The Good Is Gone Anyway

I wrote a post awhile back letting all the heathen know they can be good.

Most of them seemed to take it as an insult.

I think it bothers pagans when Christians find places to agree with them.

That’s not mere speculation.

Behold, this revealing comment from one of my intellectual superiors:

…zzz…huh…wha…sorry!  I nodded off reading that comment.

So, if you are a moral agent…

…am I a moral agent too?

I need to know.

Because you “have a problem with people like me who attempt to put my god in charge of your morality because I’m a selfish, stupid idiot.

My question is, why do you have a problem with ME?

Go! Shape your own morality!

You decide ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ all by your personal, big-boy self.

Griping at me makes me suspect…you don’t believe what you’re saying.

You’re acting like there is a morality outside of your personal, big-boy self.

A morality that is supposed to affect me.

What moral law says I need stop saying things that annoy you?

Is it morally correct for me to acknowledge your personal moral agency?

Hmmmm. Do you even understand what I’m asking?

I bet you don’t.

Heathen aren’t thinkers.

Heathen say stuff like this:

Morality didn’t come from evolution. Morality evolved.

Nod your head, Heathen.

This is the logic that informs you there is no eternal moral law giver.

This is how you know there is no God!

Do you want to have a conversation about this?

You better not.

Instead, use your time in activities suited to your sophistication level.

Color this picture.

139 thoughts on “The Good Is Gone Anyway

    • MooseMan says:

      I don’t quite understand tildeb’s comments and certainly feel your same gripe. From what I understand of the model tildeb is presenting, they are removing your own moral agency as “God” removes theirs. Of course, there may be a nuance in saying “God says x is wrong” and “God has a problem with x” and that may be where the view-holder could focus a difference.

      However, I do better understand the nuance of the blurred poster’s comment. It doesn’t seem that they indicated that morality evolved, just the “sense” of morality, which could according to their view be an illusion. I don’t think there is a claim to whether morality exists in that post, just that we feel it exists. Seems cogent to me.

      • But why would we evolve a sense for something that doesn’t exist? All our other senses, sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, equilibrium, etc “evolved” to make us aware of things that are real. So why would we have a sense to make us aware of something that isn’t real? The mere fact that we all have an inherent sense of right and wrong would imply that morality is real.

      • If you’d like to see some of the contradictions of the blurred commenter in action, you can click this link: https://branyancomedy.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/the-terrible-truth-about-canadians/comment-page-1/#comment-16025

        All of the Atheists who comment here are quick to say the God described in the Bible is immoral–but then claim that no objective morality exists.

        Right and wrong are basically opinions. We can get them to admit that. But they still want to have ethical debates and talk about “good/better” or “improvement.”

      • Our sense of reciprocity is internal, meaning it’s part of our neurological functioning (as it is for many critters). From reciprocity, we get a set of principled standards of how to behave that we bookend with the terms ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. This is called ethics. From ethical standards, we draw up a spectrum of what constitutes consequences that we bookend with the terms ‘good’ and ‘bad’ (‘evil’). This is called morals. These terms by themselves – right and wrong, good and bad – possess no independent meaning. We supply the meaning within a context.

        The point is, the source is from our biology, our sense of reciprocity (which informs various levels of empathy and altruism and compassion for others included in the bible as what we call ‘the Golden Rule’ but one that far predates Christianity and Judaism). We own this sense of right and wrong, good and evil and this can be demonstrated by brain impairment. Change, the neurology, change this sense.

        We operate in the world based on these considerations. That’s why there are such differences among various people and social groupings about what falls where on which spectrum. This also changes over time within a population. The take-away point is that each of us is our own moral agent. This is demonstrable. What is contentious is that the conclusion hat we are individually responsible for our individual behaviours, responsible for our own sense of what falls where on our ethical and moral spectrum within the context of our social environment.

        When someone like JB comes along and tries to tell people that their sense of reciprocity and the ethics and morals derived from it are externally sourced – from his god, in fact – he is literally wrong (even if metaphorically poetic). To then extend his own factually incorrect beliefs outwards and impose them on others by fiat – as if reciprocity and ethics and morals come from an independent source outside of ourselves but bequeathed to us by a benign foreign agency – he is actually advocating that the consequences of our reciprocal, ethical, and moral behaviour is not our own but also imported from this external source. Furthermore, his position is that by submitting to a certain religious belief that places the source of these with a particular divine agency, certain followers can then gain better access to more ethical, more moral behavior that is sanctioned by a divine moral law giver (the ‘Just following orders’ position, also know a Divine Command Theory). The evidence does not support this hypothesis. The last post by JB indicates just how terrible and deadly can be the consequences of this moral displacement (God told me not to medically interfere.with a sick child but call the Church Elders and get busy praying).

        Unlike JB, I understand that I own my own moral autonomy. I understand that I am responsible for the consequences of my actions including the moral considerations, including the ethical considerations. It’s my job to give consideration to the ethical and moral consequences of my behaviour and I understand that it is my responsibility to defend my actions as reasonable and reciprocal in ethical and moral terms.

        JB thinks it’s not my job; it’s his god’s. He thinks my moral autonomy resides elsewhere… but is willing to grant that any moral or ethical behaviour I exhibit is actually from his god who has ‘stamped’ my heart with this gift of morality. To be absolutely clear, bad belongs to me; good belongs to his god.

        No.

        You can’t have it both ways.

        Either his god has failed to stamp my heart properly if I commit immoral, unethical behaviour (if this god truly is responsible for these considerations) or he has nothing to do with whatever stamping produces moral and ethical behaviour. Either JB is not responsible for his own ethical and moral behaviour (because god is the source and will teach what constitutes the ‘objective’ moral law through scripture) or his god is equally responsible for JB immoral and unethical behaviour. In either case using JB’s moral belief, JB himself avoids taking FULL responsibility for his own moral autonomy (both good AND bad, both right AND wrong) and is trying to tell me that the same is true for me. He is trying to take away my moral autonomy in the name of his belief in his version of the divine moral law giver because he wants to feel better – feel more righteous – about giving away his own. He insists on having a divine Dear Leader tell him what is ethical, what is moral, what is reciprocal. He is avoiding taking personal responsibility by this tactic and is using his religious belief as the excuse to do so. I think that makes him morally and ethically irresponsible by definition.

          • I ment to put respond vs. responded there.

            I didn’t read what he wrote here, just skimmed, not worth the time.

            Long story short, and I realize I am preaching to the Choir here, is that he is an unserious person.

            He may fancy himself an academic but an objective assessment of his comments makes it clear that he is just a blowhard with nothing useful to say.

          • Yeah, I just feel bad for anyone who may not read at a college-level and could be tempted to believe that the use of many multi-syllabic words makes Tildeb someone to revere.

            My dad actually wrote another post featuring a Tildeb comment once, which said (basically) “Christians, if this guy sounds like he knows what he’s talking about, then make him your mentor!” If you’re impressed by concepts you don’t understand, as long as they sound like concepts you SHOULD understand, then he’s the guy.

            But for those of us who recognize that Tildeb’s verbosity is used to mask his really lame ideas, Tildeb is a joke.

          • Two reasons I never responded to tildeb.

            1. He takes Ark and KIA seriously which reduces his credibility to nothing.

            2. He uses a ton of words and ends up saying absolutely nothing.

            God bless people who try but talking to him is a dead end street.

            James

        • Nope! That’s not what John is saying at all. The argument is that God created the standard of morality then gave us free will. We get to decide if we’re going to adhere to the standard are not because we’re free will agents. God doesn’t force us to follow His laws. He wants us to choose to do so for ourselves. So your argument that you take responsibility for your moral decisions and John doesn’t is built on a false premise.

          • Haha, thanks for the warning! I wasn’t aware of Ark’s Play Pen, but I did realize he’s baiting. I’ve read enough of his comments to know he’s not asking honestly. What’s the point of getting into the weeds on how to find the standard if we can’t get to a point where we all agree there’s a standard, anyway?

          • “…if we can’t get to a point where we all agree there’s a standard anyway?”

            Precisely the point I’ve made many times… 🙂
            Carry on.

          • John Branyan says:

            I don’t want to speak for MooseMan so he can correct this if I’m off base.
            I think MooseMan is trying to articulate Tildeb’s position in fewer than a billion words. He’s not necessarily arguing Tildeb’s point. He’s trying to clarify the position.

          • That’s why I explained how JB’s belief is morally irresponsible. He really does insist that our morality originates with his god.

            But here’s the thing, Whitney: what standard of morality are you talking about? JB waves his hand towards scripture or makes reference to his feelings but neither describes what this standard is… other than use equally nebulous terms like ‘good’ and ‘evil’. Whereas I insist the standard must come from the individual who will be accountable for it, JB really does divide the ‘good’ from the ‘bad’ by assigning the former to his god and the latter to people. That’s the hypocrisy… because it’s circular and not evidence for an independent source at all.

          • John Branyan says:

            “JB waves his hand towards scripture or makes reference to his feelings but neither describes what this standard is… ”
            Are you going to direct any of your comments to me, Dear Leader?

            I’d be happy to explain my position but I understand how actually letting me speak for myself might hamper the effectiveness of your rebuttals.

      • MooseMan says:

        @Whitney G – I suppose the argument could be made similar to whether “green” exists. We green through our eyes, but really it’s just how our brain interprets photon waves at that frequency. Green is not objectively real in that way. A “sense” of morality could be just feedback from doing things beneficial to our neurological reward/punishment system, without objective morality needing to exist. Once again, not saying it’s 100% truth, but seems at least internally cogent.

        @tildeb – I don’t think the Christian morality is necessarily different from the cultural considerations that you’re supposing. Assuming God into equation, why can’t humans have the same reciprocity awareness you mention, but there be an additional powerful agent that advises on how to best utilize that reciprocity awareness? Sidenote… some succinctness would help others in addressing your concerns. I understand the impetus to over explain when you feel misunderstood, but it usually doesn’t help when people end up skimming your post due to length.

        • But the photon waves that we are perceiving as “green” ARE real. Just because people experience colors in different ways doesn’t mean that the source colors originate from isn’t real.

        • @MooseMan,

          You ask, “Assuming God into equation, why can’t humans have the same reciprocity awareness you mention, but there be an additional powerful agent that advises on how to best utilize that reciprocity awareness?”

          There could be, and might be… but there is no evidence for any such causal agent and evidence that should be present if the hypothesis were true is absent. The biological explanatory model in stark contrast is self-contained. Inserting a moral law giver doesn’t help. In fact it causes harm. To loosely quote La Place, we have no need for that hypothesis.

          The problem I have is dispersing moral responsibility away from the individual… or having someone try to take it away by hook or by crook or by law or by social norms in the name of pretending there really, really, really is (or at the very least, probably is) such an independent and external agent. According to believers, terrible things that really do happen when we stand by and allow people to act as if there were, that belief in the absence of evidence is reasonable, and then privilege this motivation and mitigate the responsibility in law directly translates into an allowance that causes suffering, harm, and even kills real people in real life all the time. To address that problem means we have to recognize that this is the root of it and criticize this root legitimately.

      • MooseMan says:

        @Whitney G- I guess the good/bad feelings we experience as consequences to our actions are real, to continue with the analogy. The objective morality is still unneeded to have the sense, as long as the heuristic reinforces our sense.

      • MooseMan says:

        @Whitney G – I think we’re maybe having two different conversations. I am not saying “feels good, do it” is a good/bad way of doing things or that an objective morality does or does not exist. I’m saying that we can still have a sense of morality based on the consequences, without an objective morality being necessary.

          • @ Whitney Garrett

            Now that’s a great question? I hope you can see that inserting ‘God’ as if an answer actually answers nothing but replaces an honest “I don’t know” with a pseudo-answer. That’s what such religious belief produces: pseudo-answers that actually explains nothing (which is why we never, ever, get knowledge from religious answers).

            Our sense of reciprocity is an evolved trait. It is present in many species. There is robust correlation with a kind of specialized neuronal net called ‘mirror’ neurons that activate when we encounter second hand input. Our brains utilize this net to help us ‘experience’ the data as if we were the recipients… a neurological means to ‘put ourselves in the shoes of another’. This ability to alter second hand experiences into first hand experiences we call ‘reciprocity’. It is biological function. It is a function demonstrated by critters other than humans. To explain how this neural activation translates into feelings of empathy and altruism and compassion would metaphorically kill someone like Wally or Amanda (mrsmcmommy) who are afraid of words in quantity so I will empathize with them and end my explanatory comment here.

          • Wait a minute

            Am i being used as the excuse why cant answer a question?

            Don’t suffer any pleonasm reduction procedures on my account

            Btw the death from boredom i suffer from reading your books is not metaphorical

      • MooseMan says:

        @Whitney – In the scenario you’ve laid out, I think Operant Conditioning it is a likely candidate source for the sense of morality (Punishment/Reward). That would also explain why some people don’t feel bad about it (they get good things when treating people poorly). There’s also several layers (ex. mom says I should be nice; when I listen to her, I generally benefit). I think that’s sufficient enough to form an internally consistent view that sensing morality can happen without objective morality existing.

        • Yes, our conscience is cultivated by operant conditioning. However, if the only tie morality has is to what we are taught either by parents or experiences how can we fault someone for doing wrong if that’s what they were taught or if they have yet to experience negative consequences from it. It also doesn’t take into account that we often experience negative consequences when we do the right thing. Because doing right requires sacrifice and putting others before ourselves. If one believes morality is completely subjective, one has to accept that there is no right or wrong, only our own individual opinions on the matter which are often contradictory. So if my moral code conflicts with your moral code, who is right?

          • I suppose that without objective morality, one can only impose “likes” and “dislikes” and express those. Sure, we can call that morality, but yeah, it’s very subjective and depends on the perspective of each person. I wouldn’t even mind calling that “right and wrong,” but it does seem that using that language is fundamentally getting at something different than what most people think of with “morality.”

      • MooseMan says:

        @John B – You’re mostly correct. Whether or not the view is tildeb’s, I think at least that part of the general “no objective morality” view stands internally consistent.

        @tildeb – “there could and might be” is good enough for me. I don’t think the OP was about whether or not a law giver exists, but whether or not one can derive morality outside of a law giver. Maybe you’re deriving some greater knowledge of JB’s views than what’s presented here, but in this post, I think he’s asking a question about how one can make an absolute moral judgment on another person without objective moral law. I’m having a difficult time understanding of how JB is not claiming that humans have no moral agency – since that doesn’t seem to be within this post. Maybe I’ve misunderstood you.

        @Everyone – sorry if my posts are out of order – I’m not sure how others are posting in between posts when there is not “reply” except in the original comment to the post.

    • Personally, I’m a tad confused as to why John Branyan even penned this post.

      Just days ago he agreed to never write another post or comment trying to state that some sort of objective moral truth exists.

      Why?

      Because he admitted no such thing as an objective moral truth exists.

      The Middle Eastern god of Christianity, Yhwh, changes its mind, he said, and this means, according to John, that it is evolving, learning, growing, adapting, improving with time… which sounds awfully like human culture, doesn’t it?

      http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y336/johnzande/GOD%20CHANGES_zpsmmmoyd6x.jpg?t=1487842202

  1. @ Whitney Garrett

    The argument is that God created the standard of morality then gave us free will.

    If this standard is not built-in, or ”stamped on our hearts”, where will we find it, and h0w can be assured of its veracity and it is trustworthy?

  2. @mrsmcmommy

    All of the Atheists who comment here are quick to say the God described in the Bible is immoral–but then claim that no objective morality exists.

    This was very funny. You make it sound as if Yahweh isn’t your god!

  3. Dave says:

    John,

    It is my pleasure to introduce Dr. Ravi zacharias to the blog. I can’t get him here to post, as I have never met him and he does not know me from Adam, but we can have him involved from time to time.

    I think this video is worth our time.

    Dave

    Genesis 1:27 (ESV) – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

    • Presuppositional apologetic waffle.
      Irrespective of what he ”assumes”, where does he get from his transcendent moral law giver to assuming the Christian worldview ( Jesus of Nazareth) is this law giver?
      And to top it all he introduces the fictional character of Moses and blows any credibility he believed he had.

      • John Branyan
        2 hoursThe Comedy Sojourn
        Ravi will be CRUSHED to learn he’s lost credibility with you, Dig-Dug! >/blockquote>

        I am sure he will, Bungyan. Biut very few non-believers rate him as genuinely credible, and I am sure he kjnow this. OI have never seen him carry a debate and he always resorts to presupposition. Just like you.

        Didn’t he used to be a chronic/manic depressive at one stage and even contemplated suicide before ”discovering” the Lawd?
        I mat be wropng of course but i’m seem to recall reading something along these lines.

        Hmm …I wonder if there is a pattern here, Banyon, what d’yer think?

        Like all theists, dear Ravi is unable to tell us how he gets from his ‘moral law giver’ to that law giver being the man-god you genuflect to, the Lake Tiberius Pedestrian.
        maybe you could do a more honest if not better job than Zacharius, Branyun? GO on, be a sport and give it a shot.

  4. Whereas I insist the standard must come from the individual who will be accountable for it –tildeb

    so you don’t have a problem with JB at all…or anyone else for that matter… ok got it

    • “Accountability” — or the act of being held accountable — or that there are “consequences” that naturally follow our independent actions — suggests that JUSTICE exists outside of ourselves.

      If one believes he is a sovereign moral agent, how would one experience “consequences”? How does one hold one’s self “accountable” for bad acts of moral agency that he knows is “bad” or GASP! Immoral?

      If Justice, like morality doesn’t exist outside of ourselves, one either has to rely on other sovereign moral agents who are more politically or physically or mentally evolved to force THEIR subjective moral laws and philosophies on the weaker, less evolved, or we must agree to the logical conclusion that LAW, MORALITY, JUSTICE, TRUTH, exist and are objectively the same for all humans, no matter which god or idol or philosophy or religion that human worships.

      • BbBennett

        For Justice to be meaningful (for it to be good) it has to be consistent.

        If we cannot rely on this consistency then we do not have “justice,” rather some haphazard, arbitrary dispensing of punishment according to the erratic emotional states of the judge and executioner.

        The question then is: how can the Christian god, Yhwh, be a just god when it changes its mind?

        http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y336/johnzande/GOD%20CHANGES_zpsmmmoyd6x.jpg?t=1487842202

      • JZ

        For Justice to be meaningful (meaningful to whom??) and for Justice to be consistent, it must EXIST.

        If you believe there are “consequences” for your actions (moral or otherwise) that are more than natural (cancer for smoking) then you must believe that justice exists alongside morality.

        That some ascribe a god to the creation of things like Justice, morality, love, truth, etc. is irrelevant to someone like you who denies the objective existence of these things.

        And you are right; if Justice isn’t objective and doesn’t exist… if it is arbitrary and allows man to be judge and executioner over other men, then men will surely devolve into survival of the fittest. No God, No Justice.

        • Meaningful to whom? Meaningful to everything operating under that system.

          “That some ascribe a god to the creation of things like Justice, morality, love, truth, etc. is irrelevant to someone like you who denies the objective existence of these things.”

          It’s not at all irrelevant. Quite on the contrary, it’s the central issue, the most critical element in the equation.

          It is essential you address it.

          So, the question is: how can the Christian god, Yhwh, be a just god when it changes its mind?

          http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y336/johnzande/GOD%20CHANGES_zpsmmmoyd6x.jpg?t=1487842202

        • @BbBennett

          You say, “then men will surely devolve into survival of the fittest.”

          Survival of the fittest is about reproductive success into the second generation. One does not ‘devolve’ into it; Survival in the evolutionary sense means transfering genetic material successfully, so to be ‘fit’ describes how successful this gene transfer is. It has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with anything else. A parent who has 10 grandchildren is more fit than one who has 5. That’s it. That’s all. It’s not a value statement.

      • Meaningful is meaningless without consistency. Consistency is inconsistentent if the truth (Justice in this case) is relative/subjective; subject to what YOU and I mean by the word “Meaningful.”

        Justice (Morality, Truth, etc.) do not and can not EXIST if you can only claim their authority based on “meaningfulness”. Meaning is subjective. Inconsistent.

        KnowwhatImean?

          • John Branyan says:

            Yoo-Hoo!

            That book you wrote. Remember? You’ve sold over 6 copies.
            That book.
            Why did you write it?

          • John Branyan says:

            Amanda and I were discussing how awkward it is that you won’t tell me why you wrote your book.
            Maybe you don’t understand the question.

            See, Windbag, you insist that ‘evil’ doesn’t actually exist in nature. You said there is no absolute moral truth.
            Then you wrote a book about how God is the owner of all infernal names. You accuse God of immorality and evil.

            So why did you write that book?

            Thanks!

          • John Branyan says:

            Should I ask this question on your blog space? Would you feel more comfortable surrounded by your sycophantic brethren?

            It’s just so very, very awkward when you refuse to respond.
            Maybe you forget the question….here it is again…

            Why did you write your book?

          • John Branyan says:

            That’s okay!
            I’ll give you some time to formulate a super-smart, college tutor level answer.
            Consult with Tildeb and Allallt. They’ll probably be able to help you out.
            Talk to Violet! She claims that you defer to her wisdom.
            You can attempt to restore your collapsed pantomime next time you try to sneak into another conversation on my blog.

            (The question is: Why did you write your book?)

        • Feel free to tell JZ that you’re not the one who said God changes his mind…
          Apparently, (since he keeps posting his photo over and over) he thinks your name is John Branyan.

        • I’ve used this analogy before, BbBennett: objective versus subjective measuring. We can select any subjective standard you want and, as long as we agree to stick to it, we can measure anything to astounding accuracy. Your argument says we can’t, that a subjective standard is useless. It;’s not. It’s what we do! The ‘foot’ is not objective; the ‘meter’ is not objective; the parsec is not objective. All are subjectively selected and then used as a standard. All can produce exacting measurements in the same way morality can be assessed for consequences using the standard of reciprocity.

          • So, it’s very simple, BB. Just agree to measure morality the way Tildeb says you’re supposed to measure it, and you’ll be fine! Subjective, but workable “as long as we agree…”

            Just be careful, if you suggest you should use kilometers and he prefers miles, because society takes dissent in this area VERY SERIOUSLY. Failing to treat others the way you want to be treated can land you in jail.

            Can’t have you throwing off the measurements by refusing to comply with the majority preference!

            #HailDearLeader

          • John Branyan says:

            Meters are objective standards. The measured length doesn’t change depending on what we call the measuring units. Agreeing to the standard is not what makes it true. It is true even if nobody in the world believes it.
            This analogy is simply wrong.

          • The meter – like all units of measurement – is simply another arbitrary, subjective standard that takes on meaning by what we agree to assign to it. What you’re failing to grasp is that all measurements – just like morality – are comparative values and only exist so far as we agree to use the same standard. What we’re actually measuring are differences in the values we want to compare using the same standard of convenience. A meter or an Imperial gallon is not floating about somewhere as an independent, objective ‘thing’ any more than morality is. We assign the meaning to what these terms mean. The point of the analogy is that what we are comparing is no less meaningful or real because of this arbitrary, subjective standard any more than what we are comparing morally evaporates if we don’t have an objective, independent moral law giver. All we need to do is use a common standard for comparison… higher/lower, bigger/smaller, longer/shorter, heavier/lighter, good/evil, and so on.

            So the order is very important. First, we – not some external agency – assign meaning to these terms (what does a ‘meter’ represent, a ‘pound’, what does ‘good’ represent?) which are then useful for comparison… but only if we agree to share a common meaning. The ‘meter’ is not either bequeathed-to-us-by-a-divine-distance-law-giver any more than ‘morality’ is. And the lack of any such law giver in no way, shape or fashion renders our units of comparison and the standard by which we compare useless or any less useful.

          • John Branyan says:

            Yes. I understand your position.
            Morality is subjective.

            One thousand years from now, mankind may decide that a gallon is five fluid ounces. It is not ‘wrong’ to say a gallon is 128 ounces today.
            A little over 50 years ago, the US decided to allow black people the same rights as white people. Racism was not ‘wrong’ up to that point.
            There is nothing ‘wrong’ with starving a child to death. Today, however, that act may break some arbitrary law.
            One thousand years from now, mankind may decide anyone with diabetes will be euthanized to save resources. At that point, euthanization will be morally correct.

            I’ve got it, right?

          • No, you don’t have it right. It’s the STANDARD that is arbitrary… what you call ‘subjective’. The bookends to whatever standard is being used are given labels that are empty of any independent meaning. The only way those terms gain meaning is by what WE bring to them and then hold as commonly understood to be part of that standard. (You don’t need any god for this and rejecting an objective source claim doesn’t do anything but confuse the issue.) Your way is how you end up getting people chopping off the hands, feet, and heads of people and doing other terrible things in the name of some god-given ‘good’. It’s crazy talk. My way is how we end up with science, utilizing a single commonly held metric specifically described with meaning. A meter is one one millionth the distance from the equator to the pole. No god is necessary or needed. It’s simply a unit of measurement we agree to use in COMMON and not subject to the whims of you or me. It’s the STANDARD that is arbitrary.

          • John Branyan says:

            You’re backing away from subjective morality now.
            Chopping off hands and feet for any reason is morally correct as long as we agree to it, Dear Leader.
            Own your subjectivity or be quiet.

          • John Branyan says:

            Ah…so reciprocity is ALSO subjective.

            Like I said, cutting heads off is morally correct as long as we agree.

            Are you going to own this worldview of yours or just keep being mad at me for articulating it clearly?

          • You insist on using this term ‘subjective’ in different ways. Morality is in the sense of reciprocity as ‘subjective’ as your left hand. Our species comes with a left hand but that doesn’t mean we must either believe there is an objective standard of some left hand prototype from which we receive as a gift from an external agency or all left ares are too ‘subjective’ to be considered as a left hand.

            Morality is term we use to describe where on the reciprocity scale (this the ‘standard’ under discussion that you claim is either subjective or objective) an action may fall in reference to the effects of its consequences. These consequences are mitigated by context. For example, killing someone might be ‘murder’ (unlawful killing) or it may justified (justifiable homicide). The action may be identical (objectively speaking) but the moral consequences depend on the context in which the action takes place (subjectively speaking). The first is unfair, the second fair. Same act; different moral consequences.

            This is where reciprocity plays such an important role determining intentions. And intentions alter where that act falls on the standard.The intentions alter the act’s moral considerations. Morality is sliding scale, after all, and rightly so. Claiming that any moral consideration must be based on only an objective standard is wishful thinking. That’s not how morality plays out in the real world. The standard indisputably originates from your biology… a biological emergent property shared by many critters and not just humans. Your explanatory model simply doesn’t fit reality. The biological model does.

          • John Branyan says:

            The biological model says cutting off heads is morally acceptable when we all agree to it.
            This a problem for you, Dear Leader?

          • Allow me to tell you ahead of time where this is going:

            JB will say: “What makes ‘agreement’ morally objective?”

            And Tildeb will say (again): “The reciprocity model is biologically based.”

            But nobody is asking “How do humans tend to behave NOW?” We’re asking “SHOULD they continue to behave that way, even if instincts start to change?”

            The question is IF humanity evolved away from “empathy” and “reciprocity” and “enlightened self-interest” and “well-being” and all the other words the Atheists use to avoid having to say “conscience,” then will it be OKAY TO CUT OFF PEOPLE’S HEADS?

            If sociopathy is our evolutionary future, and people are more interested in individual pleasure than group survival, will it be okay to cut off people’s heads?

          • …if I were JZ, this would be the point where I’d hit reply again and ask, “What’s the matter? Are you embarrassed?”

            The question is: IF humanity evolved away from “reciprocity”…will it be OKAY TO CUT OFF PEOPLE’S HEADS?
            If sociopathy is our evolutionary future, and people are more interested in individual pleasure than group survival, will it be okay to cut off people’s heads?

    • Lol. My dad said the same thing yesterday…only he was referring to KIA.

      It’s so hard to decide when we’ve crossed that line from, “Helping the lurking readers to understand the senselessness of Atheism” into “Wasting time because no one in their right mind would read their garbage this far into the thread.”

      • Dave says:

        mrsmcmommy,

        I hear you.

        But just think… your father’s blog is starting to turn into the hot new place to try to plumb the depths of God’s mind!

        The lurkers are getting many theological points of view in one place, shared by people committed to behave while doing it. All for free!

        Perhaps the atheist crowd will just get bored of us eventually with all of our “insider baseball”.

        One can only hope.

        But then again, where would your father get some of the springboards for his topics without them around.

        🙂

        Dave

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