or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Other Discussion › AppleOutsider › PoliticalOutsider › Spineless idiots
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Spineless idiots

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57506882-503544/democrats-reinstate-god-and-jerusalem-language-in-party-platform/

Cowards. Hypocrites. Fucking first-past-the-post voting system forcing me to still vote for them in most races. Still better than the GOP, but damn...this was a missed opportunity to make a stand against religion poisoning politics.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #2 of 39

I would tell you to support the Atheist Party, but they had to cancel their national convention due to lack of funding.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #3 of 39
Thread Starter 

Other than a lack of belief in deities, there's nothing that really intrinsically unites atheists.  Now, the Atheism+ movement is something I could get behind, but that's not what we are talking about here.  

 

http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2012/08/20/atheism-plus-the-new-wave-of-atheism/

 

 

Quote:

It’s perfect. It illustrates that we’re more than just “dictionary” atheists who happen to not believe in gods and that we want to be a positive force in the world. Commenter dcortesi suggested how this gets atheists out of the “negativity trap” that we so often find ourselves in, when people ask stuff like “What do you atheists do, besides sitting around not-praying, eh?”

We are…
Atheists plus we care about social justice,
Atheists plus we support women’s rights,
Atheists plus we protest racism,
Atheists plus we fight homophobia and transphobia,
Atheists plus we use critical thinking and skepticism.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #4 of 39

We can understand that atheists claim to care about those things. There just isn't any way to prove it and most of the times the actions show pure nihilism.

 

If one is truly using critical thinking and skepticism with atheism, there isn't even a way to avoid pure nihilism. All the claim you mention there are pure social constructs and are based in no form or fashion on anything objective.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply
post #5 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

We can understand that atheists claim to care about those things. There just isn't any way to prove it and most of the times the actions show pure nihilism.

 

If one is truly using critical thinking and skepticism with atheism, there isn't even a way to avoid pure nihilism. All the claim you mention there are pure social constructs and are based in no form or fashion on anything objective.

 

And they are built on a foundation of moral absolutism (that justifies "legislating (their) morality") which doesn't appear to have any foundation itself in an atheistic worldview.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply
post #6 of 39
But... If they were to dream up a magic man who lived in the sky, and make it their leader and mascot, then they could claim to derive all sorts of "morality" from that?... And THAT would be just fine?
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
Reply
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
Reply
post #7 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

But... If they were to dream up a magic man who lived in the sky, and make it their leader and mascot, then they could claim to derive all sorts of "morality" from that?... And THAT would be just fine?

 

If that were the case for others (as you're not-so-subtly hinting about), you'd have a point. But if that's not the case, I guess you don't really have one.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply
post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

But... If they were to dream up a magic man who lived in the sky, and make it their leader and mascot, then they could claim to derive all sorts of "morality" from that?... And THAT would be just fine?

If that were the case for others (as you're not-so-subtly hinting about), you'd have a point. But if that's not the case, I guess you don't really have one.

Why is that not the case for the "others"?
post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post


Why is that not the case for the "others"?

 

His premise is built on the claim that someone has "dream(ed) up a magic man who lived in the sky, and make it their leader and mascot". If that's not the case, then his point fails. At this point that claim ("dream up a magic man who lived in the sky, and make it their leader and mascot") is merely an unproven assertion.

 

In other words if there truly is a "magic man in the sky" (and he is not "dreamed up") and he/it truly does govern the world and universe, then it stands to reason that he/it might just be a valid source or basis of some kind of absolute moral standards.

 

As it stands the claim that there isn't or that anyone who refers to such a being has merely "dreamed him up" is simply begging the question.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply
post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Why is that not the case for the "others"?

His premise is built on the claim that someone has "dream(ed) up a magic man who lived in the sky, and make it their leader and mascot". If that's not the case, then his point fails. At this point that claim ("dream up a magic man who lived in the sky, and make it their leader and mascot") is merely an unproven assertion.

In other words if there truly is a "magic man in the sky" (and he is not "dreamed up") and he/it truly does govern the world and universe, then it stands to reason that he/it might just be a valid source or basis of some kind of absolute moral standards.

As it stands the claim that there isn't or that anyone who refers to such a being has merely "dreamed him up" is simply begging the question.

Got it. He was wrong because the magic man exists. Would that be just the one magic man that you happen to subscribe to, or all the magic men asserted by all the various world religions, past, present and future?

And for the record, it's not "begging the question" unless the assumption is used to make the argument. Like you did, in fact.
post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Got it. He was wrong because the magic man exists.

 

He is wrong if a "magic man" exists. He's assuming it doesn't and building his argument on that assumption.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

And for the record, it's not "begging the question" unless the assumption is used to make the argument.

 

That's exactly what he did.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Like you did, in fact.

 

How? Where?

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply
post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

But... If they were to dream up a magic man who lived in the sky, and make it their leader and mascot, then they could claim to derive all sorts of "morality" from that?... And THAT would be just fine?

 

It may or may not be fine but it would be logically consistant. Atheists claim some sort of high ground when it really is hypocrisy when they are of claiming a superior position from pure absurdity.

 

Atheists: Don't dare tell people how to live their lives using a bunch of made up gibberish that is conjured from the minds of men.

 

Rationalists: What do you consider voting, human rights, gay marriage or even the concept of marriage to be besides a bunch of gibberish conjured from the minds of men?

 

Atheists: Don't dare tell me I have no basis for my beliefs!!!! I'm right because they are wrong!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Why is that not the case for the "others"?

 

The point is that if the criteria disqualifies one group, it disqualifies the other. Understand that many of us can understand that many human institutions derived from religious institutions and there are those who would like to keep the institutions but toss out the religious baggage. The reality though is that the institutions are made up nonsense and declaring religion a bunch of made up nonsense doesn't give one the higher ground when discussing those institutions.

 

Without the made up nonsense and instutions we have the natural world, more like the animal kingdom that is basically survival of the fittest, death and disorder without reason or meaning and there is no purpose.

 

As examples things like NATIONS or MARRIAGE rose in part from religious underpinnings. Perhaps it was a basic as the group conquering all the other people declaring they were gods but they are part of the roots of these institutions.

 

Some would declare that they want religion out of these institutions and they know best for these institutions because they do not embrace nonsense like religion. The point is that marriage though is a bunch of nonsense like religion. It is artifice. It is a construct that does not exist out in the natural world. No governments come along and endorse the pairings of animals. The concept of consent, rights, voting, etc. There are concepts born out of human rights which was born in part out of religion. There is not a sound way to reason that one can exist but not the other. Human rights do not exist in the natural world. It would be like your dog coming up to you and demanding a pension or seeking legal counsel to deny you guardianship.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply
post #13 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Got it. He was wrong because the magic man exists.

 

He is wrong if a "magic man" exists. He's assuming it doesn't and building his argument on that assumption.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

And for the record, it's not "begging the question" unless the assumption is used to make the argument.

 

That's exactly what he did.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Like you did, in fact.

 

How? Where?

 

He assumed nothing - he suggested a possibility (they dreamt up a magic man) and asked a question about the consequence (would it be OK to derive morality from that invention?). You assumed that he had made an assumption, and argued that he was wrong because he had made an assumption. That is precisely "begging the question".

post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

He assumed nothing - he suggested a possibility (they dreamt up a magic man) and asked a question about the consequence (would it be OK to derive morality from that invention?). You assumed that he had made an assumption, and argued that he was wrong because he had made an assumption. That is precisely "begging the question".

 

Ahhh...I see it now. lol.gif

 

Since it you are making this statement I can't really accuse you of being disingenuous. However if he had made the same statement you just made, I would accuse him of being disingenuous. The reason? Because while expressed in the form of a question I highly suspect (almost certainly correctly from previous experiences here with him and his posts*) it was a (sarcastic) rhetorical question (i.e., not really a question at all and not really stating a hypothetical possibility but taking a swipe at those he strongly disagrees with regarding belief in a god), so my responses would stand.

 

 

*If this post were taken on its own, I'd agree with you. But I've had the benefit of seeing a number of posts of his of a similar nature and believe I'm reading the "tone" correctly here based on the totality of these posts.


Edited by MJ1970 - 9/6/12 at 8:40am

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply
post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

But... If they were to dream up a magic man who lived in the sky, and make it their leader and mascot, then they could claim to derive all sorts of "morality" from that?... And THAT would be just fine?

 

It may or may not be fine but it would be logically consistant. Atheists claim some sort of high ground when it really is hypocrisy when they are of claiming a superior position from pure absurdity.

 

Atheists: Don't dare tell people how to live their lives using a bunch of made up gibberish that is conjured from the minds of men.

 

Rationalists: What do you consider voting, human rights, gay marriage or even the concept of marriage to be besides a bunch of gibberish conjured from the minds of men?

 

Atheists: Don't dare tell me I have no basis for my beliefs!!!! I'm right because they are wrong!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Why is that not the case for the "others"?

 

The point is that if the criteria disqualifies one group, it disqualifies the other. Understand that many of us can understand that many human institutions derived from religious institutions and there are those who would like to keep the institutions but toss out the religious baggage. The reality though is that the institutions are made up nonsense and declaring religion a bunch of made up nonsense doesn't give one the higher ground when discussing those institutions.

 

Without the made up nonsense and instutions we have the natural world, more like the animal kingdom that is basically survival of the fittest, death and disorder without reason or meaning and there is no purpose.

 

As examples things like NATIONS or MARRIAGE rose in part from religious underpinnings. Perhaps it was a basic as the group conquering all the other people declaring they were gods but they are part of the roots of these institutions.

 

Some would declare that they want religion out of these institutions and they know best for these institutions because they do not embrace nonsense like religion. The point is that marriage though is a bunch of nonsense like religion. It is artifice. It is a construct that does not exist out in the natural world. No governments come along and endorse the pairings of animals. The concept of consent, rights, voting, etc. There are concepts born out of human rights which was born in part out of religion. There is not a sound way to reason that one can exist but not the other. Human rights do not exist in the natural world. It would be like your dog coming up to you and demanding a pension or seeking legal counsel to deny you guardianship.

 

You are pointlessly conflating belief (religious in this case) that claims knowledge as its foundation, with practical societal devices (government, voting, marriage etc.) that do not require knowledge of anything to underpin them - they are empirical methods - and do not require religion to function.

 

Your assertion that atheists claim the moral high ground is almost too fatuous to argue with - they may feel they have the intellectual high ground (and hard not to sympathize with that one), but the moral high ground is obviously claimed by the religious, and the great the zealotry, the higher the elevation. By all means live your life as dictated by your religion (provided it is consistent with the law), but when you insert it into the process of government then you impose it on everyone. Ironic, don't you think, considering the incessant bleating about the erosion of "freedom of religion"?

post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

By all means live your life as dictated by your religion (provided it is consistent with the law), but when you insert it into the process of government then you impose it on everyone.

 

What ironic here is the frequent claim (often by atheist or at least non-religious folks) that it is improper to "legislate morality" in anyway when those of a religious faith propose laws to be enforced by the state, yet frequently advocate their own brand of morality be enforced by the state and fail to see the contradiction and hypocrisy in this.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply
post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

He assumed nothing - he suggested a possibility (they dreamt up a magic man) and asked a question about the consequence (would it be OK to derive morality from that invention?). You assumed that he had made an assumption, and argued that he was wrong because he had made an assumption. That is precisely "begging the question".

 

Ahhh...I see it now. lol.gif

 

Since it you are making this statement I can't really accuse you of being disingenuous. However if he had made the same statement you just made, I would accuse him of being disingenuous. The reason? Because while expressed in the form of a question I highly suspect (almost certainly correctly from previous experiences here with him and his posts*) it was a (sarcastic) rhetorical question (i.e., not really a question at all and not really stating a hypothetical possibility but taking a swipe at those he strongly disagrees with regarding belief in a god), so my responses would stand.

 

 

*If this post were taken on its own, I'd agree with you. But I've had the benefit of seeing a number of posts of his of a similar nature and believe I'm reading the "tone" correctly here based on the totality of these posts.

 

His intent probably was to ridicule the notion that religion can be, and is, used as a license to take the moral high ground with no other justification needed. That is not disingenuous - perhaps you meant something else?

post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

By all means live your life as dictated by your religion (provided it is consistent with the law), but when you insert it into the process of government then you impose it on everyone.

 

What ironic here is the frequent claim (often by atheist or at least non-religious folks) that it is improper to "legislate morality" in anyway when those of a religious faith propose laws to be enforced by the state, yet frequently advocate their own brand of morality be enforced by the state and fail to see the contradiction and hypocrisy in this.

 

That would not just be ironic, it would be hypocritical. Can you give an example to consider?

post #19 of 39

Spineless?  You are honestly surprised that a major political party in the United States (where 96% believe in God) bows to pressure to say "God-given" in its platform?  What you fail to realize is that the folks who think like you do are the ones that are going to ensure the Dems lose this election and the next several after that.  These people who are blatantly anti-God, pro-abortion, pro-big government, anti-military, anti-2nd amendment, anti-capitalism, anti-business, anti-rich, pro-class warfare pro-socialism, etc. are totally outside the mainstream.  

 

This isn't even about Republicans and Democrats anymore.  It's about Americans versus radical lunatics who have hijacked the Democratic Party, and a President who has hijacked America.  

I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
Reply
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
Reply
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

His intent probably was to ridicule the notion that religion can be, and is, used as a license to take the moral high ground with no other justification needed. That is not disingenuous - perhaps you meant something else?

 

*sigh*

 

No. What would have been disingenuous is for him to say what you said (which is to basically claim he was simply proposing a question for consideration.)

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

That would not just be ironic, it would be hypocritical.

 

I agree. I think I said that.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Can you give an example to consider?

 

Well we could pick any number of examples where someone (such as the OP) propose a number of moral positions it claims ought to be enforced and governed by the state while rejecting attempts by others to do the same, particularly if those others are approaching it from a religious basis. There's a list of the first in the OP's second post in this thread. I would have to dig further to find specific examples of the latter.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply
post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

That would not just be ironic, it would be hypocritical.

 

I agree. I think I said that.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Can you give an example to consider?

 

Well we could pick any number of examples where someone (such as the OP) propose a number of moral positions it claims ought to be enforced and governed by the state while rejecting attempts by others to do the same, particularly if those others are approaching it from a religious basis. There's a list of the first in the OP's second post in this thread. I would have to dig further to find specific examples of the latter.

 

OK - the reason I asked is that most of the disagreements along these lines seem to have been about different kinds of legislation. The proposals that tend to offend the secular mindset are those banning things based on religious belief; gay marriage, abortion etc.. The laws that seem to offend the religious right are those legalizing things, for example gay marriage and abortion. The difference is that legalizing something does not impose it on anyone, and does not disturb one's right to live one's own life according to one's beliefs. On the other hand, banning something for everyone, just because it may be counter to one's personal moral code, is a direct intrusion on the rights of others to do the same.

 

So, I was hoping you might have a good example the opposite - attempts to legislate to impose "non-religious" morality on everyone, because that would be equally bad in my view.

post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

His intent probably was to ridicule the notion that religion can be, and is, used as a license to take the moral high ground with no other justification needed. That is not disingenuous - perhaps you meant something else?

 

*sigh*

 

No. What would have been disingenuous is for him to say what you said (which is to basically claim he was simply proposing a question for consideration.)

 

I guess I disagree. You and others do the same thing frequently - it's a perfectly legitimate debating method to pose a logical extension of an opponents position to attempt to invalidate it. I also did that earlier in the thread (post #10). Perhaps we just have different views on what the word means.

post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

 

I guess I disagree. You and others do the same thing frequently - it's a perfectly legitimate debating method to pose a logical extension of an opponents position to attempt to invalidate it. I also did that earlier in the thread (post #10). Perhaps we just have different views on what the word means.

 

I'm not disputing that. I'm clarifying what I believe would have been disingenuous for him to have said.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply
post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

OK - the reason I asked is that most of the disagreements along these lines seem to have been about different kinds of legislation. The proposals that tend to offend the secular mindset are those banning things based on religious belief; gay marriage, abortion etc.. The laws that seem to offend the religious right are those legalizing things, for example gay marriage and abortion. The difference is that legalizing something does not impose it on anyone, and does not disturb one's right to live one's own life according to one's beliefs.

 

That's not entirely true. The example of same-gender marriage is a case in point. I believe the point of "legalizing it*" is to use the governmental legal status as a lever to force other private entities to honor it. For example to force insurance companies to provide benefits in accordance with it. To force private hospitals to recognize and honor it. Etc. Perhaps I'm wrong. I doubt it though. That is the point of "legalizing" it.

 

*My own feeling is that government should be out of this entirely and let people have their own natural rights to join together in whatever way they wish.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

On the other hand, banning something for everyone, just because it may be counter to one's personal moral code, is a direct intrusion on the rights of others to do the same.

 

So, for example to...

 

- ban sale of sodas of a certain size or...

- ban the use of salt in certain circumstances or...

- ban the sale certain kinds of toilets and shower heads and light bulbs or...

- ban someone from discriminating in their hiring based on race, gender or sexual preferences, etc. or...

- ban someone from buying or owning some products (e.g., guns) or...

- force people to do things like wear seat belts or...

- force companies to pay a certain amount of money (minimum or living wage) per hour or...

- force employers and insurance companies to provide certain medical products free or certain benefits or...

- force people to purchase health insurance whether they want to or not or...

- force people to pay for the welfare of others whether they want to or not or...

- force some people to give up more of the money they've earned because "they can afford it" or...


Edited by MJ1970 - 9/6/12 at 9:41am

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

OK - the reason I asked is that most of the disagreements along these lines seem to have been about different kinds of legislation. The proposals that tend to offend the secular mindset are those banning things based on religious belief; gay marriage, abortion etc.. The laws that seem to offend the religious right are those legalizing things, for example gay marriage and abortion. The difference is that legalizing something does not impose it on anyone, and does not disturb one's right to live one's own life according to one's beliefs.

 

That's not entirely true. The example of same-gender marriage is a case in point. I believe the point of "legalizing it*" is to use the governmental legal status as a lever to force other private entities to honor it. For example to force insurance companies to provide benefits in accordance with it. To force private hospitals to recognize and honor it. Etc. Perhaps I'm wrong. I doubt it though. That is the point of "legalizing" it.

 

*My own feeling is that government should be out of this entirely and let people have their own natural rights to join together in whatever way they wish.

 

Surely those are all just examples of legislating against discrimination. Those entities are not allowed to refuse benefits to mixed-gender married couples, so are you arguing that they should be allowed to refuse benefits to same-gender couples? Or that should they be allowed to refuse benefits to whomever they wish? The latter would be a consistent argument, but I doubt that's what you meant.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

On the other hand, banning something for everyone, just because it may be counter to one's personal moral code, is a direct intrusion on the rights of others to do the same.

 

So, for example to...

 

- ban sale of sodas of a certain size or...

- ban the use of salt in certain circumstances or...

- ban the sale certain kinds of toilets and shower heads and light bulbs or...

- ban someone from discriminating in their hiring based on race, gender or sexual preferences, etc. or...

- ban someone from buying or owning some products (e.g., guns) or...

- force people to do things like wear seat belts or...

- force companies to pay a certain amount of money (minimum or living wage) per hour or...

- force employers and insurance companies to provide certain medical products free or certain benefits or...

- force people to purchase health insurance whether they want to or not or...

- force people to pay for the welfare of others whether they want to or not or...

- force some people to give up more of the money they've earned because "they can afford it" or...

 

Right, but, none of those are anything to do with religion or lack of it - they are purely social political issues - some mainstream elements of every modern democracy, some a bit leftish, some over-intrusive in my view. Seriously - you think taxation or medical benefits or seat belt laws or outlawing discrimination are some kind of atheist agenda? Forced on what you perceive to be an overwhelmingly religious population? That's surely not what you are trying to say.

post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Surely those are all just examples of legislating against discrimination. Those entities are not allowed to refuse benefits to mixed-gender married couples, so are you arguing that they should be allowed to refuse benefits to same-gender couples? Or that should they be allowed to refuse benefits to whomever they wish? The latter would be a consistent argument, but I doubt that's what you meant.

 

My own belief is that they should be allowed to refuse benefits to whomever they wish. But more to the point: I'm suggesting that the reason for pushing for "legalization" is to forcibly prevent discrimination of a certain kind. Surely you can see that advocacy for this derives from some kind of moral basis. Some sense of "ought" (i.e., what ought to be but is not and thus ought to be compelled in absence of voluntary adherence to what ought to be.)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Right, but, none of those are anything to do with religion or lack of it - they are purely social political issues - some mainstream elements of every modern democracy, some a bit leftish, some over-intrusive in my view. Seriously - you think taxation or medical benefits or seat belt laws or outlawing discrimination are some kind of atheist agenda? Forced on what you perceive to be an overwhelmingly religious population? That's surely not what you are trying to say.

 

I'm not speaking specifically of an atheist* agenda here, but I am pointing out many items that people support based on some moral foundation or sense of what ought to be regardless of a religious basis and then advocate for these things to be legislated. These items happen to be mostly positions strongly held by the very same people who claim "you can't legislate morality" when that morality comes from a religious basis but are clearly advocating legislating morality of a different kind.

 

*The issue of what basis atheists can base any kind of absolute morality is a different but related question.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply
post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Surely those are all just examples of legislating against discrimination. Those entities are not allowed to refuse benefits to mixed-gender married couples, so are you arguing that they should be allowed to refuse benefits to same-gender couples? Or that should they be allowed to refuse benefits to whomever they wish? The latter would be a consistent argument, but I doubt that's what you meant.

 

My own belief is that they should be allowed to refuse benefits to whomever they wish. But more to the point: I'm suggesting that the reason for pushing for "legalization" is to forcibly prevent discrimination of a certain kind. Surely you can see that advocacy for this derives from some kind of moral basis. Some sense of "ought" (i.e., what ought to be but is not and thus ought to be compelled in absence of voluntary adherence to what ought to be.)

 

The only moral basis I see here is that of treating people fairly and equally. If that seems wrong to you, and discrimination is OK, then fine, but you don't portray any kind of society that I would want to live in.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Right, but, none of those are anything to do with religion or lack of it - they are purely social political issues - some mainstream elements of every modern democracy, some a bit leftish, some over-intrusive in my view. Seriously - you think taxation or medical benefits or seat belt laws or outlawing discrimination are some kind of atheist agenda? Forced on what you perceive to be an overwhelmingly religious population? That's surely not what you are trying to say.

 

I'm not speaking specifically of an atheist* agenda here, but I am pointing out many items that people support based on some moral foundation or sense of what ought to be regardless of a religious basis and then advocate for these things to be legislated. These items happen to be mostly positions strongly held by the very same people who claim "you can't legislate morality" when that morality comes from a religious basis but are clearly advocating legislating morality of a different kind.

 

*The issue of what basis atheists can base any kind of absolute morality is a different but related question.

 

I'm sorry, but there is no morality involved or needed in most of the pragmatic instruments that modern governments use to regulate and maintain an orderly society. Taxation is required to pay for infrastructure - you can argue about the level and the use of the revenue, but not about the basic need. Seat belt laws are to reduce the cost to society associated with vehicle accidents. Health insurance is to reduce the cost to society of treating the uninsured, without simply taking the uncivilized option of refusing to treat them. These are simple requirements of collective responsibility. I could continue, but given your arguments so far I am probably flogging a dead horse.

 

I've nothing against citizens voting for legislation that they support - that's democracy - but I do object to the openly declared desire to create restrictive laws based on arbitrary religious doctrine, and the associated assertion that failure to support those laws equates to the erosion of religious freedom.

post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

The only moral basis I see here is that of treating people fairly and equally. If that seems wrong to you, and discrimination is OK, then fine, but you don't portray any kind of society that I would want to live in.

 

I understand that. The point here is that there is a moral that's attempting to be legislated. I didn't claim it was wrong. But there is a moral issue here that someone is trying to legislate. There's another moral question at play that's often ignored and that is the morality of forcing someone to treat someone else "fairly" and "equally."

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

I'm sorry, but there is no morality involved or needed in most of the pragmatic instruments that modern governments use to regulate and maintain an orderly society. 

 

You're simply wrong here and perhaps because you happen to agree with or support many of things I listed. The fact is that every single of of those things is an example of an attempt to legislate morality. There's not necessarily anything wrong with trying to do that. I've simply been trying to point out that there are some who claim that you can (or should) not legislate morality while trying to legislate morality of a different kind.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Taxation is required to pay for infrastructure - you can argue about the level and the use of the revenue, but not about the basic need.

 

No we have you begging the question. There's certainly no proof that infrastructure must be provided by the state (and, thus, paid for by taxation.) That's an assumption on your part.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Seat belt laws are to reduce the cost to society associated with vehicle accidents. Health insurance is to reduce the cost to society of treating the uninsured, without simply taking the uncivilized option of refusing to treat them. These are simple requirements of collective responsibility.

 

These all may be as you say (though arguably quite debatable). But underlying them is a moral conviction. A claim of what ought to be done.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

I've nothing against citizens voting for legislation that they support - that's democracy - but I do object to the openly declared desire to create restrictive laws based on arbitrary religious doctrine, and the associated assertion that failure to support those laws equates to the erosion of religious freedom.

 

I also object to arbitraryness in laws...whatever the source. I claim we ought to return to basic principles and adhere to those as much as possible and I believe those basic principles are centered around and built on a charter of negative rights.

 

I hold to what I feel is a rather logically and philosophically consistent position that each person, by birth, has a basic set of natural rights that include their right to their own life, liberty* and property so long as they don't infringe on those same basic rights of anyone else (as an individual, group or by proxy). In other words I believe that a charter of negative (vs. positive) rights is the most logically, morally and philosophically consistent and least arbitrary position.

 

It seems to me that moving beyond this starts to increase the arbitraryness of the laws and starts requiring infringing on these basic rights of someone in order to provide other (positive) rights to others.

 

*These implicitly include various derivative rights such as the right to trade freely and under and mutually agreeable terms with anyone, the right to defend one's self and property against aggression regardless of the source of the aggression, the right to congregate or socialize (or not) with whomever one wishes, the right to discriminate in things like trade and whom one congregates and socializes with based on whatever criteria one wishes.

 

I understand that you may disagree with all of that. That's fine. However, I am going to claim the moral high ground here because my position doesn't have me forcing you to any particular actions and submitting to whatever I think is right. For example, I believe that drug use is wrong and bad for you, but I don't believe I have any right to stop you from using them if you wish to. I believe businesses should not discriminate against people for any reason (and think it is dumb to do so) but I don't believe I have a right to impose that moral position on anyone but myself.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply
post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

You are pointlessly conflating belief (religious in this case) that claims knowledge as its foundation, with practical societal devices (government, voting, marriage etc.) that do not require knowledge of anything to underpin them - they are empirical methods - and do not require religion to function.

 

Your assertion that atheists claim the moral high ground is almost too fatuous to argue with - they may feel they have the intellectual high ground (and hard not to sympathize with that one), but the moral high ground is obviously claimed by the religious, and the great the zealotry, the higher the elevation. By all means live your life as dictated by your religion (provided it is consistent with the law), but when you insert it into the process of government then you impose it on everyone. Ironic, don't you think, considering the incessant bleating about the erosion of "freedom of religion"?

 

Muppetry, you do seem to be trying so think a bit harder and deeper here. Government, voting, marriage do require knowledge to underpin them. They do not exist in nature. They are not natural states or things. If a human is hungry, they will seek food. Marriage has nothing to do with science. What aspect of science says monogomy for life is the best solution and second to that is serialized monogomy with the occasional divorce?

 

It isn't just that they don't require religion to function. They aren't required to function at all PERIOD. There is nothing that declares we have to have democracy, we have to have a vote or that we must have marriage as some official and sanctioned entity. All of these things are artificial constructs.

 

So the point is that any atheist who argues that they even have the intellectual high ground then that is a falsehood because true intellectual enlightenment would realize that humans and their institutions are no different than animals and by definition cannot be free of nature. Better still they would realize that humankind is no great achievement nor even a concern in the context of the universe and that even the universe itself is causeless and purposeless.

 

You can't fight for a cause when everything is causeless. You can't say do it for the kids or society when all those are happenstance and could disappear without anyone or thinking caring in a cosmic blink of an eye.

 

To claim purpose from purposeless is the ultimate delusion. It is far worse than someone who claims life has a purpose, a cause and a creator and who tries to be consistant with those things. Their nature may be from a deluded premise but they are at least consistant. A person who claims that the universe is purposeless, causeless and without reason or rational is at odds with their premise and fighting them with all of their being when claiming and acting contrary to that.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

OK - the reason I asked is that most of the disagreements along these lines seem to have been about different kinds of legislation. The proposals that tend to offend the secular mindset are those banning things based on religious belief; gay marriage, abortion etc.. The laws that seem to offend the religious right are those legalizing things, for example gay marriage and abortion. The difference is that legalizing something does not impose it on anyone, and does not disturb one's right to live one's own life according to one's beliefs. On the other hand, banning something for everyone, just because it may be counter to one's personal moral code, is a direct intrusion on the rights of others to do the same.

 

So, I was hoping you might have a good example the opposite - attempts to legislate to impose "non-religious" morality on everyone, because that would be equally bad in my view.

 

This reflects a caricatured state of understanding. A deeper study, and one that reflects history will reveal a deeper and more nuanced understanding. Eugenics for example have closely followed the secular mindset. Abortion, euthaniasia and steralization all have followed secular beliefs. In fact all manner of "culling the herd" have followed secular beliefs. It makes sense to them though. If we kill 10,000 chickens to stop an outbreak of some virus or disease, why would we worry about doing any different for humans? If a dog is unwanted after three days at a shelter, we kill it. Why should it be any different for the homeless or the elderly?

 

The things that make us say why any different from animals and nature are artificial constructs. Part of those artificial constructs could be and include religion. Religion says care for your fellow man and help the sick and poor. We can say those thing without religion but there isn't any less artificial a designation for declaring we should do those things. Nature dictates survival of the fittest or perhaps survival of no one with the consequence being nothing of concern.

 

Here is George Carlin in 1992 and people love quoting him as a humbug to religion. He was consistent though in what he claimed.

 

"We're so self-important. So self-important. Everybody's going to save something now. "Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails." And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these fucking people kidding me? Save the planet, we don't even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven't learned how to care for one another, we're gonna save the fucking planet?

 

I'm getting tired of that shit. Tired of that shit. I'm tired of fucking Earth Day, I'm tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren't enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world save for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don't give a shit about the planet. They don't care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don't. Not in the abstract they don't. You know what they're interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They're worried that some day in the future, they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn't impress me.

 

Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are fucked. Difference. Difference. The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We've been here, what, a hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we've only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we're a threat? That somehow we're gonna put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that's just a-floatin' around the sun?

The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles...hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worlwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages...And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet...the planet...the planet isn't going anywhere. WE ARE!

 

We're going away. Pack your shit, folks. We're going away. And we won't leave much of a trace, either. Thank God for that. Maybe a little styrofoam. Maybe. A little styrofoam. The planet'll be here and we'll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet'll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. A surface nuisance.

 

You wanna know how the planet's doing? Ask those people at Pompeii, who are frozen into position from volcanic ash, how the planet's doing. You wanna know if the planet's all right, ask those people in Mexico City or Armenia or a hundred other places buried under thousands of tons of earthquake rubble, if they feel like a threat to the planet this week. Or how about those people in Kilowaia, Hawaii, who built their homes right next to an active volcano, and then wonder why they have lava in the living room.

The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we're gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, 'cause that's what it does. It's a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed, and if it's true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new pardigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn't share our prejudice towards plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn't know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, "Why are we here?" Plastic...asshole.

 

So, the plastic is here, our job is done, we can be phased out now. And I think that's begun. Don't you think that's already started? I think, to be fair, the planet sees us as a mild threat. Something to be dealt with. And the planet can defend itself in an organized, collective way, the way a beehive or an ant colony can. A collective defense mechanism. The planet will think of something. What would you do if you were the planet? How would you defend yourself against this troublesome, pesky species? Let's see... Viruses. Viruses might be good. They seem vulnerable to viruses. And, uh...viruses are tricky, always mutating and forming new strains whenever a vaccine is developed. Perhaps, this first virus could be one that compromises the immune system of these creatures. Perhaps a human immunodeficiency virus, making them vulnerable to all sorts of other diseases and infections that might come along. And maybe it could be spread sexually, making them a little reluctant to engage in the act of reproduction.

 

Well, that's a poetic note. And it's a start. And I can dream, can't I? See I don't worry about the little things: bees, trees, whales, snails. I think we're part of a greater wisdom than we will ever understand. A higher order. Call it what you want. Know what I call it? The Big Electron. The Big Electron...whoooa. Whoooa. Whoooa. It doesn't punish, it doesn't reward, it doesn't judge at all. It just is. And so are we. For a little while."

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply
post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Post #29....

 

It appears that all your arguments hinge on regarding every law or proposed law as being morality based. And while I can see that it is the only possibly counter-argument (discounting trumptman's fascinating, semi-coherent ramblings), you don't support it, you simply assert that it is so. My argument, that many laws are simply pragmatic measures to ensure that society is functional, you dismiss as erroneous assumptions, without even attempting to make the argument to link to morality (def: principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior). We are possibly both begging the question in that we have different a priori assumptions about civilization.

 

I fully agree with what I think is your view on the role of law - to exercise the minimum restraint on liberty consistent with not infringing on the similar rights of others - but I would argue that you then completely ignore the collateral damage that an individual's actions may cause to others and entirely reject any notion of collective responsibility. That, I think, is essentially where we differ. For example, as I already suggested, I don't view that we enforce the wearing of seat belts as being because we think it is a moral thing to do, but rather because not wearing them incurs additional and unnecessary costs to others in the form of increased healthcare and auto insurance premiums. As for your explicit desire to legitimize any form of discrimination, well, I can't fault your honesty; we just have very different ideas of a civilized society, and we definitely would not be congregating.

 

Thanks for taking the trouble to explain your viewpoint though - I have not previously seen that philosophy enunciated so clearly. I've probably said enough on this subject.

post #32 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

The world according to trumptman...

 

 

I'm seriously impressed that you took the time to write such a detailed response, and I'm not going to argue with you, because, (1) I really enjoyed reading your post, and (2) you are completely crazy (and I mean that in the nicest possible way).

 

post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

It appears that all your arguments hinge on regarding every law or proposed law as being morality based. And while I can see that it is the only possibly counter-argument, you don't support it, you simply assert that it is so.

 

I assert that it is so because it is. That's what laws are and do. They declare some thing (action, etc.) to be right or wrong and enforceable or punishable in some way.

 

If they are not this, then what are they?!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

My argument, that many laws are simply pragmatic measures to ensure that society is functional, you dismiss as erroneous assumptions, without even attempting to make the argument to link to morality (def: principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior).

 

Dressing these laws up as "pragmatic measures to ensure that society is functional" is simply masking the underlying moral basis that supports them. It also assumes that they are necessary to ensure a functional society, but that's a different issue.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

I fully agree with what I think is your view on the role of law - to exercise the minimum restraint on liberty consistent with not infringing on the similar rights of others - but I would argue that you then completely ignore the collateral damage that an individual's actions may cause to others and entirely reject any notion of collective responsibility.

 

I don't ignore the first. That's just your assumption. And I don't necessarily agree that there is some kind of "collective responsibility." But, I hope you can see, to believe there is is a moral position to hold.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

That, I think, is essentially where we differ.

 

Most likely.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

As for your explicit desire to legitimize any form of discrimination, well, I can't fault your honesty; we just have very different ideas of a civilized society, and we definitely would not be congregating.

 

So you would like the right to discriminate against me for my beliefs? lol.gif Well, I support that. ;-)

 

But I don't want to legitimize discrimination as much as legalize it. I think it's dumb and morally wrong to discriminate in most cases.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Thanks for taking the trouble to explain your viewpoint though - I have not previously seen that philosophy enunciated so clearly. I've probably said enough on this subject.

 

Thanks for the kind response.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply
post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

The world according to trumptman...

 

 

I'm seriously impressed that you took the time to write such a detailed response, and I'm not going to argue with you, because, (1) I really enjoyed reading your post, and (2) you are completely crazy (and I mean that in the nicest possible way).

 

 

That isn't an argument to have because it can't be rebutted.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply
post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

It appears that all your arguments hinge on regarding every law or proposed law as being morality based. And while I can see that it is the only possibly counter-argument, you don't support it, you simply assert that it is so.

 

I assert that it is so because it is. That's what laws are and do. They declare some thing (action, etc.) to be right or wrong and enforceable or punishable in some way.

 

If they are not this, then what are they?!

 

Oh now look what you did - a question for me to answer. Actually this is rather interesting. So our system of laws spans a wide range of subjects. Some, I would say, are clearly based in a form of common morality that can be traced back to various roots during the early days of civilization, such as those criminalizing violent or anti-social behavior, theft etc. There are many others, however, that are (I would say) regulatory in nature; do you think of speed limits or other traffic laws, or building codes etc. as moral directives, or as being driven by any particular morality? Do they define right or wrong? Not, presumably, in any moral sense; speed limits, for example, are often changed without threatening anyone's morality (as far as I know). As far as I can see they are just mechanisms to try to ensure safety and security.

 

Now you can certainly take the argument back a step and posit that to impose any structure on society is a moral presumption, and so in that sense, all societies' laws stem from that assumed morality, but in the case of those laws that stem only from this it does not make much sense to argue about the moral underpinning of the individual laws themselves. Even that premise seems questionable though; anarchic societies have seldom, if ever, flourished, and so it seems to me more likely that societies tend initially to self-impose order for simple reasons of self-preservation.

post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

There are many others, however, that are (I would say) regulatory in nature; do you think of speed limits or other traffic laws, or building codes etc. as moral directives, or as being driven by any particular morality? Do they define right or wrong?

 

Absolutely.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply
post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

There are many others, however, that are (I would say) regulatory in nature; do you think of speed limits or other traffic laws, or building codes etc. as moral directives, or as being driven by any particular morality? Do they define right or wrong?

 

Absolutely.

 

That seems very strange to me, but fair enough - your position is consistent. It's fascinating to me that we can have such divergent views on something that both of us feel we see quite clearly.

post #38 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

It's fascinating to me that we can have such divergent views on something that both of us feel we see quite clearly.

 

I agree, it is.

 

I think it comes to down to the fact the we both believe strongly in some very different basic premises.

 

Perhaps it's a bit like looking at one of these optical illusions:

 

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

Reply
post #39 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

It's fascinating to me that we can have such divergent views on something that both of us feel we see quite clearly.

 

I agree, it is.

 

I think it comes to down to the fact the we both believe strongly in some very different basic premises.

 

Perhaps it's a bit like looking at one of these optical illusions:

 

 

Nice analogy.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: PoliticalOutsider
AppleInsider › Forums › Other Discussion › AppleOutsider › PoliticalOutsider › Spineless idiots