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About diana

  • Birthday 07/30/1967

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    Colorado Springs
  • Interests
    religions of all sorts
  • More About Me
    Recently retired so I read a whole lot. I enjoy intelligent, well-educated conversations, and this site seems excellent for them.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. So, do you have a long police record? Probably not. The whole argument of subjective vs objective morality is just a philosophical thing. Terrific response. I don't think he's arguing that I have no morals, though. He seems to believe that we all have an objective morality, even if we don't recognize it. … life has many exceptions and gray areas. Ask your friend if killing is ALWAYS wrong, then ask him about war. Or self defense. Or the death penalty. Or assisted suicide. I think he'd respond that murder is always wrong. I think that's a mere side-step, though, because we tend to define "murder" in different ways, which is our way of teasing out the nuances of when we believe killing is and isn't a morally-defensible action. Right, our parents give us a foundation of morality, most of which is from society. We add some ideas of our own and toss out whatever ideas we deem unimportant. It's strange to me how people can deny we all do this. Thoughts aren't crimes, thank goodness. As much as we would like to strangle people at times, 'something' prevents us from doing so. I was chastised by a fellow Christian once (long ago) for having the wrong attitude about why I dont commit crimes. I said I dont want to go to prison so I dont commit crimes. Oh my, what a horrible person I was. I guess the "correct answer" according to this friend was " don't commit crimes because it's wrong" . Silly me. Either way the effect is the same. Seems fair. I think I would respond that I don't commit crimes because I have no necessity to do so (like, starving so I steal a loaf of bread) and because I simply have no desire to do things that bring more pain and stress to my life and to the lives of those around me. Why do the proponents of objective morality (often Christians) feel that people must have some deeply repressed need to go on some maniacal crime spree? Whether my morality is objective or subjective I just dont think that most people have an interest in being a psycho. Funny you should mention it, but I just had this conversation with another friend recently. She told me that without God, there would be no brakes on her bad behavior. I asked her what her basis for comparison was, which would be the only way she would know. That question, of course, was sidestepped. (The unbelievers/questioners I know would and often do say that they are better people without religion--and most of them have a basis for comparison.) Objective morality is a preoccupation of the religious. The meme that you can only be moral if you 'got Jesus' is utter baloney. Is your friend religious? Yeah. I learned yesterday (?) that he is also a YEC who believes in a worldwide flood, too, so...he's a little more out there where the buses don't run and the fairies don't visit than I originally thought. Morality is just how we are taught by our parents to behave. It isn't some 'thing' you tap into. If morality were a fact of life, how do we explain why some people commit crimes? If morality were some supernatural shield against bad behavior provided by God only to those who believe, why do believers still commit crimes? I think he considers "morality" to be the code we all have that we strive to live up to. This is where the whole conversation can get rather sticky. I think we all have different forms of "morality" all competing for precedence in our lives. There's the morality society gives us and judges us by (and tries to teach us to feel guilty if we don't acquiesce to it); there's the morality we hope to live up to ourselves; then there's the morality that we actually live. The three get hopelessly confused, probably because most people see morality as either a single thing each person/culture has or an objective reality (again--a single thing) we derive from the mind of the Creator. Those who believe their morality derives from God tend to embrace the notion of the objective morality, and they judge themselves and everyone else based on the morality they believe God has passed on through the bible. I've responded to such believers with the observation that if there is an objective morality and God is the same now and forever, then why was genocide acceptable--even required--in the Jewish scriptures? If morality is in fact objective as they claim, they must have no problem with genocide (and lots of other nasty stuff). Strangely, they wiggle out of that one somehow, too. *sigh* d
  2. Excellent questions, midniterider. I shall respond when I'm not drinking. (My father is...failing and I decided tonight was the right time to have some wine.) I shall return. d
  3. Hi, all. This subject, which I haven't thought about for a long while, recently popped up in a conversation with a friend. He assumes the existence of an "objective morality." I don't. He thus argues that my "subjective morality" allows me to do anything, which is also not true. It's as though he is seeing this as a completely binary question, which doesn't seem right to me. I tend to see individual morality as something that is derived from but not identical to collective morality. We are given specific "rules" of "moral" behavior from our culture, but we adjust those rules based on our education and experiences. Further, I tend to believe that--as painful as it might be--our actual moral code is defined by our actions, not what we say or think our morals are. The last point is probably going to get the most blowback, but that's ok; I'm not adverse to changing my mind on anything, given rational reasons to do so. I'm interested in your thoughts on these matters. d
  4. I've gotten to the point that I can't watch sitcoms any more. The laugh tracks--as a couple of people finally mentioned by the second page of this thread--destroy them for me. I mean, the formulaic lines and predictable characters are standard, but it's the laugh tracks that do me in. They're like...being around someone who makes a joke then laughs really loud at their own joke (or worse, says something distinctly unfunny then laughs). Cringeworthy. I tried watching BBT a couple of times. I have so many smart and funny friends who love it, I figured I just needed to give it a chance. I gave up. And Friends? One try. That's 30 minutes of my life I'll never get back. I'm at the point in my life that I need shows to be smart enough to be funny and trust me to get the jokes without any hints. d
  5. I'm quoting myself only to acknowledge that I stand corrected. A friend of mine on Facebook just responded to a similar question with the assertion that he would and we all would, because hell...we will kill if the government tells us to, etc. So I altered the question to what I asked here. He has a six-month old child. d
  6. Hi, Jennifer! I have a response I like to provide for that. First...of course they weren't. We have some laws that match the 10Cs, of course, but that's only because avoiding murder and adultery and such are common sense for any group of people who wish to live in harmony. Otherwise, though, we aren't commanded to "Worship the Lord our God" and "have no other gods before him," etc. What rubbish. This is usually based on the notion that we are somehow a "Christian nation." My response to this usually begins with the requirement that they explain precisely what they mean by "Christian nation" (which scares most of them away, because it's a buzzword (phrase?) they're repeating but have never really thought about). If they get past that, I like to point out that we are a nation only in direct violation of clear Christian teachings. To wit: Romans 13: 1Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
  7. I've run into this argument many times over the years. It never fails to leave me baffled. Essentially, whoever says it is admitting that I'm a better person than they are, because when they say this, they tacitly admit they need the carrot and stick to behave admirably. A good friend of mine (nominal Catholic) recently argued that she was a better person for believing in God. She stated that without God, there was nothing to keep her from committing crimes. My response: "How do you know? You have no basis for comparison." From where I sit, people are either good or bad; religion just gives you license to feel good about being a shitty human being. If you're a good person, I don't think there's any value added (maybe? Maybe it makes you better?). But I'm rambling. I initially wanted to point out that this position (that atheists don't have a moral compass) is based on the assumption that the person speaking gets their morals from God. Once you realize this, you have them right where you want them. Just ask this: If God told you to kill your children right now, would you do it? They will always say, "My god wouldn't ask me to do that." That is, of course, (1) untrue and (2) avoiding the question. (Of course he might; he did it in the OT, didn't he? Abraham? Isn't God the same forever?) The problem is that they know the answer: They wouldn't. Why is this? Because they have a set of morals that not only does not derive from their god, but it is better than their god's. (And if they answer yes, they know they sound like a sociopath, which is why they avoid that answer at all costs.) d
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