for accusing me of being the ignorant one when it was HIM who had made the mistake.

Surely this would all have taught him a little humility? No, now he's gone back to claiming that the ignorance about the founding fathers lies with other people, not himself. Wherever it is we get our morality from, it's a good job we're not getting our morality from Objectivitees!

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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Orion on Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:21 pm

Objectivitee has made it clear in the past that fundamentalist Christians are not only the true Christians, but the only true THEISTS (see his dichotomy in the 'evolution' thread, where the only two possibilities he allows are 1) Evolution is true, 2) the Christian Creationist God is true. There was no third option where evolution could have occurred following the creation of the universe, and logic, by any other religion's God, or even the Christian God of another, non-fundamentalist stripe).

Given this, Object would have to discard a lot more than just two men out of the founding fathers for not being 'true Christians', thus undermining his point still further.

Objectivitees wrote:Thomas Jefferson removing the "miracles" of Jesus does not indicate he disagreed with the moral principles the Bible expounds outside those miracles, does it?
But Neon's point wasn't that these men thought Christian morals were bad - it was that they did not believe them to be divinely inspired. And according to Object, that would make it irrational for these men to follow those morals.

Or does this not apply to deist founding fathers?


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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  cleanwillie on Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:33 pm

I've been following this thread from the start and for some reason I just now felt the urge to participate. So here goes..

Objectivitees, if I understand your argument correctly, you claim that when an atheist acts morally, he or she is actually following an objective moral code which is handed down to humanity by a deity of some sort. But since atheists don't believe in deities and usually reject the idea of objective morality, they have no objective grounds on which to say what is right and what is wrong. This in turn means that when the atheist actually acts morally, he or she is also acting irrationally. An atheist can't object to wrongdoing without being irrational, because to him morality is subjective and hey, who's to say what's right or wrong? Did I get it right? I hope so.

Well first of all I don't think there is such a thing as objective morality, which probably comes as no big surprise to you. That all cultures around the world seem to go by the same basic moral rules (although there is obviously a lot of variation too) is most plausibly explained by the fact that we are of the same species with the same evolutionary history. I really don't think there's much more to it than that.

I don't think there is a way to objectively show that murder for example is wrong. The best we can do is argue that murder is wrong because it causes considerable harm to another human being and people close to him and also to society. Most people agree with this and hence all countries (at least to my knowledge) consider murder a serious crime. This is unlikely to change, not because of some transcendent objective morality, but simply because we are empathetic creatures capable of feeling the pain and misery of our fellow human beings and even animals of other species. My point is that we don't really need an objective standard to argue that this or that is wrong.

Just because I don't believe that there is an objective morality doesn't mean I can't defend my subjective values, does it? You defend your subjective values and opinions here all the time, does that mean you're acting irrationally? I don't think so. How is this different from me asserting that murder is wrong? I know that you'd probably reply that I have no objective basis to assert that. Well you'd be right there but so what? Why would I need an objective basis? If someone wants to argue that murder is ok, let them try. I don't think many people will be convinced.

Also it would be nice if you could explain what this objective morality of yours actually is and how it's supposed to work. Why are so many things that used to be considered perfectly moral, like slavery for example, nowadays considered totally immoral? The Bible certainly isn't anti-slavery, yet most christians today think of slavery as an immoral thing. Has the objective moral code embedded in all of us changed or what's going on there?

I hope I've made some sense here. This is not an easy subject and although I think you are wrong, I do give you credit for making me think more closely about these issues.
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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Neon Genesis on Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:53 am

I'm still waiting for Objectivees to explain what the absolute moral message of Deuteronomy 13 is
If anyone secretly entices you—even if it is your brother, your father’s son or* your mother’s son, or your own son or daughter, or the wife you embrace, or your most intimate friend—saying, ‘Let us go and worship other gods’, whom neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7any of the gods of the peoples that are around you, whether near you or far away from you, from one end of the earth to the other, 8you must not yield to or heed any such persons. Show them no pity or compassion and do not shield them. 9But you shall surely kill them; your own hand shall be first against them to execute them, and afterwards the hand of all the people. 10Stone them to death for trying to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 11Then all Israel shall hear and be afraid, and never again do any such wickedness.

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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Orion on Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:31 am

Neon, really what's the point - Object's shown that he will, ad hoc, come up with whatever attributes are needed for his God to fit whatever he's arguing for at that moment, then flat out deny it in other posts when he wants to make other claims to fit another argument. And then he'll 'dare' us to point out the discrepancy.

What value then is in any of his arguments? He'll claim something now, then claim the opposite later.

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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Objectivitees on Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:35 pm

Objectivitees, if I understand your argument correctly, you claim that when an atheist acts morally, he or she is actually following an objective moral code which is handed down to humanity by a deity of some sort.

For the third time, no. I am simply arguing that an objective morality must exist, because the implications of subjective morality are absurd.

The best we can do is argue that murder is wrong because it causes considerable harm to another human being and people close to him and also to society.

But you can't define "harm" if you can't have values, therefore your definition is meaningless. the moment you try to say "harm", you imply there is a standard by which to compare actions. This is the inconsistency I argue. You state there are no objective morals, yet you act like there are.

Just because I don't believe that there is an objective morality doesn't mean I can't defend my subjective values, does it?

Of course not. It just means you can't defend them rationally.

I know that you'd probably reply that I have no objective basis to assert that. Well you'd be right there but so what? Why would I need an objective basis?
Emphasis added.

Glad to see you acknowledge I am right, you have no objective basis. The "so what" is as I pointed out above, you need an objective basis to have a rational defense.


Also it would be nice if you could explain what this objective morality of yours actually is and how it's supposed to work.

That's not the goal here, as I have stated several times, I am not here to propose what those values are. I am here to point out that without an absolute nature to morality, there is no morality, and I see you got it. If you'd like to talk about whether "my" values are reflective of an absolute morality, you'd have to presuppose one exists.


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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Objectivitees on Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:54 pm

Orion wrote:
Objectivitees wrote:
Neon Genesis wrote:Why does Objectivees seem to think God has no opinions of his own?
I dare you to point out where I said that.
I'll go ahead and dare:
Objectivitees on Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:56 pm wrote:God doesn't have opinions.
Oops...

Great, now explain ontologically how God could have opinions, and you'll understand my point.
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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Orion on Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:22 pm

I tire of your games, Object. Are you now saying that when you 'DARED' us to tell you when you'd said God didn't have opinions, you weren't actually DENYING you'd said it? If so, please try to stick to making the point you want to make, rather than wasting our time with misleading rhetoric.

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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Orion on Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:23 pm

Your only support for it being absurd is claiming that the 'implications' would compel us to act in a way that involves us allowing people to rape our children. However, you simply assert these implications with no supporting evidence.

You say it would be 'irrational' to prevent people raping our children if there is no 'objective morality'. Once again, given that I love my child, what would be irrational about me protecting her? By what force would I supposedly be compelled to act against my interests and those of my family? Unless you've got a very peculiar definition of 'irrational', or unless your view is being skewed by your own ambivalent attitude towards your OWN children, I don't get where you are coming from here.

The bizarre scenario you conjure up makes no sense anyway - in this 'no morality' world, you suggest people would be free to rape our children but that we would have no justification to stop them. You're trying to play things both ways: our attackers are free to attack, but we're not free to prevent them. Either we're living in an 'every man for himself' world or we're not. If we are, then I can certainly protect my children.

You're using word play - effectively, in a 'no rights' world, it 'wouldn't be right' to stop someone raping my child, therefore you COULDN'T stop them. The mistake here is that if you were in a genuine 'no rights' world, although perhaps one couldn't claim 'I have the right to stop that rapist', equally no-one could claim 'you DON'T have the right'. It wouldn't be 'right', but it wouldn't be 'wrong' either. So I'd be back to working on my own self-interest, and those of my family. What's irrational about that?

Sounds like a rough world to live in - basically what we probably had a few millennia ago - but it's not the 'absurd' world you suggest. But your argument is even MORE self-defeating, because you would be the first to admit that the world we live in today is better for all concerned. In other words, it would be more RATIONAL for us to choose this present scenario, where we all join up to form societies and states where we protect each other's rights. And it would be more rational whether or not one believes in God, or an 'objective morality'.

Unless you want to argue that it would be more rational to choose a way of living that is less safe for us all? your argument comes down to first making a false conclusion about the consequences of not having an objective morality, and then second saying objective morality HAS to exist, because you don't like those consequences.

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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Objectivitees on Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:28 pm

You say it would be 'irrational' to prevent people raping our children if there is no 'objective morality'.

No, I said it is inconsistent to behave as though morality is objective when it is subjective. You claim it is subjective, you act as though it were objective. It is not irrational to prevent rape. It is irrational to claim there is no rational basis to the behavior. (Which is what subjective morality does) Try to focus on what I am saying, instead of saying what I am not.
The bizarre scenario you conjure up makes no sense anyway - in this 'no morality' world, you suggest people would be free to rape our children but that we would have no justification to stop them.

Yeah, pretty bleak isn't it? Yet that's the world you propose actually does exist. Yet you still act as though it doesn't, by preventing the rape.

You're using word play - effectively, in a 'no rights' world, it 'wouldn't be right' to stop someone raping my child,

No, I did not say it wouldn't be right to stop the rape, I said it wouldn't be right or wrong. In 'bizarro' world, there can be no actual values, only those you choose, which would be equal to any value anyone else chose. In the act of choosing to stop the rape, you act as though the 'value' is absolute, and the rapist should respect your choice. This behavior would be at odds with the 'reality' there are no values that are objective.

Unless you want to argue that it would be more rational to choose a way of living that is less safe for us all? your argument comes down to first making a false conclusion about the consequences of not having an objective morality, and then second saying objective morality HAS to exist, because you don't like those consequences.

No, in your valueless world, you can't even define "more safe", as a value, because no values actually exist. It's not because I don't like the consequences (I don't but that's irrelevant) that I propose objective values exist, it's because it's impossible, (not irrational, though it's irrational too) to behave according to that presupposition. None of us can do it. Not even the rapist, because he expects you to respect his choice.


Last edited by Objectivitees on Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Orion on Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:36 pm

Now we're finally getting somewhere! So you admit you have no claim that it wouldn't be rational for me to prevent people raping my child. Great. So you don't seem to have any claim that my ACTIONS are irrational, only that the labels I might put on other people are irrational.

Let's clarify now: is your only claim that it would be irrational for me to use a term like 'evil' to describe those who would do me or others harm? If that term is understood by others, and is useful to us as a group, in what way is it irrational for us to agree on a common definition and then use it? Why is it any more irrational than using other adjectives to describe other attributes such as 'pretty', or 'funny', or 'interesting'?

And then you say this:

"In the act of choosing to stop the rape, you act as though the 'value' is absolute, and the rapist should respect your choice."

Utter nonsense - I'm just acting to protect my child. There's no implication that the rapist should 'respect my choice'. Where do you get this rubbish from? Are you acting as if a flu virus should 'respect your choice' when you immunise your child? No, you're just trying to keep your child healthy. You don't have a debate first about whether the virus is 'evil', or 'has the right' to infect your child.

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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

Post  Objectivitees on Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:43 pm

So you admit you have no claim that it wouldn't be rational for me to prevent people raping my child. Great.

No, that would only be true if your reality were actual.

is your only claim that it would be irrational for me to use a term like 'evil' to describe those who would do me or others harm?
No, it's irrational to claim you can define the terms, where there can be no values, and then turn around an act as though there are. The impossibility of behaving as though morals were subjective is my claim.

Utter nonsense - I'm just acting to protect my child.

No, it's not nonsense. Where there can be no values, why do you value "protecting" your child? You can't explain why you have the value "protect". You can't explain why you have the value "harm". With subjective values, there are no values, yet you continue to keep acting like there are values. It's your actual action that I point to when making my claim values are objective, because it's universal. We all act like they are.
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Re: Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

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