Atheism's problem of evil

Discuss arguments for existence of God and faith in general. Any aspect of any orientation toward religion/spirituality, as long as it is based upon a positive open to other people attitude.

Moderator: Metacrock

User avatar
sgttomas
Posts: 2424
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:20 am

Re: Atheism's problem of evil

Post by sgttomas » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:36 pm

QuantumTroll wrote:
Having an objective principle for morality is not possible for an atheistic culture, therefore the aggregate is not immorality, but amorality.

The bolded is exactly what I disagreed with in my post. Please tell me why the morality of my atheistic culture isn't objective. As I tried to show, I think it is founded on objective facts and observations...
...how is it anything more than the latest fad? Not that each passing fad is evil or something, that's not the point, it's just that no one speaks with total authority. ....although the "game" of playing off of human nature to maximize your position...whatever that means....is a pretty consistent moral agenda throughout humanity, so you might want to latch onto that purely for utilitarian reasons! ;)

Nor am I saying that your morality is abhorrent. I just mean that you can't impose your morality upon anyone else, so it really takes a collective and consistent psychological motivating factor.....that "god spot" hits the spot. It hits all the right neuro-chemical triggers to induce a vigorous and emotional attachment to whatever has activated that cavity in our noggin. Right? Behaviour consistent with that response-feedback system that is as hardwired into us as our heartbeat is what constitutes "religion" in my books. That's how I perceive God.
The possibility of ethical dilemmas and conflicting views of what is moral is unrelated to whether a system of morality is objective or not. God doesn't seem to pass moral judgments here on Earth, nor has He told us in perfectly clear terms what is moral. If He did, then there wouldn't be such fervent disagreements between His followers on small and large matters. Whatever code of ethics that religious thinkers cook up are not based on God's objective morality. I don't see any difference between an atheist attempting to develop a universal and objective code of ethics and a theist doing the same, except that the atheist will base his on humanism rather than religion.
Basically I am acknowledging what you are saying about the ethical situations but that's just as problematic for the atheist as it is for the theist. Right? Atheism only has definition as the negation of theism. So the less the distinction between the two, the more they appear like the same thing. So if we want to really maximize the distinction of atheism we need to differentiate it as much as possible from theism. That's why I get extreme in my language. I'm seeing how far, or how alike we can call these things and still be consistent with how it is used in all other contexts. Not a terribly thrilling or perhaps even sensible exercise....just my perspective, that's all.

My point is that the nature of religion is something endemic to humanity. "it" (your god who lives in your head) is always there in some form or other. That's just how our brains normally work nowadays. Probably wasn't always like that. Maybe at some point we even heard like loud voice from above, you might wonder...

? ;)

? !
The only thing required of humanity in terms of morality is survival because without survival morality has no context, because no one exists to be moral. There is no way to be more specific than that about who survives, why and in what capacity.

Because of this variety of moral experience, I only use "atheist" and "theist" as archetypes of behaviour. Real people occupy both categories, because pragmatism is favourable over consistency when it comes to forming beliefs about life. So there need not be a grand synthesis of knowledge (that necessarily leads to On High) for there to be morality. But any characteristically human effort to propagate as a species (a move towards immorTALity) is a religious one. This is the only consistent way to keep the notions of atheism and theism distinct from one another. Any other resolution makes such a distinction entirely subjective (i.e. atheism only in the specific sense, not the absolute sense).
I find myself disagreeing with you here, but when I tried to formulate why I found that I probably don't understand what you're saying. Are you saying that atheism and theism are distinct in that theism deals with a species-level morality? That doesn't make any sense, so I'll just let you try to explain again...
Okay...what I meant there is that atheism is a cultural phenomenon that rides along in response to the shifting religious dogma of the time. Religion is something that people do to survive. Morality, the god spot, voices in our head, compulsion, desire, these are responsible for religious behaviour. Whatever there is that ultimately motivates one to act (think of that Hume....erm....fork, that Metacrock brought up) the language is so subjective. How else are we going to nail things down when the subject matter is...well...ephemeral, to put it mildly. I literally mean that religious behaviour takes a strong imagination because you need to occupy a different reality. Quite literally. I can't stress that enough. ...but that's the point. Because everything's a game, some kind of show, even if you are the director, this life acquires meaning somehow!

What atheism exists as today is foreign to a time ago when I would probably be considered an atheist because of my lax approach to being consistent with my stated beliefs....a flaw that I only bring up to illustrate that belief and action and morality and intention and GOD...or On High....these things are powerful regardless of what subject they latch on to. This is what drives us. This is what life is about. In that sense your notion of atheism kind of dissolves away...and that's not a criticism, it's just my perspective on things.
You're right that the non-existent definition of "god" makes clear communication difficult, but I'm not convinced that abusing the English language is the best course of action. Better would be to repeat often and concisely what sort of "god" is under consideration. Language only works if all participants use sufficiently common language. Better to be redundant rather than subtly changing existing words, as this often introduces "false friends" and misunderstandings. This is why my posts tend to get long and tedious... but hopefully clear ;)
True, and I fear I put you at a disadvantage because I imagine I see the humanism side of things pretty well, but you probably have no conception of what drives me to believe in and practice Islam! ....erm....am I wrong?

I only say that because I have a particularly foreign sounding english language because of my intention to use it to shape an image of this reality in people's minds. ...it's crude.....but.......well.....I dunno, gotta start somewhere. It's noninvasive though, totally imagination driven, and self activated! heh.
In any case, my position that atheism and objective morality aren't mutually exclusive hasn't changed. You say "you can't derive an ought from an is", which to me sounds like a catchy bit of nonsense. Why not? The "is" is obvious enough: pain hurts and we don't like to hurt. The "ought" derives so naturally that we see understanding of it even in animal behavior: you shouldn't cause others pain.
You said, "why not?" and then that it's "obvious enough"....but....well it isn't for me. I don't seem to have any compulsion to look at things that way!

Peace,
-sgttomas
Last edited by sgttomas on Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Prophet Muhammad (God send peace and blessings upon him) is reported to have said, "God says 'I am as My servant thinks I am' " ~ Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol 9 #502 (Chapter 93, "Oneness of God")

User avatar
sgttomas
Posts: 2424
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:20 am

Re: Atheism's problem of evil

Post by sgttomas » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:37 pm

met wrote:Perfect sense!!!!! :o :o :o
hahahaha...phew

-sgtt
Prophet Muhammad (God send peace and blessings upon him) is reported to have said, "God says 'I am as My servant thinks I am' " ~ Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol 9 #502 (Chapter 93, "Oneness of God")

Superfund
Posts: 237
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:33 am

Re: Atheism's problem of evil

Post by Superfund » Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:04 am

to illustrate that belief and action and morality and intention and GOD...or On High....these things are powerful regardless of what subject they latch on to. This is what drives us. This is what life is about. In that sense your notion of atheism kind of dissolves away...and that's not a criticism, it's just my perspective on things.
80% of the people at my work are 95% athiest 5% agnostic. That %5 is there merely so they dont have to proclaim or deny one way or another.
They have just learnt about religion in such a way that they don't want anything to do with it, on any level. They don't want even proclaim God does'nt exist because they are potentialy inviting one way or another experiance with religion/religious people. They simply want to live free of it. For the athiest of this kind just insert the word life where you have put "God" and they are equaly capable of morality. Take a communist for example, "Having an objective principle for morality is not possible for an atheistic culture" is not true because the objective principle lies within their belief of the many over the one. it is objective as it is something beyond themselves and their own singular and subjective experiance.

Athiests want to experiance people and life without any kind of idea about God and that choice of experiance is not any less perfect or invalid because others beleive otherwise.

Sf

User avatar
Metacrock
Posts: 10046
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:03 am
Location: Dallas
Contact:

Re: Atheism's problem of evil

Post by Metacrock » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:10 am

Superfund wrote:
to illustrate that belief and action and morality and intention and GOD...or On High....these things are powerful regardless of what subject they latch on to. This is what drives us. This is what life is about. In that sense your notion of atheism kind of dissolves away...and that's not a criticism, it's just my perspective on things.
80% of the people at my work are 95% athiest 5% agnostic. That %5 is there merely so they dont have to proclaim or deny one way or another.
They have just learnt about religion in such a way that they don't want anything to do with it, on any level. They don't want even proclaim God does'nt exist because they are potentialy inviting one way or another experiance with religion/religious people. They simply want to live free of it. For the athiest of this kind just insert the word life where you have put "God" and they are equaly capable of morality. Take a communist for example, "Having an objective principle for morality is not possible for an atheistic culture" is not true because the objective principle lies within their belief of the many over the one. it is objective as it is something beyond themselves and their own singular and subjective experiance.

Athiests want to experiance people and life without any kind of idea about God and that choice of experiance is not any less perfect or invalid because others beleive otherwise.

Sf

yea, if only the people in the Goulogs has know that. What a silly thing to die over. That torture thing, they were just campers.
Have Theology, Will argue: wire Metacrock
Buy My book: The Trace of God: Warrant for belief

User avatar
sgttomas
Posts: 2424
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:20 am

Re: Atheism's problem of evil

Post by sgttomas » Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:15 pm

Superfund wrote:
to illustrate that belief and action and morality and intention and GOD...or On High....these things are powerful regardless of what subject they latch on to. This is what drives us. This is what life is about. In that sense your notion of atheism kind of dissolves away...and that's not a criticism, it's just my perspective on things.
80% of the people at my work are 95% athiest 5% agnostic. That %5 is there merely so they dont have to proclaim or deny one way or another.
They have just learnt about religion in such a way that they don't want anything to do with it, on any level. They don't want even proclaim God does'nt exist because they are potentialy inviting one way or another experiance with religion/religious people. They simply want to live free of it. For the athiest of this kind just insert the word life where you have put "God" and they are equaly capable of morality. Take a communist for example, "Having an objective principle for morality is not possible for an atheistic culture" is not true because the objective principle lies within their belief of the many over the one. it is objective as it is something beyond themselves and their own singular and subjective experiance.

Athiests want to experiance people and life without any kind of idea about God and that choice of experiance is not any less perfect or invalid because others beleive otherwise.

Sf
I totally agree with you. That was a great addition to the topic, thank you!

Peace,
-sgttomas
Prophet Muhammad (God send peace and blessings upon him) is reported to have said, "God says 'I am as My servant thinks I am' " ~ Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol 9 #502 (Chapter 93, "Oneness of God")

User avatar
sgttomas
Posts: 2424
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:20 am

Re: Atheism's problem of evil

Post by sgttomas » Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:16 pm

Metacrock wrote:yea, if only the people in the Goulogs has know that. What a silly thing to die over. That torture thing, they were just campers.
But that doesn't affect the notion of morality within those cultures, or any particular atheist person.

Peace,
-sgttomas
Prophet Muhammad (God send peace and blessings upon him) is reported to have said, "God says 'I am as My servant thinks I am' " ~ Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol 9 #502 (Chapter 93, "Oneness of God")

Post Reply