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Atheists: A hypothetical question

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posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:24 PM
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Fellow atheists, I was watching some youtube videos of Reason Rally 2012 that was held in Washington D.C. a few days ago. There are some videos of a christian man preaching to atheists at the rally and they ask him many questions which he seemed ready to answer, and he would ask questions as well and the atheists would answer him (honestly it seemed like they were not prepared).

Often times the christian preacher would ask about morality, where does it come from. The main response was that it comes from a growing society/civilization and the majority of the people decide what rules and things to set up for their society to prosper, and what the majority deemed moral was moral.

He then proposed a scenario, but I'm going to change it up a little bit: There are 20 scientist on an expedition. 17 men and 3 women. They take to the ocean on a voyage to study marine life. A fierce storm approaches and it knocks them off course and they become shipwrecked on an island that is uninhabited. They have no communication with the outside world. As time goes on and no hope of rescue is within sight, they plan on staying there for the long haul. They decide they need to make their own rules for their tiny societal situation. One of the men suggests that it is ok to rape the women, so it goes to vote. 17 men vote that it is ok, the 3 women vote no, it is not ok. Majority wins and raping of the women is ok. In this society, since the majority said it is ok, is it really ok?

This is my version of what the preacher asked. So, is there more to it than just "society deemed what is moral"? I mean, I can think of morality differences right now within different societies. For example, in some European countries, it is ok to walk a public beach in the nude. In the United States, it is NOT ok. These two societies disagree on what is moral in that instance.

In some countries, it is ok for women to be beaten by their husbands. In most other countries, it is NOT ok. These are two societal differences in what is moral.

In times past, slavery was acceptable and moral in some countries. In other countries, it was NOT. So, who was right and how do you know?

So, I guess we get in to logical absolutes, if those exist or not. Is morality up for grabs in different societies, or is there an aboslute right and wrong? I'm sure believers will chime in as well, and that is fine.


edit on 26-3-2012 by Hydroman because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:26 PM
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Logic goes out the window when you say God doesn't exist.

Every question atheists ask and secular scientist marvel over can be answered with God, yet seeing they do not see and hearing they do not hear.

Good questions though.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:28 PM
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Originally posted by Iason321
Logic goes out the window when you say God doesn't exist.

Every question atheists ask and secular scientist marvel over can be answered with God, yet seeing they do not see and hearing they do not hear.

Good questions though.
Now, are you going with the christian god? There are other gods who set up other moral beliefs. Can believers of other gods fall back on their god and say, "My god says it is moral even though yours does not. My god is correct."?

Also, I don't like filling in the gap with "god". Ancient people did that, and now god has been removed from many of those gaps. Who's to say it won't happen in the future with other questions we are unsure about?
edit on 26-3-2012 by Hydroman because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:31 PM
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It is not acceptable, no.
Morals is what you have to run your life, principles is what you do in society and how society should be run.

A principled stance is the only stance the little island nation should take. One person should not be able to hurt, kill, or otherwise infringe on another person. I don't want to be hurt, killed, raped, or otherwise infringed on by others, and my desires should be reflected by everyone else.

Basically, what you don't want others to do to you is what you shouldn't do to others...this is really quite simple.

majority mindsets making rules is democracy..democracy is the worst form of government..it creates lynch mobs, slavery, and whatever is popular at the time to stomp on the minority

Democracy is 3 wolves and 1 sheep all with equal vote, voting on whats for dinner.

Rule with principles that regard any individual as the whole, big or small.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:35 PM
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reply to post by SaturnFX
 


I agree with what you say, but does this show that societies aren't always right as they develop? And if they are not always right, then we shouldn't give the answer that morality comes from developing societies choosing what is right and wrong?

Now, how do you know what is right and wrong? Is it your opinion, or is it an aboslute?



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:35 PM
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My god says its a moral imperative to kill any child with blue eyes...as they are an abomination that carry demons.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:37 PM
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Plato believed that morals were a set of codes that allowed us to get along with each other in close quarters (Republic). Humans are generally pack animals and so our morals are based on the pack. So we do try to look after each other knowing that our strength is larger in larger numbers - not as individuals.

If we were individual /loan animals, would we have a different set of morals? I think the answer would be "Yes" (morals of an alley cat come to mind). If we were highly intelligent pack herbivores , would our morals be different? Again I would say "Yes" - cowardice would be seen as a good trait.

This is the issue with morals, we are too close to look at our own morals and what they stand for objectively. Far better to work out the morals of other animals. And not once have I used the word "God" as this confuses the discussion even more.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:38 PM
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No offense meant but I've always considered atheists to be arrogant morons for the simple fact that while I can't prove to them that God exists I have yet to meet one that can prove to me that God does not... so as a baseline in my opinion at the very least anyone with even the least little bit of intelligence should consider themselves an "agnostic" because of the fact I've already stated... anyone that chooses to believe is making a choice to put faith in the unknown... not that it makes them any more intelligent or moral than someone that doesn't (and trust me I know far more "good Christians" that are hypocritical garbage than those that believe but don't attend a church)...

So far as what you said about "who's God is better... it's all the same God... just different roads to get there... the God of Islam is the same as that of Judaism and the same as Christianity and the same as blah blah blah... it's all a matter of "who you follow to get there"...



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:41 PM
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Originally posted by Hydroman
reply to post by SaturnFX
 


I agree with what you say, but does this show that societies aren't always right as they develop? And if they are not always right, then we shouldn't give the answer that morality comes from developing societies choosing what is right and wrong?

Now, how do you know what is right and wrong? Is it your opinion, or is it an aboslute?


It is absolute.
Morals are never the question...each person can have different morals.
I may find it morally repugnant to be gay, or have long hair, etc...in a society dictated by morals, I could convince the majority that anyone with long hair is morally bankrupt and should be harmed.

Principles I say....this is all that matters.
Our species requires us to do some things...such as eat, breed, and live. These things should be ensured. The rest is personal liberties. Liberty is an intrinsic value for all societies (some falsely say its freedom, this is incorrect, freedom is anarchy and too much actually works against a sound society). A person's liberties starts and stops within themselves and their personal space. If you invade another person's space and lessen their liberties, then that is a sound principled stance that they are in error.

The example suits the 17 men, but it interferes with the 3 woman's personal liberties and personal development, No moral thoughts, no deities needed, a simple understanding of species and self determination.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:41 PM
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Originally posted by SaturnFX


My god says its a moral imperative to kill any child with blue eyes...as they are an abomination that carry demons.




Racist much?

Don't bother... I've seen your other posts... I already know that answer...



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:42 PM
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We've got a tyranny of the majority rule in this case.

The will of the majority, does not overpower the right of a minority. Compare to a majority of whites outvoting a smaller minority of blacks into slavery. Compare a majority of non-asians outvoting asians into camps. Compare a majority of non-jews voting jews into concentration camps and setting up a holocaust. Compare a majority of bigots outweighing Gays in letting them have equal rights. Compare constant cases throughout history where anytime a religious group comes into power or gains majority, they turn around and hinder the rights of other groups.

The people most affected by a law, should be the ones who have the strongest say in it. No small group should be able to be targeted.

A similar story I've made analogy too is; you've got 25 people. 24 vote to kill the 25th, distribute his wealth, and all of them become slightly richer, the 25th votes against it. A majority vote doesn't make it moral in any sense.

~
As for if it's moral. From the perspective of those voting for it, it obviously is. However, from my perspective, it really isn't. Nor from the perspective of those who hear the question. Maybe it could be argued that my morality isn't objectively better than there's. Subjectively though, mine is based off knowledge, compassion, empathy, and understanding. Subjectivity aside, I would feel completely justified in criticizing theirs.

~
As far as logistically making sure minorities, or people more affected, get a fair say on issues, that's a really complicated question. The first step, is to establish rights everyone has and can't be violated regardless of the whim of the majority. Going beyond that, is a really good topic for discussion.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:48 PM
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Originally posted by SwissMarked
No offense meant but I've always considered atheists to be arrogant morons for the simple fact that while I can't prove to them that God exists I have yet to meet one that can prove to me that God does not

So, you default to a belief on anything that cannot be proven to not exist?
So..you believe in unicorns, hobgoblins, hollow earth incubus, etc?
I mean, after all, you cannot prove they don't exist...therefore...what, they must exist?

you cannot disprove a negative.





... so as a baseline in my opinion at the very least anyone with even the least little bit of intelligence should consider themselves an "agnostic"

Explain to me what the difference between "agnostic" and "Atheist" is please.
Use actual understandings of the language.

I am an atheist btw. I do not believe in a deity.
However, if there is proof presented, I will adjust my view

I do not believe in a deity
does not mean
I believe there are no deities.



So far as what you said about "who's God is better... it's all the same God... just different roads to get there... the God of Islam is the same as that of Judaism and the same as Christianity and the same as blah blah blah... it's all a matter of "who you follow to get there"...

Funny you suggest that
Can you prove that all gods are the same god?
Can you prove that Zeus is the same as Yehweh?

see the issue yet?



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:50 PM
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Originally posted by xxsomexpersonxx
We've got a tyranny of the majority rule in this case.

The will of the majority, does not overpower the right of a minority.
I agree, but could this not occur in some societies? So, what decides that they are wrong? A more powerful society than they who has different ideas?



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:52 PM
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Originally posted by SaturnFX
Principles I say....this is all that matters.
Our species requires us to do some things...such as eat, breed, and live. These things should be ensured. The rest is personal liberties. Liberty is an intrinsic value for all societies (some falsely say its freedom, this is incorrect, freedom is anarchy and too much actually works against a sound society). A person's liberties starts and stops within themselves and their personal space. If you invade another person's space and lessen their liberties, then that is a sound principled stance that they are in error.

The example suits the 17 men, but it interferes with the 3 woman's personal liberties and personal development, No moral thoughts, no deities needed, a simple understanding of species and self determination.
Again, I agree with you. But, who's principles? If one societies principles differ from another society's principles, who is correct? The society with the most power? Am I looking at this wrong?



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:53 PM
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reply to post by SaturnFX
[moreI can't prove to them that God exists I have yet to meet one that can prove to me that God does not...]Are you confirming god is just an idea then?


edit on 26-3-2012 by chinkoflight because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:57 PM
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And when we talk about societies differing on what is moral and what isn't, we can apply the same question to gods. Various gods who are worshiped may put forth different ideas of morality, example: The christian god and the muslim god. Now, when these two god's ideas differ, which one is right?
edit on 26-3-2012 by Hydroman because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:58 PM
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Originally posted by HydromanI agree, but could this not occur in some societies? So, what decides that they are wrong? A more powerful society than they who has different ideas?


There's no objective right or wrong, by definition of subjective morality. If no one see's it as wrong, no one see's it as wrong. If someone see's it as wrong, then it is wrong, in the eyes of the person seeing it as such.

We don't really have any example of what an objective morality would be like. And yet, regardless of the lack of that, we can easily see right or wrong. I don't see why people seem to think arguments of morality are weakened by a stance that it's ultimately subjective.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:59 PM
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Originally posted by Hydroman

17 men vote that it is ok, the 3 women vote no, it is not ok. Majority wins and raping of the women is ok.
Hypothetical, yes I know, BUT I don't believe that could ever happen. It is possible that several (and maybe even a majority) of the guys might say that it is ok, but not all 17 of them.

Some would vote 'No', simply because it is wrong. Personally, I don't think rape would be enjoyable, even for the guy.

Also, at least one guy would be smart enough to figure out that if he stood on the women's side on this particular vote, he would have a better chance than any of the other guys, to get some consensual, and possibly even from all 3 women.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 05:00 PM
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Originally posted by SwissMarked
So far as what you said about "who's God is better... it's all the same God... just different roads to get there... the God of Islam is the same as that of Judaism and the same as Christianity and the same as blah blah blah... it's all a matter of "who you follow to get there"...
And Zeus, Vishnu, etc. are the same as well? How do you know this?



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 05:01 PM
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Originally posted by SwissMarked

Originally posted by SaturnFX


My god says its a moral imperative to kill any child with blue eyes...as they are an abomination that carry demons.




Racist much?

Don't bother... I've seen your other posts... I already know that answer...

My other posts...yes...where I slam racism.

read much?
Don't bother..its self evident.



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