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The Atheist Alternative: The 10 Commandments.

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posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 08:25 PM
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reply to post by bogomil
 


Thanks for the advice. i'll take it!

What the purpose of the thread was to highlight that human morality can be improved (or evolved) and the morals can exist without the need for piety or superstition (sins, hell, heaven) And that ancient commands are not free from criticism.

What are your thoughts on absolute/objective morals. Is there such a thing?

I believe morality is a human construct which aims to communicate understandings or social responsibilities. I don't believe morals come from "on-high", if you will.

Can you think of any other additions to further improve human solidarity? or perhaps the removal of some of Hitchen's?
edit on 30/1/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 09:44 PM
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Re Awake_and_aware

You wrote:

["What are your thoughts on absolute/objective morals. Is there such a thing?"]

Not as I can recall at the monment. And as you formerly have shown a certain lenience towards my ruminations, I'll try to go a bit deeper, and explain why I believe 'absolutes' generally are self-appointed. All human beings are to some extent conceptually private 'tunnel-realities'. These tunnel-realities are sometimes so similar (but not completely identical), that they can be put together in collective categories, e.g. a religion, political ideology or a use of deductive logic etc., which are formalized in various ways. E.g. the systematic methodology of science.

But even in science, there's basically still a small residue of an initial subjectivism left: How is the basic scientific systematic methodology's validity 'proved'. 'Proved' as to what? Answer: As to what it concerns itself with. On my part I gladly accept that as 'objective' as on science's own terms and territory.

Skipping a lot of steps I eventually arrive at a model of existence operating with 'relative realities'; not meaning anything goes relativity, but rather that answers depend on your initial parameters etc. Mankind has sofar not produced a method so precise, controllable and 'objective' as science concerning visible existence. Religious and metaphysical claims about the 'invisible' don't have anything like science to refer to. If they had, answers would be more uniform or at least such answers could be processed for significant similarities, of which there only are a few, actually produced by science (out-of-body, near-death etc).

So I can't see any system which realistically can claim 'absolutes'.

Quote: ["I believe morality is a human construct which aims to communicate understandings or social responsibilities. I don't believe morals come from "on-high", if you will."]

Native americans often had homosexuals or transvestites as shamans, as contact with whatever paranormal entities implied, was expected to be anomalous; ergo had the shaman also to be anomalous. Innuits on Greenland swapped wives, maybe being aware of the risks of inbreeding; polynesians had such a relaxed attitude to sex, that europeans first having contact with them considered them promiscuous; tibetans had polyandry; in some african tribes women were landowners.

All these cultural patterns were as stable as any christianity-based culture, and in at least one case I'm familiar with, impact of christian morality had a devastating effect. Greenland innuits were expected to adapt to christian monogamy standards, and as the nativity of those innuits always were just at the limit of keeping up functional population units, the whole social innuit system collapsed, and has still not recovered after some centuries. So much for moral absolutes.

Quote: ["Can you think of any other additions to further improve human solidarity? or perhaps the removal of some of Hitchen's?"]

I haven't PC equipment for loking at videos. Sofar I have related to verbatim description, being enough to get a clear impression of the issue.

I would trust the small and relatively innocent greed in most humans, and let inter-dependence do the job. Global communication with an exchange of 'exotic' culture (everything is 'exotic' to a stranger), open trade giving flow in economy, some specialists in general semantics reformulating some of the compressed verbal 'wisdom' into idiot-proof versions, and some information on what liberal, egalitarian democracy really is. Many people have only a vague idea on 'democracy', as a place where you can vote on different parties.

Just now I can't think of any '10 commandments' stuff, but I'll try to ponder on it.

Excuse an old man's ramblings.



edit on 30-1-2011 by bogomil because: semantics



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 10:54 PM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware
I believe morality is a human construct which aims to communicate understandings or social responsibilities. I don't believe morals come from "on-high", if you will.


Yes they do come from on high my friend. They absolutely come from on high. There is no other place for them to come from. In fact, your little exercise here will produce a set of morals that even YOU will transmit from on high. The question is, how high do you wish to go?

This very problem that you are presenting is the same problem that has faced prophets, sages, and Wiseman since the dawn of time. Admired for their wisdom that was demonstrated in some way which benefited their particular group, elect members set out to develop a code of conduct that would govern their group. The codes they would come up with would have to be relevant to their group, understandable by their group, and a mutual benefit would need to be seen. So the elect would observe the interactions taking place and then they would THINK.

Thinking is the communication with the "on high". Where do thoughts come from my friend? What is your consciousness? Before you can set out to understand morality, it helps to know WHO YOU ARE before assigning a steadfast code to being. Afterall, what is morality but a code of conduct over your free will.

Alone, there is no need for morals of any sort. You could do anything you were capable of doing. You would be completely free. Morals come into play as soon as you join with another to form a clan. There needs be a certain degree of agreed behavior between you two. Without it, quarrels are likely to arise. Left unchecked by a moral code, the quarrel could quickly escalate to one causing great harm to the other. Who is to decide the morals between you two? You are two free will beings interacting, where do you draw the line and limit that free will of each other? Do you need to at all?

Now suppose you have the agreed upon behavior established between the two of you. Along comes two more to join the group. Do you renegotiate? Is accepting your morals a contingency to them joining the group?

They have decided to accept your morals and have joined the group. 9 months later, a new born arrives. This is another free will being. Do you indoctrinate this new member into your moral code or do you allow them to mature and then decide to stay and adopt your agreed upon morals or have the option to leave the group? What if they reject your morals? How far are you willing to go to enforce them?

Your tribe has now grown to encompass all of the available land. No one has the option of leaving any more. The youth are growing rebellious and wish to change the morals. The old are content that the morals have worked this long and do not wish to change them. What will happen with your morals now? Are you willing to become the oppressor to enforce your morals? Will you allow anarchy to reign which would negate your morals all together?

THINK

Thinking is how we have come this far. A moral code which can be universally applied is only effective if it is taught from the cradle, not by wrote memorisation of do's and don'ts but by universal acceptance and practice. It must be demonstrably provable to be of benefit to the society to which it applies. It must assure that the highest degree of free will is respected because we ARE Free will beings. If it is oppressive, it will not last. If you embark on the journey of understanding morality, you must be willing to step outside YOUR preconceived idea of what is right for you and look at the bigger picture of what is right for all and for all time. It is a journey of discovery which may take you to places you do not wish to go. That depends on how much effort you wish to put into answering the original question of:

WHO AM I?



Originally posted by awake_and_aware
Can you think of any other additions to further improve human solidarity? or perhaps the removal of some of Hitchen's?


There is only one moral that can improve human solidarity. It is the one moral that if universally practiced self corrects, self heals, and self enforces itself universally amongst free will beings. It is the one universal desire innate at the cradle and hungered for at death. It is the one Law from on high that transcends all cultural barriers through time and place. It is liberating for it guarantees the highest degree of free will to all, while respecting personal boundaries.

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

The problem is, you have to know, truly know with all your being WHO YOU ARE to get it. Once you do, it is all that you will ever need.

Anything less will find me a rebel in the camp of the society that chains me.

With Love,

Your Brother



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 02:32 AM
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There is no point of a system of commandments if no one really adheres to them. The mere existence of a system of commandments contains the presupposition that we are naturally prone to committing evil acts, and that we are somehow "flawed" or "sinful".
edit on 31-1-2011 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 04:12 AM
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reply to post by IAMIAM
 



Yes they do come from on high my friend. They absolutely come from on high.


Sorry to be a pest, but prove it.

Men formed language, We even formed the word morality, and attributed meaning to it.



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 07:08 AM
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Re IAMIAM

You wrote:

["You are two free will beings interacting, where do you draw the line and limit that free will of each other?"]

Pragmatism.

Quote: ["Now suppose you have the agreed upon behavior established between the two of you. Along comes two more to join the group. Do you renegotiate?"]

If both parts want assimilation: Yes.

Quote: ["Is accepting your morals a contingency to them joining the group?"]

If you uninvited applied for membership, you must adapt. I'm an 'immigrant' myself, I took it for granted, that I adapt. Now when I have full citizen-ship, I can join in the general democratic process for possible changes.

Quote: ["9 months later, a new born arrives. This is another free will being. Do you indoctrinate this new member into your moral code or do you allow them to mature and then decide to stay and adopt your agreed upon morals or have the option to leave the group? What if they reject your morals? How far are you willing to go to enforce them+"]

They are expected to learn the rules of liberal, egalitarian democracy, which implies both personal freedom and social responsibility. Indoctrination as a one-choice situation takes place in theocracy and political dictatorship.

Quote: ["Your tribe has now grown to encompass all of the available land."]

In my part of the world, where children aren't a life-insurance (society help the old, weak and ill), the nativity stays at something slightly less than two children per family. Thus even making room for 'letting in' needy from elsewhere.

Quote: ["No one has the option of leaving any more."]

Why not? You're describing a situation in black/white, where the only possible answer is the one you have decided on from the start.

Quote: [" The youth are growing rebellious and wish to change the morals. The old are content that the morals have worked this long and do not wish to change them."]

The youth is a part of democratic society as everybody else and can influence it on the same conditions. There have even been some talk of lowering voting age to 16 here. An excellent idea.

Quote: ["What will happen with your morals now? Are you willing to become the oppressor to enforce your morals?"]

What kind of place do you have your background in, since you're asking this kind of questions?

Quote: ["Will you allow anarchy to reign which would negate your morals all together?"]

An established democracy is not a banana-republic run by CIA or the local gangsters.

Quote: ["A moral code which can be universally applied is only effective if it is taught from the cradle,"]

You only associate with zombis? The european poltical scene can be rather flexible, without ending in confusion. People do make choices.

Quote: ["It must assure that the highest degree of free will is respected because we ARE Free will beings."]

Yes, at the same time as social responsibility also is considered.

Quote: [" If you embark on the journey of understanding morality, you must be willing to step outside YOUR preconceived idea of what is right for you and look at the bigger picture of what is right for all and for all time."]

That's called liberal, egalitarian, secular democracy. Why do you add the condition of "....all time". Because it fits your predetermined answer?? Society changes, why this obsession with absolutes.

Quote: ["It is the one Law from on high that transcends all cultural barriers through time and place. It is liberating for it guarantees the highest degree of free will to all, while respecting personal boundaries.

LOVE ONE ANOTHER "]

It's a beautiful ideal, but what shall we do with all the small ego-trippers, who only want a slightly better place to graze. Shall we force them to 'love' or 'educate the masses' to 'love'. Your in any way admirable one-man campaign for 'love' is fine, as long as you don't insist on enforcing it on society as THE exclusive answer to everything. The common mindset of the religionist always having THE one and only answer, which sooner or later will turn into fascism, no matter how noble the original intentions.

Quote: ["The problem is, you have to know, truly know with all your being WHO YOU ARE to get it. Once you do, it is all that you will ever need."]

No precise manual on knowing 'who you are' has yet been written. My own bid would be tao'ism or zen in their non-doctrinal versions (but that's for me, others can make their own choice)

Quote: ["Anything less will find me a rebel in the camp of the society that chains me."]

Nothing wrong with rebels, if they don't hurt other people. If society chains you, this doesn't imply, that society is completely wrong. I live an extremely free life out in the half-wilderness, with a generous old-age pension, and only an irritating paper-bureaucracy to worry about.

edit on 31-1-2011 by bogomil because: spelling



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 08:25 AM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware
Sorry to be a pest, but prove it.

Men formed language, We even formed the word morality, and attributed meaning to it.


Where do your thoughts come from my friend?

This is something you MUST discover for yourself. I am only pointing the way. If you do not want to look within and discover, that is up to you.

With Love,

Your Brother



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 08:53 AM
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Re Awake_and_aware

I cooked up a few.



"If you give love, give it unconditionally"

"Help offered between civic responsible adults must be mutually consented and agreed on"

"Children are not property to be indoctrinated; they will grow up with a wish for staking out their own lives"

"Subjective absolutes are subordinated to egalitarian principles"

"There's freedom from, freedom to, and there are social responsibilities"



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 08:59 AM
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Re IAMIAM

You wrote:

["This is something you MUST discover for yourself. I am only pointing the way. If you do not want to look within and discover, that is up to you."]

"When I'm pointing at the moon, don't look at my finger; look at the moon"

Dear IAM, your finger obscures the wiev.

Your friend Bogo.



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 09:03 AM
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Originally posted by bogomil
If both parts want assimilation: Yes.


Assimilation, how quaint. This was the driving force of the Roman Empire, the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Salem Witch Burnings, and numerous other attrocities around the world.


Originally posted by bogomil
If you uninvited applied for membership, you must adapt. I'm an 'immigrant' myself, I took it for granted, that I adapt. Now when I have full citizen-ship, I can join in the general democratic process for possible changes.


Who owns the world my friend?



Originally posted by bogomil
They are expected to learn the rules of liberal, egalitarian democracy, which implies both personal freedom and social responsibility. Indoctrination as a one-choice situation takes place in theocracy and political dictatorship.


"rules of liberal, egalitarian democracy" what makes this any different of an indoctrination process than theology? The mere fact that this is YOUR preferred set of rules? Can you prove that it offers any more freedom than any other system?


Originally posted by bogomil
Why not? You're describing a situation in black/white, where the only possible answer is the one you have decided on from the start.


Are you not doing the same my friend?


Originally posted by bogomil
The youth is a part of democratic society as everybody else and can influence it on the same conditions. There have even been some talk of lowering voting age to 16 here. An excellent idea.


Really? How do they know what they want by the time they reach 16 since they have already been assimilated through the indoctrination process?


Originally posted by bogomil
What kind of place do you have your background in, since you're asking this kind of questions?


I am just a traveler in time who has walked with many people, lived in many systems, observed and not judged.


Originally posted by bogomil
An established democracy is not a banana-republic run by CIA or the local gangsters.


Are you certain? Who runs a democracy? Who counts the votes? Who formulates the opinions of those who cast the votes?


Originally posted by bogomil
You only associate with zombis? The european poltical scene can be rather flexible, without ending in confusion. People do make choices.


What do they make the choices based on my friend?


Originally posted by bogomil
That's called liberal, egalitarian, secular democracy. Why do you add the condition of "....all time". Because it fits your predetermined answer?? Society changes, why this obsession with absolutes.


I did not deal in absolutes my friend. The subject at hand IS absolute Morality.


Originally posted by bogomil
It's a beautiful ideal, but what shall we do with all the small ego-trippers, who only want a slightly better place to graze. Shall we force them to 'love' or 'educate the masses' to 'love'. Your in any way admirable one-man campaign for 'love' is fine, as long as you don't insist on enforcing it on society as THE exclusive answer to everything. The common mindset of the religionist always having THE one and only answer, which sooner or later will turn into fascism, no matter how noble the original intentions.


You cannot force one to love. It is something one comes to understand only when it is expressed to them. Which is why it is not enslaving, but liberating. It brings the most intense sense of joy and happiness once discovered, and therefore becomes the ultimate motivator. It cannot be taught (I wish this wasn't true, my work would be easier) but must be felt from one to another. It is limitless. Everyone has the capacity to love and it does not run out, cannot be controlled, cannot be abused, and cannot be usurped. It does not judge or condemn, which leads to truth being valued rather than shamed.

I will admit that it remains a dream, a fantastical idea that Man seems unwilling to embrace. But, I have faith that after he is done exploring the many ways he can oppress one another, steal from one another, and judge one another, he will discover this simple truth for himself. I can wait, though it pains me to see him suffer so.


Originally posted by bogomil
No precise manual on knowing 'who you are' has yet been written. My own bid would be tao'ism or zen in their non-doctrinal versions (but that's for me, others can make their own choice)


Look within and answer "Who am I?"
Who is the thinker? Go past all the labels you have been taught. Once you find that answer, look at the others around you, they too are equally blinded by their labels. The truth is in YOU. But, the truth may be hard to come by.


Originally posted by bogomil
Nothing wrong with rebels, if they don't hurt other people. If society chains you, this doesn't imply, that society is completely wrong. I live an extremely free life out in the half-wilderness, with a generous old-age pension, and only an irritating paper-bureaucracy to worry about.


I am happy for you that you have a life of relative bliss my friend. Enjoy it.

I do not concern myself with my life, but the life of all. I know that somewhere in the world there are those who are suffering greatly that you may be comfortable. You may not see the connections which unite your bliss with their suffering, but I see them, I know they are there. It is those Brothers and Sisters that I am working for.

With Love,

Your Brother



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 09:05 AM
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Originally posted by bogomil
Dear IAM, your finger obscures the wiev.

Your friend Bogo.


Don't look at the finger, look within.



With Love,

Your Brother



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 09:25 AM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware
What are your thoughts on absolute/objective morals. Is there such a thing?


Rather than respond, I will offer a simple question. Comparatively, do you think that today's Western society (you can pick the US, UK or just generically,) is more or less moral than ancient Rome? Or the Greek city-state of Sparta, where infants were tested to see if they were fit for military service, and often killed if they were not.

If you believe that we are or are not more moral, why?



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 09:51 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen

If you believe that we are or are not more moral, why?


I don't think we have to even go back that far. Modern America is more moral than we were just 50 years ago.

Personally I don't believe in any moral absolutes.



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 10:00 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by adjensen

If you believe that we are or are not more moral, why?


I don't think we have to even go back that far. Modern America is more moral than we were just 50 years ago.

Personally I don't believe in any moral absolutes.


That's cool, TD, thanks for weighing in, though you missed the "why" part.

I'll wait to respond after Awake_and_Aware has an opportunity to reply.



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 10:09 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen
That's cool, TD, thanks for weighing in, though you missed the "why" part.


Another interesting comparison might be this: were ancient Roman and Greek societies more moral than the society of the nomadic Jews before and/or around the time of Jesus' life?



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 11:08 AM
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Re IAM

You wrote:

["rules of liberal, egalitarian democracy" what makes this any different of an indoctrination process than theology? The mere fact that this is YOUR preferred set of rules? Can you prove that it offers any more freedom than any other system?"]

Pragmatism, with 'lessening of suffering' as a reference point. I'm not interested in 'freedom' as an expression of subjective aspirations.

Quote: ["I am just a traveler in time who has walked with many people, lived in many systems, observed and not judged"]

As I have; but concerning 'judgement' or not, I don't rely on subjective absolutes as my starting point.

Quote: ["Are you certain? Who runs a democracy? Who counts the votes? Who formulates the opinions of those who cast the votes?"]

A democracy is run by a balance between mainly sociopaths at the top, and the herd at the bottom. But the herd is not made up of complete idiots, it reacts to pragmatism, even if it takes time. Your absolutes and the political 'grabbing' is only making it more difficult.

Quote: ["What do they make the choices based on my friend?"9

Wasn't there an element of 'free will' mentioned somewhere?

Quote: ["I did not deal in absolutes my friend. The subject at hand IS absolute Morality."]

You didn't deal in absolutes, but present absolute morality. No contradictions there? And as opposed to the relative morality of my system?

Quote: [" You cannot force one to love. It is something one comes to understand only when it is expressed to them. Which is why it is not enslaving, but liberating. It brings the most intense sense of joy and happiness once discovered, and therefore becomes the ultimate motivator"]

Expressed as how? Through god's will (predestination) or through a personal search (individual interpretations). As to the 'bhakti' experience as such; it's nice, but not the end of the road.

Quote: ["It cannot be taught (I wish this wasn't true, my work would be easier) but must be felt from one to another."]

So continue your direct transmission, and don't mix it with social concepts.

Quote: ["I will admit that it remains a dream, a fantastical idea that Man seems unwilling to embrace."]

Mankind has a zillion dreams. Until we can establish anything but subjective attributes to them, we'll have to do with pragmatism, with a suggested first step of lessening of suffering.

Quote: ["Look within and answer "Who am I?"
Who is the thinker? Go past all the labels you have been taught. Once you find that answer, look at the others around you, they too are equally blinded by their labels. The truth is in YOU. But, the truth may be hard to come by."]

I've been there, done that. Don't try to pull spiritual rank.

Quote: [" You may not see the connections which unite your bliss with their suffering, but I see them, I know they are there."]

How can you possibly know about my observations and reactions on this? You're holier than me?



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 12:04 PM
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Originally posted by bogomil
Pragmatism, with 'lessening of suffering' as a reference point. I'm not interested in 'freedom' as an expression of subjective aspirations.


How can one be free while another suffers? The one who suffers will relieve his own suffering if you do not. If it means relieving your own freedom to end his suffering, then he will do it. To prevent this you might band together with others to protect what you have while the other suffers, but all you have done is chained yourself to those things you wish to protect. Your freedom is gone.

Freedom only exists if we love one another enough to rid the world of suffering.

Time will prove me correct. In the mean time
I will accept that it is only my opinion.


Originally posted by bogomil
As I have; but concerning 'judgement' or not, I don't rely on subjective absolutes as my starting point.


What is your starting point?


Originally posted by bogomil
A democracy is run by a balance between mainly sociopaths at the top, and the herd at the bottom. But the herd is not made up of complete idiots, it reacts to pragmatism, even if it takes time. Your absolutes and the political 'grabbing' is only making it more difficult.


A democracy reacts to that which effects the majority. The minority ALWAYS remain oppressed until such time as they have become the majority.


Originally posted by bogomil
Wasn't there an element of 'free will' mentioned somewhere?


Absolutely. How many truly understand the power of their free will? Most do not even truly know what this is. All they know is what the system allows them to do with their will.


Originally posted by bogomil
You didn't deal in absolutes, but present absolute morality. No contradictions there? And as opposed to the relative morality of my system?


I did not make the subject, I merely responded to it without altering it.


Originally posted by bogomil
Expressed as how? Through god's will (predestination) or through a personal search (individual interpretations). As to the 'bhakti' experience as such; it's nice, but not the end of the road.


What is love to you my friend?


Originally posted by bogomil
So continue your direct transmission, and don't mix it with social concepts.


Impossible. It is social in nature.


Originally posted by bogomil
Mankind has a zillion dreams. Until we can establish anything but subjective attributes to them, we'll have to do with pragmatism, with a suggested first step of lessening of suffering.


Thats a fine first step my friend.


Originally posted by bogomil
I've been there, done that. Don't try to pull spiritual rank.


You know me better than that my friend. There is no spiritual rank.


Originally posted by bogomil
How can you possibly know about my observations and reactions on this? You're holier than me?


There is no "Holier" we are equal my friend, sharing views. Which is why I said "MAY". My view of yours is based on how you represent it, just as yours is based on how I represent my view.

With Love,

Your Brother



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 02:25 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


I think todays society is more moral, and more understanding. Like TD has stated, even in the last 50 years we've seen vast ammounts of improvement in freedom and understanding, especially in moderns democratic governed countries. (Sweden, UK, US, Germany to name a few)

Free democratic secular society. It's seen the liberation of ethnic minorities, women and homosexuals in modern society. However little the voice, whether it be Atheists, gays or women, that voice is still heard because we allow free speech. A minority has the chance to become the minority.

It stands to show that the majority opinion does not always stick, and is not a merit to something's effectiveness or beauty. I'm glad racism is a minority in my country for example, go back 200 years ago, different story.

Free democratic society is in direct conflict with societies that are run by God (Theocracies) You only have to look to the Islamic run states in the middle east to see what harm theocracies can cause. Stoning women anyone? No women in courts? Leaving faith punishable by death? Not good.



edit on 31/1/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 03:21 PM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware
reply to post by adjensen
 


I think todays society is more moral, and more understanding. Like TD has stated, even in the last 50 years we've seen vast ammounts of improvement in freedom and understanding, especially in moderns democratic governed countries. (Sweden, UK, US, Germany to name a few).


Awesome, I'm glad that you see it that way, and I agree. Comparatively, we are a much more moral society than those ancient ones, and I think that both you and TD are correct that we've seen much improvement in many Western countries in the recent past.

One observation quickly jumps out from our mutual conclusion. The term "more moral" is a quantitative one, mathematical in a general sense. It puts morality on a spectrum. Forgive the lame graphics, but let's see if we can visualize this.



Here we can see our spectrum. Utter depravity on one end, utter moralism on the other (both, assumably, not achievable) and Sparta, 1960ish United States, and 2011 United States sort of chucked on there in some random positions. We can see that the US in 1960 is more moral than Sparta, while we today, 50 years later, are even further along.

But here's the problem. Further along to what? If you are measuring something, you need to measure it against something, or the measurement is arbitrary. If we say that we are "more moral" than we were in 1960, don't we need some criteria by which we make that determination?

If the definition of morality is, as you have said, purely subjective, then we are not "more moral" today than in 1960, and no more moral than the people of Sparta, or the Neanderthals, because morality is whatever people make it. The Spartan would say that America is weak and immoral for not practicing eugenics, and they would be no more wrong than you might be in decrying their killing infants who don't seem war worthy.

If there is no absolute sense of right and wrong, then morality itself is nothing more than an exercise in conformity and subjugation, and you cannot say that we are more or less moral than anyone else.

Understand, of course, that absolutes need not come from supernatural forces, and that is not the point of the argument. But if you do not believe in an absolute right and wrong of some fashion, your answer to my question of whether we are more moral than the Romans, Spartans, or anyone else, cannot be anything other than "no", because, by that basis, morality is capricious and immeasurable.



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 03:30 PM
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so atheism finally shows it does intend to be a religion.

/applause




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