Re: [asa] Expelled

From: PvM <pvm.pandas@gmail.com>
Date: Tue Apr 29 2008 - 13:00:26 EDT

On Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 4:00 AM, Jack <drsyme@cablespeed.com> wrote:
> Pim said:
>
>
> > And that's where we disagree. Morality is not determined by the
> > motivations as much as by the effects.
> >
>
> You keep mentioning Christians and using the word "us". But this statement
> alone indicates your lack of understanding of Christian morality. According
> to Christ himself ,it is the thought alone that is sinful, even if the
> thought is not acted upon.

I fail to see how this is relevant to the question at hand which
involved the thought of getting caught and refraining from a certain
activity versus the knowledge of low likelihood of being caught and
still refraining from activity. Somehow the suggestion was that the
latter was moral while the former was not.

> But Pim, be honest with yourself, and take the atheists morality
> consistently. Try to imagine a world that religion never existed. If
> religion in general, and Christianity in particular, is an illusion, if they
> never existed in the world what would the world look like? This is the way

I would say that the world would be very much the same.

> Dawkins thinks he wants it. He wants a new enlightened humanity that has
> moved beyond such infantile thinking. But, he is saying this is a world of
> humans that are, and have always been inherently religious. Religion of
> some form, exists in all cultures, it has been with us since we have been
> human. Any historical or cultural ethical system, has at some point, a

Hence my suggestion that religion is at last partially inspired by nature.

> religious influence. So if there is any semblance of religious ideas left
> in Dawkins ethics, he is not being consistent. This could include
> fundamental things, like the concept of a person, rights of individuals,
> sanctity of life, and even less fundamental things, like the concept of
> judges, right to a fair trial etc.

Dawkins may be inconsistent but that is of little concern to me in
this discussion where I am addressing whether or not Christians have
an advantage over atheists when it comes to morality.

> Call this the presuppositional argument of ethics if you want. What
> Dawkins doesn't realize, and apparently you don't either, is that without
> certain religious concepts as fundamental ideas, the structure of ethical
> thought would be unrecognizable to us today, and most likely abhorrent to
> all of us. The cost of not having God as the foundation of our morals, is
> much much greater than the cost of God as the author of morality.

And your evidence for such is based on what? At best a deity can be
said to be useful in enforcing morality as it provides us with an all
knowing all seeing entity which can and will punish us for our evil
deeds. Sort of like a community watch group but with an all present
watcher.

Religion may channel our innate morality as much as other societal
constructs. In fact, calling atheism a religion, as some have
attempted, only further undermines the argument against atheism and
morality.
The argument that morality is related to our ability to refrain from
doing something bad even though one knows that one can get away with
it, seems contradictory to Christianity which accepts that our sins
will come back to 'haunt' us.

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Received on Tue Apr 29 13:01:52 2008

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