Skip to content

A Rebuttal To: Few thoughts about Morality!

April 20

Morality is a domain the religious think they have the upper ground on.  I mean heck, they have a book that says so.  Done and done right?  Well personally I don’t think so.  A “holy” book has as much authority on morality as this half eaten snack pack of pudding sitting on my desk does.  That is to say, no authority.  Where would such authority come from?

bigpreacher.wordpress.com appears to be a blog about beliefs, namely Christian ones.  I would like to take this chance to rebut his “Few thoughts about Morality!”

“Let me ask a few questions for which most Atheist try to explain away. Does evil exist? Define evil please?”

Why should an atheist explain what a religious word means to us?  Instead I would like to counter with, please define evil in a way which does not beg the question.

“Now who sets the parameters? What is right and what is wrong? Can man set these parameters? Who says the murder is wrong? Who says sleeping with another mans wife or husband is wrong? Who says stealing is wrong? Is not Murder evil? How about the evils of Adultery? The evil of taking something that does not belong to you.

To say that mankind and his behavior evolves through the millennia is absolutely illogical. With this train of thought, one day murder will evolve into giving life, adultery will be what gives strength to marriage and stealing will evolve into charity.”

As long as we are now talking about morality, instead of what “evil” is, this is an interesting question.  Who does set the parameters of human morality?  As someone not an expert in neurology I do not have the definitive answer for you.  In fact even top neurologists today are just knocking at the door to this area of study.  But some obvious social evolutionary thought experiments should leave you with a satisfactory answer for now.

Imagine you are living in a early human nomadic tribe, no Christianity, no Plato, no Freud, no Einstein. Now you would be very dependent on your tribesmen, in fact you liveliness depends on it.  If for some reason you became exiled, your chance of survival would drop off very quickly.

Now, if a brain in this society had little empathy towards your fellow man’s possessions, and or wife, it would not be difficult to imagine that this brain would likely be selfish and steal, or possibly sleep with his neighbor’s wife.  This brain would not survive over the generations, it would be ostracized, thrown out of society.  Its genetic recipe would be lost for the ages, leaving a kinder more social and empathetic brain to take its place and proliferate.  Now it isn’t that the morality itself evolved into something completely different, it is that a more social being became more likely to pass on its code, given the dependency it had on getting along, and being accepted by its society.  This even *mostly* holds true today.

Suggesting that “With this train of thought, one day … adultery will be what gives strength to marriage…” is just silly.  Marriage and monogamy exist because this more empathetic person is now the majority of people.  This is how morality is realized.  And to answer the original question “Now who sets the parameters?”, you are leading the question with the term “who”, when the question should be “What sets the parameters?   The mechanism of natural selection, at least in this case.

If this thought experiment is not satisfactory, remember it is only a thought experiment not proof by any means.  But it offers a whole lot more than just suggesting “God did it”, that unloads many many many more questions than it answers.

“What is Atheism? Definition of Atheism: 1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God. 2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings. Is this logical? To believe there is no belief?”

This does sound like a paradox, how could someone believe in no belief? The answer lies in your use of the equivocation fallacy.  You confuse the two different meanings of believe, hopefully not on purpose.

We all have reasons to believe when you drop a ball, it will hit the ground sometime later.  These reasons are that in previous attempts the ball always drops, this concept later became Newton’s laws of motion, and later still Einstein’s Relativity. Each explaining the previous in better detail. The religious use of belief is far weaker construct.  A Christian believes Jesus was born of a virgin, because it happened allegedly once two thousand years ago, and was recorded in a hundreds year old game of telephone.  From the atheists perspective, there is no reason to believe in your believed god, evidence for him is not convincing enough for our use of the term belief.

“The end of Faith is the aspirations of many Atheist’, which in turn would be the end of Atheism.”

The end of *Blind* Faith is implied, which would not do a thing to atheism.

“Only suggesting that there is something Greater than the Intellect of mankind! What is the mathematical percentage that everything that is known just happened?”

Human intellect is somewhat limited to our ape brain.  With that said, we have come a long way since the dark ages, and even longer still since the time of Jesus.

“God does exist.”

Prove it.

“Jesus did die on a cross and was raised from the dead!”

Prove it!

http://bigpreacher.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/few-thoughts-about-morality/

Advertisements
5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20 7:30 pm

    Joe,

    I just happened by, and realized you were doing a rant on the same post I just commented on. Though I have to admit, I couldn’t get past the first couple of paragraphs of this insipid, and self-congradulatory oratory. I just wish he’d crack a book or two before going on these flights of self-righteous glory. :)

    • April 21 9:34 am

      Thanks for the comments from you guys! Like you, I am learning. I know that you guys do not believe this but I have studied much in the realm of Atheism. I just happen to love you and want to share conversations I have had with other Atheist. Trust in Evolution seems unwise because of the unproven theory. I do know the claims of Darwin. I know God exist because He has touched my life and it would be supreme self-righteous not to share the Truth of the Gospel. Peace be upon you both!

      • April 21 6:41 pm

        It is clear you do not know what a “theory” is. A theory is an explanation of an array of facts. It produces testable hypothese, and natural selection has passed all tests so far. And there have been thousands of such tests. A theory is falsifiable. That is, it can actually be shown to be wrong. That is what a theory is. And natural selection is as close as it is possible to come to being a factual explanation. Gravity is also a theory, and we know far less about the theory of gravity than we do natural selection. There is no trust involved, and I do not believe you really do know the claims of evolutionary theory if you do not understand what a theory actually is.

        Evolution itself is a fact known long before Darwin. Actually, it is a mountain of facts from disciplines as diverse as geology, paleontology, comparative morphology, cladistics, molecular genetics, embryology, development, and on and on. This set of fact points to an inescapable conclusion – that evolution occurred.

        I, however, know the claims of Christianity quite well. The evidence for its claims is non-existent. The gospels were written decades after the events happened and were based on oral tradition. They conflict with one another in incompatible ways. And eyewitness testimony would be insufficient for me to accept the claims of miracles anyway. These claims were made during a time where everyone was superstitious and claims of god-men were dime-a-dozen. There are no contemporary sources which can corroborate anything within the gospels. It is at this point that the likes of Tacitus and Josephus are brought up. Tacitus is likely a forgery, and the most that can be gleaned from the relevant passages from Josephus is that there where Christians. And neither were contemporary sources

        But this next may come as a surprise to you. My acceptance of evolution is completely independent of why I am an atheist. I accept evolution on amount and quality of the evidence in its support. My atheism is a result of the glaring fact that there is not one shred of good evidence for the existence of any claim of existence of any god. Neither has anything to do with the other. Even without our understanding of how speciation occurs, I would still be an atheist. And if I were a believer, I would have no choice but to accept that evolution occurs.

  2. April 21 8:28 am

    I saw that blog, too, and realized it was a waste of fingertip skin to type a response. Tilting at windmills ain’t ma thang. I’d rather say it here.

    Now who sets the parameters? What is right and what is wrong? Can man set these parameters? Who says the murder is wrong?

    It’s so simple. I am the arbiter of what I think are good and bad actions. It just so happens that the moral judgments I make are similar to most members of society. This is evidence for two things. First – an evolved ability to perform moral calculus. Without this, social survival strategies don’t work since co-operative behavior would not be possible and there would then be no advantages to group living. Second – a shared psychology. Moral boundaries are largely set by society as a whole and is a large part of what parenting is about. These boundaries clearly change over time, even the meaning of the prohibition against murder has changed drastically. At the time that was written, it meant ‘don’t kill a fellow Jew”. We gentiles were fair game. We don’t keep slaves anymore because it isn’t moral. We don’t treat rape as if it were barely a crime. We don’t stone homosexuals or kill witches, either. Or kill unruly children. The morality contained in the bible is a snapshot of a barbaric, superstitious, sheep-herding, tribal set of values that to a large extent are no longer relevant. It is when the religious try to shoehorn an antiquated and irrelevant set of values into a modern society that creates so many problems.

    Morality is based on basic principles such as empathy, consequences of action and reciprocation (with a little theory of mind thrown in). I know that I would not want to be harmed by others and – realizing that other individuals are typically like-minded – I will afford others that same courtesy. It’s so simple. Nothing external to humanity is necessary, and it’s seen in every species that live in groups.

    The word ‘evil’ is usually used as if it were a property of an action, like mass is to matter. But good and bad are judgments based on whether we would be harmed or benefit by that action. The antiquated term ‘evil’ has no meaning once this is realized.

    What is the mathematical percentage that everything that is known just happened?

    Yeah, sure we don’t know everything. At least that’s what I think the author was trying to say. He writes in such a psychotic fashion. So what? That does not remove his burden of proof. It is irrational to believe in something without good reason to do so – not even gods. I’ve seen this argument a lot. We don’t know everything therefor God. Yeesh. Now THAT’S hubris.

    To say that mankind and his behavior evolves through the millennia is absolutely illogical. With this train of thought, one day murder will evolve into giving life, adultery will be what gives strength to marriage and stealing will evolve into charity.

    I had to give my head a shake here. This is insipidly stupid. Evolution is not goal-oriented, which is a common misconception. We aren’t evolving toward some perfect version or ourselves.

    Is this logical? To believe there is no belief?

    We also get this ‘atheists don’t believe in anything crap’ a lot, don’t we? I believe in a lot of things. I believe in individual freedoms, inalienable rights, a secular society where even that idiot’s right to believe in lunacy is protected (so long as it does not incite to discrimination and violence, which it often does), my wife, and a whole host of other things (including that the author of the original blog is a blathering moron).

  3. April 22 6:10 am

    Thank you everyone for your comments. Shamelessly Atheist and D R, obviously I could not agree more.

    Bigpreacher, you can not say evolution is an unproven theory, that isn’t how theories work. It is a yet to be disproved theory, which has hoards of evidence in support of it. But thank you for being a good sport about it all, I look forward to discussing with you in the future.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: