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Paul Kurtz - Forbidden Fruit
Posted: 26 December 2008 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Bryan,I think I answered your queries as well.One point though concerning one of your questions.I believe you asked:“if innate natural codes are not righteous,why would religion make them righteous?”(paraphrase).Was that a question of yours?
Answer(if that was your question):for moral dominance,and subsequent mass effect mind manipulation.Righteousness is just another word for pride!!
Religion is the effect of getting people to be proud of innate moral values.Something that is not necessary,and actually harms the fabric of those very innate moral codes,or values.Then religion stirs into the mix a dash of mysticism and voila!!
Righteousness comes from religion,it is the phenomenom of making people proud of their own natural behaviors.

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Posted: 26 December 2008 12:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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VYAZMA - 26 December 2008 12:01 PM

Bryan,I think I answered your queries as well.One point though concerning one of your questions.I believe you asked:“if innate natural codes are not righteous,why would religion make them righteous?”(paraphrase).Was that a question of yours?
Answer(if that was your question):for moral dominance,and subsequent mass effect mind manipulation.Righteousness is just another word for pride!!

That is not the way I was using the term “righteous.”  I was trying to get at whether natural moral codes are right (the ordinary meaning of the term “righteous”).

Thanks for addressing my questions.  I’ll leave this issue to Steve unless you’d like to engage the conversation with me (PM me if that’s your wish).  But if Steve never gets around to it I’ll probably step in eventually.

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Posted: 26 December 2008 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Bryan - 26 December 2008 12:10 PM
VYAZMA - 26 December 2008 12:01 PM

Bryan,I think I answered your queries as well.One point though concerning one of your questions.I believe you asked:“if innate natural codes are not righteous,why would religion make them righteous?”(paraphrase).Was that a question of yours?
Answer(if that was your question):for moral dominance,and subsequent mass effect mind manipulation.Righteousness is just another word for pride!!

That is not the way I was using the term “righteous.”  I was trying to get at whether natural moral codes are right (the ordinary meaning of the term “righteous”).

Thanks for addressing my questions.  I’ll leave this issue to Steve unless you’d like to engage the conversation with me (PM me if that’s your wish).  But if Steve never gets around to it I’ll probably step in eventually.

Well.Bry.Sure I guess they’re “right”.They couldn’t really be wrong,seeing as how they come from a scientific,evolving code,which so far has led us up to this point.
No though you guys run with it.I’m not up for a long discussion on the metaphysics of ethics and moral codes.Peace out..

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Posted: 26 December 2008 01:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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VYAZMA - 26 December 2008 12:28 PM
Bryan - 26 December 2008 12:10 PM
VYAZMA - 26 December 2008 12:01 PM

Bryan,I think I answered your queries as well.One point though concerning one of your questions.I believe you asked:“if innate natural codes are not righteous,why would religion make them righteous?”(paraphrase).Was that a question of yours?
Answer(if that was your question):for moral dominance,and subsequent mass effect mind manipulation.Righteousness is just another word for pride!!

That is not the way I was using the term “righteous.”  I was trying to get at whether natural moral codes are right (the ordinary meaning of the term “righteous”).

Thanks for addressing my questions.  I’ll leave this issue to Steve unless you’d like to engage the conversation with me (PM me if that’s your wish).  But if Steve never gets around to it I’ll probably step in eventually.

Well.Bry.Sure I guess they’re “right”.They couldn’t really be wrong,seeing as how they come from a scientific,evolving code,which so far has led us up to this point.
No though you guys run with it.I’m not up for a long discussion on the metaphysics of ethics and moral codes.Peace out..

I suspect there’s nowhere to go from here.  If the religious codes are “right” then what’s the problem with “stealing” from the source code?  There is a real question as to whether your view about scientifically derived codes is coherent, which I’m sure was Steve’s observation as well.  Science can describe existing moral codes, and can even propose naturalistic origins for existing moral codes.  It can’t tell you whether they ought to be followed or not, which is probably why you have no objection to calling the religious codes “right” in some meaningless (or subjective) fashion.

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Posted: 26 December 2008 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Bryan - 26 December 2008 01:40 PM
VYAZMA - 26 December 2008 12:28 PM
Bryan - 26 December 2008 12:10 PM
VYAZMA - 26 December 2008 12:01 PM

Bryan,I think I answered your queries as well.One point though concerning one of your questions.I believe you asked:“if innate natural codes are not righteous,why would religion make them righteous?”(paraphrase).Was that a question of yours?
Answer(if that was your question):for moral dominance,and subsequent mass effect mind manipulation.Righteousness is just another word for pride!!

That is not the way I was using the term “righteous.”  I was trying to get at whether natural moral codes are right (the ordinary meaning of the term “righteous”).

Thanks for addressing my questions.  I’ll leave this issue to Steve unless you’d like to engage the conversation with me (PM me if that’s your wish).  But if Steve never gets around to it I’ll probably step in eventually.

Well.Bry.Sure I guess they’re “right”.They couldn’t really be wrong,seeing as how they come from a scientific,evolving code,which so far has led us up to this point.
No though you guys run with it.I’m not up for a long discussion on the metaphysics of ethics and moral codes.Peace out..

I suspect there’s nowhere to go from here.  If the religious codes are “right” then what’s the problem with “stealing” from the source code?  There is a real question as to whether your view about scientifically derived codes is coherent, which I’m sure was Steve’s observation as well.  Science can describe existing moral codes, and can even propose naturalistic origins for existing moral codes.  It can’t tell you whether they ought to be followed or not, which is probably why you have no objection to calling the religious codes “right” in some meaningless (or subjective) fashion.

Well that’s it.That is my point.Science can propose(actually prove)the origins,or the reasons for these codes.Origins is kind of ambigous,because these codes have been evolving too.So when you say origins it would be helpful to pick a certain area of the species timeline.Certainly we could go back far enough to a time when there were no mammals.If indeed all life sprung from one celled animals or some such creatures then surely the codes were more archaic,more “digital"if you will.Ones and Zeros.But these became more complicated as life itself became more complicated.Eventually these codes had to evolve into values that dealt with,Earths environment,interaction with other species,interaction within the same species.
Now as we sit here today,how do we interpret these codes?I don’t know.Humans have created a world which is,...which is ...what?
This is the question.Have we advanced too rapidly?Have we overpopulated too fast,and created methods to defeat the automatic control valves to steady our growth.Through religion,politics and social organization have we begun to create new moral codes,ourselves?Are “these"codes relevant?Or are they just a passing blip on the radar of evolution?Will a great “pressure release valve"happen,checking us,reseting us as it were.Where once again these evolutionary codes will be more prevalent.Not hidden,(but still there)beneath the Giant Spaghetti Monster of our own social,convoluted behavioral sysyem.

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Posted: 26 December 2008 05:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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VYAZMA - 26 December 2008 03:08 PM
Bryan - 26 December 2008 01:40 PM

If the religious codes are “right” then what’s the problem with “stealing” from the source code?  There is a real question as to whether your view about scientifically derived codes is coherent, which I’m sure was Steve’s observation as well.  Science can describe existing moral codes, and can even propose naturalistic origins for existing moral codes.  It can’t tell you whether they ought to be followed or not, which is probably why you have no objection to calling the religious codes “right” in some meaningless (or subjective) fashion.

Well that’s it.That is my point.Science can propose(actually prove)the origins,or the reasons for these codes.Origins is kind of ambigous,because these codes have been evolving too.So when you say origins it would be helpful to pick a certain area of the species timeline.Certainly we could go back far enough to a time when there were no mammals.If indeed all life sprung from one celled animals or some such creatures then surely the codes were more archaic,more “digital"if you will.Ones and Zeros.But these became more complicated as life itself became more complicated.Eventually these codes had to evolve into values that dealt with,Earths environment,interaction with other species,interaction within the same species.
Now as we sit here today,how do we interpret these codes?I don’t know.Humans have created a world which is,...which is ...what?
This is the question.Have we advanced too rapidly?Have we overpopulated too fast,and created methods to defeat the automatic control valves to steady our growth.

We tend to run into a problem, here, since if we consistently refer to humans as a naturalistic phenomenon those questions are answered just as simply as any other.  Humans have created a world that bears the imprint of human activity, which is essentially a tautology.  What else should we have done?  Did we somehow stray from our nature?

If we overpopulated too fast for some population control mechanisms then it was our nature to do that.  Where nature provides no control for overpopulation method O, then what are humans to do?  Invent one?  But why not invent themselves as the exception instead? Science provides no answer to the question, all it does is describe the situation.

Through religion,politics and social organization have we begun to create new moral codes,ourselves?Are “these"codes relevant?Or are they just a passing blip on the radar of evolution?Will a great “pressure release valve"happen,checking us,reseting us as it were.Where once again these evolutionary codes will be more prevalent.Not hidden,(but still there)beneath the Giant Spaghetti Monster of our own social,convoluted behavioral sys(t)em.

More importantly, the naturalistic system leaves morality as a subjective phenomenon, with some aware of the game.  Those who know it’s a game may exempt themselves from the rules and/or recognize that the rules are necessarily elastic.  If right and wrong are determined by your opinion, what is to stop you from altering your opinion?

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Posted: 26 December 2008 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Bryan - 26 December 2008 05:06 PM

If right and wrong are determined by your opinion, what is to stop you from altering your opinion?

Nothing. But your “opinion” is presumably based on your experience, and the only reason you’d change it is (a) new information, including contact with other people or (b) new thinking on the information you already have. Or (c) both….

[ Edited: 26 December 2008 09:18 PM by Jackson ]
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Posted: 26 December 2008 08:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Bad quotation tags in your original, FWIW.

Jackson - 26 December 2008 06:39 PM

But your “opinion” is presumably based on your experience, and the only reason you’d change it is (a) new information, including contact with other people or (b) new thinking on the information you already have. Or (c) both….

How about new information like “I know that morality is subjective, so whatever I think is right is right.  I really want X and I believe I can obtain it without being caught.  I’ll think it is right and therefore it will be right.”

Would that work?

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Posted: 26 December 2008 09:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Bryan - 26 December 2008 08:57 PM
Jackson - 26 December 2008 06:39 PM

But your “opinion” is presumably based on your experience, and the only reason you’d change it is (a) new information, including contact with other people or (b) new thinking on the information you already have. Or (c) both….

How about new information like “I know that morality is subjective, so whatever I think is right is right.  I really want X and I believe I can obtain it without being caught.  I’ll think it is right and therefore it will be right.”

Would that work?

ummm Bryan this is so farfetched an example it’s not worth continuing the discussion. Sorry I missed your point.

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Posted: 29 December 2008 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Jackson - 26 December 2008 09:37 PM
Bryan - 26 December 2008 08:57 PM
Jackson - 26 December 2008 06:39 PM

But your “opinion” is presumably based on your experience, and the only reason you’d change it is (a) new information, including contact with other people or (b) new thinking on the information you already have. Or (c) both….

How about new information like “I know that morality is subjective, so whatever I think is right is right.  I really want X and I believe I can obtain it without being caught.  I’ll think it is right and therefore it will be right.”

Would that work?

ummm Bryan this is so farfetched an example it’s not worth continuing the discussion. Sorry I missed your point.

It’s as though moral subjectivism is no more realistic than Santa Claus.  wink

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Posted: 29 December 2008 03:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I’m not sure why people are even trying to explain it to Bryan, when it is obvious he has not listened to the podcast, much less read the book.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 29 December 2008 11:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Mriana - 29 December 2008 03:56 PM

I’m not sure why people are even trying to explain it to Bryan, when it is obvious he has not listened to the podcast, much less read the book.

Apparently it’s so complicated that trying to explain it is futile unless one has listened to the podcast and/or read the book.

Do you think it’s complicated, Mriana?  Isn’t it at least something that someone who has read the book might have some chance of explaining to somebody who hasn’t read the book?

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Posted: 29 December 2008 11:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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I don’t think it’s complicated at all.  Listen to Kurtz on the podcast and you will get it.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 30 December 2008 09:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Mriana - 29 December 2008 11:54 PM

I don’t think it’s complicated at all.  Listen to Kurtz on the podcast and you will get it.

Regarding my question as to how one should treat the information that ethics is ultimately subjective and we can do what we want, Kurtz offers an answer that any of you (those who listened to the podcast) should easily have been able to provide.

Kurtz maintains a view of morality as a human construct, analogous to the law itself.  As to the question of whether humans should be moral or not ...

(L)et me confess right off that I can make little sense of the question, “Why ought I to be moral?” as it has been traditionally formulated. For if it is meant as a universal question, it is hard to know what response would constitute an adequate solution, and even whether this question is intelligible. Moreover, it masks an underlying “quest for certainty,” as John Dewey calls it, when none can be found.”
http://atheism.about.com/od/bookreviews/fr/ForbiddenFruit_2.htm

So Kurtz dresses moral subjectivity in the Emperor’s finest, in summary.

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Posted: 30 December 2008 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Bryan - 30 December 2008 09:11 AM
Mriana - 29 December 2008 11:54 PM

I don’t think it’s complicated at all.  Listen to Kurtz on the podcast and you will get it.

Regarding my question as to how one should treat the information that ethics is ultimately subjective and we can do what we want, Kurtz offers an answer that any of you (those who listened to the podcast) should easily have been able to provide.

Kurtz maintains a view of morality as a human construct, analogous to the law itself.  As to the question of whether humans should be moral or not ...

(L)et me confess right off that I can make little sense of the question, “Why ought I to be moral?” as it has been traditionally formulated. For if it is meant as a universal question, it is hard to know what response would constitute an adequate solution, and even whether this question is intelligible. Moreover, it masks an underlying “quest for certainty,” as John Dewey calls it, when none can be found.”
http://atheism.about.com/od/bookreviews/fr/ForbiddenFruit_2.htm

So Kurtz dresses moral subjectivity in the Emperor’s finest, in summary.

Bryan, would you listen to the podcast before commenting in this section—your comments come across as non sequiturs and need some bridging comment from you to establish the context.

For example, in the Jennifer Michael Hecht interview on Doubt,  the book covers a whole lot of stuff that is not covered in the podcast, and the podcast sort of delved into her perspectives on ‘truth’, ‘science’,poetry, etc.—which are covered more in other books of hers. So it wasn’t really a targeted discussion of the book. Similarly, this week’s podcast with Tom Flynn on science fiction and atheism has an opening 5-6 minutes on Xmas which is part of Tom Flynn but slightly off the narrow focus of the interview topic.

You tend to get the discussion off on a very philosophical abstract discussion which aggravates the context relative to the podcast.
[If you have listened to the podcast, maybe you could put in a couple of anchor-points every so often to solidfy how your comment connects.]

Anyway thanks for your patience and long-standing comments and willingingness to provide different viewpoints.  People are extremely kind about saying thank you on this forum and it’s not really my style—but again thanks.

Jackson

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