Do objective moral values exist for non-believers?

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

Post  Objectivitees on Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:57 pm

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.

Yes, but in my world, values exist. They can exist, because they are objective. It's not that the virus is evil, it's simply that I value not having a virus. But you can't choose that value without implying an actual reality exists in which it is "better" to not have a virus, as opposed to a reality where it makes no difference. If values are subjective, what difference does it make when one chemical reaction ceases to exist, and another takes it's place? Why is it better for your child to survive over mine?

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

Post  Orion on Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:15 pm

Objectivitees wrote:No, that would only be true if your reality were actual.
I'm fairly sure that YOUR reality isn't 'actual'. My reality is that I care for my family, so I don't want them harmed. If I love my child, that IS reality. No God is necessary for this.
Objectivitees wrote:Where there can be no values, why do you value "protecting" your child?
You've moved from 'no objective morality' to 'no values' to 'no such thing as valuing anything'. You apparently make even your own love for your family conditional on the existence of a God. I feel sorry for any kids you ever have. If that's what your argument rests on, then you have nothing. If I value something then BY DEFINITION, it is valued - you claiming that values don't exist in my world is in simple contradiction of facts. Again, your argument is based on a fallacy.

Objectivitees wrote:Why is it better for your child to survive over mine?
If you believe yours is going to heaven anyway, you tell me. Yours is the 'reality' with the problem here, not mine.


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

Post  Orion on Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:18 pm

Objectivitees wrote:Yes, but in my world, values exist.
I thought you said you weren't defending YOUR world. Why don't I just argue that if you believe in God, that means you CAN'T have values? It's not more of a non sequitur than your own argument. In fact, it makes MORE sense, given that your own bible says that you should welcome your daughter's rapist as a son-in-law (Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT).

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

Post  Orion on Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:24 am

Objectivitees wrote:[You can't explain why you have the value "harm".
'Harm' is a value? You are clutching at straws. "Harm: 1. physical or mental injury or damage".

Even if you argue that all humans are simply animals, going about their genetic destiny, still one could have the concept of 'harm'. And even if you believe that we're just animals, still it is completely rational to protect your family from harm - it's fairly universal in all higher mammals.

Look, you refuted own argument of 'if you can't argue that it's evil, it's not rational to defend yourself against it' when you admitted this:
Objectivitees wrote:[It's not that the virus is evil, it's simply that I value not having a virus. But you can't choose that value without implying an actual reality exists in which it is "better" to not have a virus, as opposed to a reality where it makes no difference.
If it makes a difference to ME, then I'm acting rationally. And quite obviously it DOES make a difference to me. All you need to get to understand this is that, God or no God, I would prefer not being in pain to being in pain. This is quite a simple concept, Obie, and I think you've painted yourself in a corner if you have to pretend not to understand it.

Feel free to start a new thread to try to defend this absurd idea, but THIS thread has reached an end.

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

Post  Objectivitees on Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:34 pm

If I value something then BY DEFINITION, it is valued

Not when you can't define any value related terms, such as right, wrong, good, bad, moral, immoral, just, or unjust. you can't say you value something "by definition" where values related definitions are literally meaningless.


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

Post  Orion on Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:38 pm

Why are these related term? If something is valuable to me, for whatever reason, then by definition is valued. If you wish to say that YOU don't value anything, then go ahead. But telling other people that THEY don't value anything is absurd. I'm thirsty right now, therefore the glass of water to the right of my computer is valuable to me, regardless of whether or not there is a God. Saying it doesn't become valuable until I can conjure up an 'objective definition of evil' is nonsense. Again, you are clutching at straws.

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

Post  Objectivitees on Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:38 pm

'Harm' is a value? You are clutching at straws. "Harm: 1. physical or mental injury or damage".

Wow. You don't understand the concept of context, do you? The sentence was supposed to point out that you value "not harming", not that "harm" is a value. the point was that there is no basis for you to prefer one over the other. You either distorted that intentionally, or you are stupid.

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

Post  Objectivitees on Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:40 pm

If it makes a difference to ME, then I'm acting rationally.

No, it's not rational, it's your opinion. What happens when you meet someone with the opposite value? For someone who cries about me ignoring questions as much as you do, why haven't you answered that one?

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

Post  Orion on Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:46 pm

Obie, I've been cutting you slack because you are obviously either very young or very uneducated. If you can't make yourself clear in your posts, don't blame me. You are arguing that it would be more rational for me to act against my interests. You obviously don't even understand the meaning of the word rational. Meanwhile, you say you live your morals according to a book that condones rape and slavery. I'm the rational one here, not you. And you're the stupid one, not me.

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

Post  Objectivitees on Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:46 pm

But telling other people that THEY don't value anything is absurd.

For about the eighth time now, I didn't tell you you don't value things, therefore I'm not being absurd. I said it's an inconsistent behavior on your part given the presuppositions of your worldview. If you were to behave consistently with your presuppositions, you wouldn't have values. I'm stating that if your view on morality is true of reality, your "values" are just a set of preferences you have opposed to sets of preferences other people have. I believe now, that you are intentionally distorting the issue because you know you can't answer the challenge.

what happens when you meet someone with an opposed value? (morals)

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

Post  Objectivitees on Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:49 pm

Obie, I've been cutting you slack because you are obviously either very young or very uneducated.

And now, for some ad hominem from the loser. So typical of Atheists to resort to the "uneducated" claim. Your condescension is remarkable. You know better than me because you are so much more 'educated'. The last resort of someone who can't justify their position.

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

Post  Objectivitees on Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:56 pm

You are arguing that it would be more rational for me to act against my interests.

No I am not. I am arguing that your worldview does not allow you to justify your interests.


You obviously don't even understand the meaning of the word rational.

lol. Yeah, if that ad hominem makes you feel better about not being able to answer my challenge, fine.

Meanwhile, you say you live your morals according to a book that condones rape and slavery.

No, you say that of me. I never claimed the book condones slavery. By the way, why is slavery bad in your view? You have no objective standards by which to judge it, remember?

I'm the rational one here, not you. And you're the stupid one, not me.

Oh, so you're denying you are stupid, therefore you must be intentionally distorting.


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

Post  Orion on Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:57 pm

Obie, you were the guy who doesn't even understand basic biology. If the cap fits, wear it buddy. And you were the one saying I was either dishonest or stupid, so I guess you're a hypocrite too. Oh yeah, and you accused others of being ignorant of the constitution, while you made up parts of it. I guess I should have replied that either made you 'ignorant or a liar'.

And I value my daughter, so I defend her against attackers. Simple as. If you don't understand this, then you obviously don't value your own family. But if you believe the bible literally, then you'd believe that your daughter's rapist should become your new son in law, so it's not surprising you feel that way.

Objectivitees wrote:I never claimed the book condones slavery.
And yet it does. So that makes you either a liar or ignorant of your own bible. Shouldn't you try actually READING it?

Are we done?

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

Post  Objectivitees on Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:14 pm

Orion wrote:Obie, you were the guy who doesn't even understand basic biology. If the cap fits, wear it buddy.

Rofl. What??
And you were the one saying I was either dishonest or stupid, so I guess you're a hypocrite too.

By who's standard? Mine? When did you get appointed the arbiter of my values? Since when do you get to pronounce what my beliefs are? And why is hypocrisy bad?

Oh yeah, and you accused others of being ignorant of the constitution, while you made up parts of it. I guess I should have replied that either made you 'ignorant or a liar'.

Oh, gee, have I hurt your feelings? So what? Morals are subjective, remember? It doesn't matter what you think, I think differently. It's not a problem for me to hurt you if morals are subjective, dummy...

And I value my daughter, so I defend her against attackers. Simple as. If you don't understand this, then you obviously don't value your own family. But if you believe the bible literally, then you'd believe that your daughter's rapist should become your new son in law, so it's not surprising you feel that way.

According to who again? I missed your coronation ceremony over my belief system.

Objectivitees wrote:I never claimed the book condones slavery.
And yet it does. So that makes you either a liar or ignorant of your own bible. Shouldn't you try actually READING it?

Are we done?

Nope. Not done. Can't you even see the simplicity of respecting someone else's beliefs for what they say they are? You keep trying to force me into your view of Christianity, without ever actually listening to what I say. I don't condone slavery, nor do I interpret the bible that way. But I guess if it makes you feel as though you are making a point in your favor, to condemn me for condoning slavery, go ahead, I'll just ask you why it's a bad thing in your view? But do try to remember, you don't get to say you value it just because you value it, you have to explain why its GOOD to value it.

Oh wait... that's the question you keep ignoring again...


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

Post  Orion on Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:20 pm

Mate, if you don't even know your own bible, what DO you know about? Utterly shameful...

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

Post  Objectivitees on Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:21 pm

Orion wrote:Mate, if you don't even know your own bible, what DO you know about? Utterly shameful...
What does shameful mean in a world where values are subjective?

Oh, that's right... you can't go there can you? Because then you'd have to answer my actual question, so just keep avoiding it by throwing out subjectively defined words like shame...ba ha ha ha ha.


By the way, why is slavery bad in your view? You have no objective standards by which to judge it, remember?

Come on man... why is it bad for me to call you stupid?

Can't answer that, can ya?

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

Post  Orion on Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:49 pm

Your argument is yet again self defeating - if without God you can't even say 'good evidence is better than no evidence', or 'correct is better than incorrect', or 'rational is better than irrational' - then how could you ever rationally accept evidence for the existence of a God? You would have to assume his existence before you could accept it - begging the question.

By the way:

"When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property." (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

Great - so you can beat your slave so badly that he is mortally wounded, but as long as he dies AFTER two days, not before, then you haven't done anything wrong. Lovely.

See also:

"However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way." (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

"If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.' If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever." (Exodus 21:2-6 NLT)

"When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment." (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

There's much more, but it's not my job to teach a so-called 'Christian' what goes on in his own holy book.

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

Post  Objectivitees on Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:46 pm

Still can't answer my question, eh?

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

Post  Orion on Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:44 am

Objectivitees wrote:why is it bad for me to call you stupid?
Can't answer that, can ya?

Define what you mean by 'bad' and I'll answer your question. If you mean 'insulting', then I take it as an honour to be called stupid by someone like you. And I'm delighted to live in a world where you are free to call other people's intelligence into question. I'd fight to death to defend your right to call me stupid. And I welcome that you are reduced to playground taunts too, so from that point of view it's not 'bad' at all. Whether you feel you have debased yourself to a level of argument that you might feel is beneath you... well that's a question for you, not me.

But I'll treat your question seriously. If you mean 'objectively bad', then I'd say 'objectively bad by what criteria'? 'Bad' is an adjective - it implies a criteria. Tell me what that criteria is. Any adjective can be objectively used given a specific criteria. I can say that Titanic is objectively a better film than Citizen Caine, if the criteria for 'better' is 'made more money'. I can say that slavery is objectively 'not bad' if my criteria for bad is 'forbidden in the bible'. Generally the criteria for a commonly used adjective does not need to be spelled out, as we all agree on an implied criteria. Therefore I can say 'Hitler was bad', without having to spell out that 'bad' means 'caused an awful lot of pain and suffering'.

Of course, at any point someone can turn round and say 'But what do you mean by bad', or 'How can you even say that Hitler was worse than Mother Theresa', or 'why is it bad for me to call you stupid'. This is ignoring commonly understand usage of terms. It's a piece of sophistry. I guess the implication is that if you believe in a God you can use these terms without further explanation, but this doesn't actually follow. It still comes back to this: you're using an adjective with a commonly understand underlying criteria. Obviously people can have different underlying criteria, and this is exactly what we see in real life - people will disagree on whether, say Henry Kissinger is an evil man, or whatever, and that's because they have different criteria for the word.

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

Post  Neon Genesis on Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:52 pm

Orion wrote: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.
This argument puts Objectivee's argument in a pickle because if he admits that God has opinions, then he admits God's morals are based on his opinions and not objective facts and that God's morals are therefore relative and arbitrary. On the flip side, if he admits God has no opinions, then God is merely a robot forced to follow a pre-existing set of moral standards that were not created by God and are therefore open to everyone to follow regardless of the existence of God. But I'm still waiting for Objectivees to explain what the absolute moral standard 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  2buckchuck on Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:57 am

As I understand them, theists believe that 'absolute morality' flows from their infinitely moral deity - "god is love" and all that. The notion of 'objective' morality is a philosophical one, not a religious topic among theists. For them, their deity's morality is absolute and it is the standard to which we're held.

I just posted in a similarly-titled thread for believers that if you look at the morality of the deity (as seen in the bible or the qu'ran), I think we could argue that god is at least hypocritical - having one moral standard for himself and another for us. Trying to sort out what to do under the 'absolute morality' rules outlined in theist's sacred texts seem pretty challenging to me. The deity's morality might be absolute, but it's pretty confusing and contradictory.

Is there an 'objective' morality? Presumably, that morality would lie outside any thought process (by humans or by the deity). But theists think that since the deity made the world (omnipotent) and knows everything (omniscient), nothing could exist outside of this deity - his morality would be absolute and its objectivity would be irrelevant.

I think there may be an objective morality - a set of rules by which we humans can interact successfully for the common good of all. We don't create those rules ... we have learned them (and continue to learn them) by trial and error. If we treat each other with deceipt and violence, our ability to interact for the good of all is undermined and our society will collapse. We humans survive poorly on our own, so being ostracized for bad behavior is an effective punishment for violating moral codes. Not all societies come to precisely the same set of rules, but I'm confident that their morals share many common elements, allowing those societies to be successful. As the world changes, the rules change, and so we are continually revising those rules. Societies that develop morals tolerating behavior that's harmful to those societies will collapse.

Although I suppose the notion of an objective morality is ultimately only an idealized abstraction, if some society were to evolve to be perfectly consistent with that hypothetical objective morality, it might persist to whatever might be the end of humanity.

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