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Dostoevsky's Statement

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posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 02:00 PM
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reply to post by yeahright
 


Exactly my point , we decide outside of metaphysical beings , that we want to live and have that right , so everyone else must too.
Same thing about freedom, food, housing , etc.

The invocation of any outside influence is unnecessary and may be used as a tool but nothing more than that.

Interesting discussion sir, you made me think quite a bit.




posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 02:20 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


reply to post by IamBoon
 


Thanks for creating the topic. It's a good, if highly complex, subject.

Spinoza and Wittgenstein basically agree with you, by the way. Or, you agree with them. Or something. Either way, pretty good company.



As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 02:27 PM
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reply to post by yeahright
 


It is cool that they come to the same conclusions. I have no formal education at all and basically just solve a few puzzles everyday.

I usually fail but sometimes with the right people we can figure stuff out. You have some good education I presume? Smarter than me for sure.



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 02:43 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.



Originally posted by IamBoon
Smarter than me for sure.


Don't sell yourself short. You have no moral authority to do that.



As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 02:46 PM
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The motto of chaos: nothing is certain, anything is permitted.

close to my sig....

in other words I believe!



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by IamBoon
"He wrote "If there is no god , then everything is permitted."

My task for you is to critique the phrase and examine whether or not it is a valid argument or not.


I am of the personally opinion that it is not valid and is quite insulting. I will share my reasons why later after a few have posted.


I do not want this turning into a quarrel about religious preference please. Stick to the quote and your views and rationally debate others.
This thread is about knowledge not about proving anyone's religion wrong. Thanks in advance!


Let's say there is no God. That would mean there would be absolutely no reason to trust (or distrust) our rationality or perception, because their ultimate origin is arbitrary. You'd still have a bunch of humans running around arguing that so-and-so is bad and this is good, but they could very well say the opposite and get away with it. Who's to say they couldn't? Other humans? What happens if the majority of humans reasoned that eating ice cream should be outlawed and that raping babies should be encouraged. Would that make it right? Maybe you think that wouldn't happen because all humans being products of evolution share inherent morality. But who's to say you should trust (or distrust) evolution? Why should I run from pain and death and embrace pleasure and life? Why shouldn't I? Because that just so happens to be the nature I was dealt? Remember, evolution has no consciousness, it's as cold as a math equation; consequently, there's no reason to trust or distrust our rationality--a byproduct of evolution. In a world without God, there is no good or bad... and embracing your nature would be the same as running away from it or simply standing still.

I think it's called Nihilism.

[edit on 29-7-2010 by ChickenPie]



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 03:17 PM
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reply to post by ChickenPie
 


THx for your reply but I think yeahright and I got to the bottom of this statement . Your post is appreciated though.



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 03:18 PM
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Originally posted by IamBoon
reply to post by ChickenPie
 


THx for your reply but I think yeahright and I got to the bottom of this statement .


You two aren't the first. It's an easy quote to understand. You should probably ask a moderator to delete your thread. Wouldn't want others to express their opinion when you have already gotten to the bottom of things.

[edit on 29-7-2010 by ChickenPie]



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 03:54 PM
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reply to post by ChickenPie
 


YSM? That you?

If only government was that transparent ... read like book, even.



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 04:12 PM
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reply to post by ChickenPie
 


THat came off the wrong way. I want more opinions it is just that I was basically stating I feel satisfied with what transpired.

Always room for more views mate!



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 04:55 PM
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The question is, what would they be anchored to? Subjective expediency of the moment? Anything is potentially permissible?

Why not, exactly?

Certainly not because God said so.

Let's take a specific historical person, a full-time Nicene Creedal clergy member, but a Protestant, not Eastern Orthodox like Dostoevsky, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Bonhoeffer was aware, and professionally so, that the eternal word of God said that he, Bonhoeffer, ought not to kill another human being. Bonhoeffer believed, however, that Adolf Hitler ought to be killed, even though Bonhoeffer did not dispute that Hitler was a human being.

Of course, like so many other religious people who have encountered a conflict between the plain meaning of the eternal word of Almighty God versus what they really, really thought was a good idea, Bonhoeffer worked out a way that indeed, Hitler should be killed and God should thank Bonhoeffer for doing it.

In the event, Bonhoeffer himself was killed for acting on his decision. So maybe that was God's way of saying Bonhoeffer screwed up. But my intuition is that Bonhoeffer was morally correct, and it's too bad that he wasn't a more skillful assassination conspirator.

So, passing from a moral decision that actually happened to the absurd hypothetical that allegedly shows that we must have an anchor, even if we have to make one up,


It's okay to eat your children, if that's the prevailing sentiment.

Really? And when has that been the prevailing sentiment? What are the odds that it will ever be the prevailing sentiment? And what has prevailing sentiment to do with it? That wasn't Bonhoeffer's analysis. Prevailing sentiment may well have been that Hitler was a mensch.

Absolute means absolute. Thou shalt not kill. Make it thou shalt not murder, fine with me, killing Adolf was murder, then and there. Either way, perfectly clear. God said no.

I am unafraid that by thinking Bonhoeffer was right about killing Hitler, even right that God should thank him (if Bonhoeffer's God exists), I somehow wriggle onto the the hook for it being OK for you to cannibalize your family. I am not on the hook for that.

But if Bonhoeffer was right about killing Hitler, then there is no absolute. There is only subjective judgment. Maybe it makes more sense to work on refining that to Bonhoeffer's level of acuity, rather than wishing there were something else instead.

Fortunately, most people's subjective judgment is already good enough to keep the kids out of the microwave. But you know that, since that is why you offered it as an example - you knew everyone would agree that that sounded bad, a subjective judgment.


You have no rights other than those granted to you by another person. None. Not to breathe. Not to live.

No kidding. And what was your interpretation of what happens in capital punishment? Twelve people decide you should die, and you are toast. That's the law. In many states of the United States, you are "twelve people thinking it's a swell idea" away from being killed, every moment of your life.

Surely you knew that, or perhaps you are lucky enough to live somewhere without capital punishment, and so don't need to think about it.



[edit on 29-7-2010 by eight bits]



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 06:55 PM
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A couple of realizations arise out of your question.

Without a standard of morality defined by a higher power no human, or group of humans, has the right to say his or her morality is better or more "good" than any others.

As a collective morality shifts over time "good" can become "bad" and vice versa. This has happened in the past. Being Jewish was considered bad in WWII Germany punishable by death, the German collective morality agreed and many otherwise upstanding moral people assisted in and committed acts of atrocity. In the last days of ancient Rome it was rampant sexual deviancy. On Wall Street it is profit at the expense of the little guy. In banking circles it is using computers to leech value from the stock market at the expense of the long term investor. Today the debate rages about assisted suicide, I expect there will come a time when the collective morality will define this as good.

Personally I have to believe in a higher morality otherwise I have nothing upon which to base my outrage when evil rears it's ugly head.



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 06:57 PM
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reply to post by slane69
 


Check your realizations. You will find they hold an interesting secret!



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 07:15 PM
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reply to post by IamBoon
 


Agreed, although depending upon your worldview the secret is very different as are the resulting actions. One leads to perceived individual strength at the expense of society and community, the other true individual strength alongside society and community. Everyone makes the choice at some point in their lives and arguably all who would think they are "moral" are right,... as being moral through self does not define where one truly is on the spectrum.



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 08:09 PM
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Originally posted by Annie Mossity
reply to post by ChickenPie
 


YSM? That you?

If only government was that transparent ... read like book, even.


I sometimes go by that alias on teh Internets. Wassup?



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 10:58 AM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.



Originally posted by eight bits

No kidding. And what was your interpretation of what happens in capital punishment? Twelve people decide you should die, and you are toast. That's the law. In many states of the United States, you are "twelve people thinking it's a swell idea" away from being killed, every moment of your life.

Surely you knew that, or perhaps you are lucky enough to live somewhere without capital punishment, and so don't need to think about it.



As you point out, there's a distinction to be drawn between killing and murder. I'm fully aware of the implications of the death penalty. I'm personally against capital punishment for the reasons you cite.

Most people's subjective judgment is good enough to keep the kids out of the microwave. Now. It wasn't all that long ago in the grand scheme, that men were throwing virgins into a volcano, or vivisecting people for ritual sacrifice. Who knows what will come up 500 years from now, if we make it that far?

I'm not 100% sure I'm right, and I'm not saying the determinations are simple. Anyone looking for a rulebook to apply across all potential situations that would be agreeable to everyone is probably going to be disappointed.

However, if we can't have at least a percentage of people willing to insist that there are basic inalienable human rights that aren't granted by other people but instead are endowed by (nature, god, a creator, a higher power, the Deists weren't specific about source or doctrine), that's a dangerous and extremely slippery slope to navigate.

The first step to grease the wheels to have something taken away, is to convince you that someone has the authority to take it from you.

In my opinion.

I'll go back to the original statement and restate it slightly: If there is no higher power to endow basic rights, what prevents anything from being potentially justifiably permissible? The answer, and the consequences, are obvious.


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 11:10 AM
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Wake up in the bush one day naked...
the actual rules of the game will very quickly make them selves plain.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 12:28 PM
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Thanks for answering, yeahright.


I'm personally against capital punishment for the reasons you cite.

I'm not much of a fan of it either. But it is a reality of life in many places. Rights as they actually exist are a social phenomenon, and the ice can be very thin at times.


It wasn't all that long ago in the grand scheme, that men were throwing virgins into a volcano, or vivisecting people for ritual sacrifice.

Yes, there has been a secular improvement in the treatment of prisoners of war. I suspect the abandonment of virgin sacrifice has to do with people no longer believing that it's effective. That is, I think the improvement in behavior reflects the advance of knowledge, not the retirement of the notion that benefit to the many justifies the deaths of a few.


However, if we can't have at least a percentage of people willing to insist that there are basic inalienable human rights that aren't granted by other people but instead are endowed by (nature, god, a creator, a higher power, the Deists weren't specific about source or doctrine), that's a dangerous and extremely slippery slope to navigate.

Your language recalls the American Declaration of Independence. The King claims the divine right to rule, and the subjects in rebellion claim the divine right not to be ruled. That's tit-for-tat, not moral philosophy.

When the time came to get serious about rights, in the Constitution, it is all about the People joining together, and Congress can do this but not that. No comprehensive theory of rights, just a laundry list what would carry nine states. No external forces, either. We rule ourselves means we define rights, we enforce them, and we resolve conflicts.


I'll go back to the original statement and restate it slightly: If there is no higher power to endow basic rights, what prevents anything from being potentially justifiably permissible? The answer, and the consequences, are obvious.

I think I addressed that with the Bonhoeffer example. If there is some irreversible universal endowment of personal rights, then what was Bonhoeffer supposed to do about Hitler?

After the war, there was a lot of loose talk about how the Germans collectively were culpable for tolerating Hitler. Well, there's one German who wasn't.

So, who was wrong, yeahright? Bonhoeffer, who stepped up, or his neighbor who said that God has endowed Hitler with inalienable rights, among them, not to be murdered. If it wasn't Bonhoeffer, then what guide was he supposed to use to reach the conclusion he did, if not his own moral judgment?



[edit on 30-7-2010 by eight bits]



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 12:56 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


reply to post by eight bits
 


Does killing to save lives conflict with the idea of a basic right to life? If killing someone saves lives, is that contradictory to the premise?

There are no easy answers. You can bring up any number of scenarios that would seem to conflict with the concept of inalienable rights. I don't believe that example does conflict with the concept.

Killing to save, absent an alternative, isn't in conflict. Executing absent an immediate danger, is. In my opinion.


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 03:06 PM
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There are no easy answers. You can bring up any number of scenarios...

Just for the record, the one I brought up really happened. It is an actual moral decision, decided and acted upon, not a scenario, but an example.


... that would seem to conflict with the concept of inalienable rights. I don't believe that example does conflict with the concept.

But the claim was that a non-absolute foundation for rights would be labile and would lead to a "slippery slope."

I don't think Bonhoeffer's approach does lead to a slippery slope.

But any analysis that concludes it's OK to kill Hitler, not just his, must quickly reach a juncture where either Hitler forfeited a right (a kind of alienation), or the moral individual uses a different analysis altogether to justify killing Hitler, one where Hitler doesn't have a right to forfeit.

Otherwise, Hitler has an intact right, and the conspirator is violating it. The analysis must conflict with Hitler having an inalienable right not to be killed, or else conclude that killing him isn't OK.


Killing to save, absent an alternative, isn't in conflict. Executing absent an immediate danger, is. In my opinion.

That is an interesting factual point. Bonhoeffer left Germany during the Hitler years, and returned. He had escaped the immediate danger. This was a conspiracy to commit cold-blooded, premeditated murder, not self-defense.

It is probably also worth pointing out that if the plotters had killed Hitler, then somebody would have replaced him, and the assassins wouldn't get to say who that is. It wouldn't necessarily be an improvement.

Bonhoeffer would certainly have been aware that Allied forces did not fully support assassination, for just that reason. He really cannot say that he is balancing one life against many. He is simply taking a life as a way to change the current situation, not necessarily preventing other lives from being lost.

Just as no immediate danger is fatal to self-defense, no direct relationship between the act and preventing something worse is fatal to "competing harms." But even to discuss such things, we have long since left any absolute behind. These exceptions are visibly social inventions, and require subjective judgment calls.



[edit on 30-7-2010 by eight bits]



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