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Cold Warrior

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Current location: London, UK
Member since: Sun Aug 24, 2014, 06:49 AM
Number of posts: 13,218

Journal Archives

Bo Derek at the Mall

Too close to the sun

Freedom’s just another word...

#WalkAway

You'll never find your gold on a sandy beach

https://m.

Congratulations to the majority here, Left and Right

There is a thread that screams that the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooter is an Anti-Trumper. Almost unanimously posters Left and Right came together to condemn this attempt at politicising this tragedy. They recognised that this is not a partisan issue, that the shooter is neither a partisan or mentally ill, but rather an evil PoS who hates Jews.

In particular, one poster, Charlie Mike, whom I’ve been gigging recently stood up first. So congratulations to him and to everyone who took a stand against partisanship and in favour of reality.

Saturday Morning Cartoons: King David Part I

Peak Florida

Whataboutism runs rampant

I can remember not too long ago when I was accused of whataboutism regarding concerns that droning should not be directed solely at Obama but should recognise that Trump was continuing that programme. Hell, I even linked to posts of me criticising Obama and Hillary for the drones. AND I only suggested replacing Obama’s name not with “Obama and Trump” but to “the US.”

So to all of DI, HAPPY WHATABOUTISM DAY!

Human population through time

Quite an interesting and well produced video.

Atheists got no morality cuz theys got none of dem dar scriptures

This is something I indicated to a Caver that I would discuss some time ago, and never got around to it. Quite frankly, I find statements like "You're just an atheist because you want to sin" or "Atheists can have no morality because they don't believe in Yahweh" absurd, denied by obvious facts, and not really worthy of comment. As I pointed out in another thread, atheists comprise a smaller percentage of the US prison population than they do of the overall population. This would indicate that either atheists are more moral than the general population or smarter than them. Probably both.

But, I was actually prompted to finally grin-and-bear-it and write this by a comment by one of my lost puppies. To preface, this poster continually claims not to be a Christian, yet pops up whenever there is any criticism of Christianity to defend the faith. Recently, he made this amazing statement in regards to atheists not holding to the "scriptures:"

"There are no scriptures. So, a man can do whatever he is capable and willing to do."

This is odd on so many levels. I assume "scriptures" here means from the Christian Bible, unless the poster is alluding to verses from the Quran, the Rig Veda, the Code of Hammurabi, or the Analects. If it is from the Bible, is he saying he has no morals since he's not a Christian or is he saying he follows the Christian Scriptures but he's not a Christian? Logic is indeed a learned concept.

We can recognise two types of morality, Absolute Morality and Objective Morality. Absolute Morality would say, for example, that killing is not moral and is of the type preached in the Bible with one key alteration. Most of us understand that Absolute Morality is flawed as we recognise that circumstances can dictate what is moral in certain situations, killing in self-defence for example.

There is an interesting note on Christian Absolute Morality. Yahweh provided us with the Ten Jok… Commandments as our guide to morality. Yes, there are other moral precepts, for example, some propounded by the Meek and Mild One when he wasn't too busy condemning those who didn't follow him to eternal damnation. But let's stick with the Ten Jok...Commandments. They are really not Absolute as we note Biblical individuals violating them on a regular basis and still being considered moral.

What Biblical morality boils down to is the basic concept that if Yahweh wills it, it is moral. So, if Yahweh tells the Israelites to steal from Egyptians, it's moral. If Yahweh tells them to slaughter every man, woman (except for the virgins who are to be used as sex slaves), child, and goat in the neighbouring village, it's moral. If Yahweh tells you to kill your own son or daughter, it's moral. Note that while many Christians consider morality Absolute, it is not; it is simply the whim of their Babylonian War God (probably not a good source).

Objective Morality recognises moral principles outside of the individual while understanding that these may be impacted by the real world. Returning to the killing example, Objective Morality would judge killing as immoral but killing in self-defence as moral. The real question is from whence do those principles originate?

Well, that's complex. Certainly not from holy texts. Evolution plays a large part in our concept of morality. Man is a social animal, like other apes, like wolves, and even like piranha to a very limited extent. As a species we have developed the trait that we work together and that has provided a significant evolutionary advantage. Individuals without this trait were weeded out of the population through starvation, isolation, and the wild. Human groups that worked together to hunt, for example, were able to acquire more food than those who did not. To kill other within that group would diminish the group's capabilities to survive. Evolution and Natural Selection created this part of our morality as well many of the other "social" functions, such as child rearing and ancestor worship (a foundation for "honouring mother and father").

When we moved into cities, some of these imperatives became even more urgent and we overlaid a utilitarian morality on our evolutionary foundation. Civilisations that discourage their citizens from killing and stealing simply function better, and therefore succceed better, than those that don't. At this point, one sees the codification of these moral principles as laws, e.g., the Code of Hammurabi. It is worth noting that the morality within a city/civilisation typically applied, as it still does today, to those citizens, and not foreigners.

Therefore, Objective Morality arises through both evolution and human society. Do these mean that humans are always moral? Of course not. Does it mean, OTOH, that I as an atheist have no morality. Of course not. But I would posit that my morality, grounded in humanity, is much more "moral" than that derived from the fear of punishment from an imaginary being.


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