Homosexuality is against God's will (2nd try)

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t.a.j.
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#51 Post by t.a.j. » 01 Apr 2009 11:27

Medea wrote:humans have invented nuclear bombs.. I never heard of a mouse designing a mouse trap...
Nuclear bombs are every bit as natural as termite mounds. That is because human behavior is as natural as the behavior of termites.
'bad' things that happen in human society usually have different reasons than animals 'use' for their actions. At least animals don't use an imaginary friend to say it's bad..
Again, natural is not a good category to make a distinction between non human animals and humans. The differences are of a very different kind. Morality is a behavior regulator that requires certain cognitive capabilities that most non human animals lack. That is of course not to say that there might not be moral truths or at least good reasons for certain moral ideas and worse for others. So "moral agents" vs. "non-moral agents" is a good distinction and some non humans might end up on the moral agents side of the distinction. Same goes for memory or any other actual natural property that might be hand or lacked by some group of creatures.
anyway, this might sound a little hard, but still, things like genocide is one of the few means humans naturally have to prevent overpopulation (and destruction) of the planet.. of course, emotionally you don't want this to happens to you or your loved ones or for that matter to anyone, but still...
The problem with genocide is this:
Give me one reason to justify why the Armenians and not the Turks should be subjected to it? Why the people in Gana and not you and your family, friends and all who make the culture you participate in?
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#52 Post by Medea » 01 Apr 2009 12:43

t.a.j. wrote:The problem with genocide is this:
Give me one reason to justify why the Armenians and not the Turks should be subjected to it? Why the people in Gana and not you and your family, friends and all who make the culture you participate in?
Bad timing because someone else got the idea first

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#53 Post by t.a.j. » 01 Apr 2009 14:05

Medea wrote: Bad timing because someone else got the idea first
This does not look much like a justification to me.
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#54 Post by Medea » 01 Apr 2009 14:33

why do you need justification?

things just happen... people want power and if you want power you have to do it on someone elses expense... therefore people just take anyone or any group that is less powerfull and do something to them, just because it's convenient

this is the base of actions like bullying to genocide (which is actually just bullying taken to the limit)...

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#55 Post by Belgarion » 01 Apr 2009 14:52

t.a.j. wrote:
The problem with genocide is this:
Give me one reason to justify why the Armenians and not the Turks should be subjected to it? Why the people in Gana and not you and your family, friends and all who make the culture you participate in?
I get your point, but it's not that simple. :) First of all, the Armenians couldn't start a genoice against the Turks since they were a minority under the ruling Turkish Ottomans. Second, they tried their best to obtain their independence and that includes killing tons of innocent Turks etc. in the process.

Second, it's disputable that there was even a genocide. Saying that there has been a genocide against the Armenians is looking at things from one perspective. One thing is for sure, though: it was nothing like the genocide committed against the Jews during WW 2.
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#56 Post by t.a.j. » 01 Apr 2009 14:52

*shrugs* how cold and realistic...

:roll:

To be perfectly honest, as nice and superior as it may feel to go about proclaiming the non-existence of morality, it's as mistaken and naive a position as that consciousness is an illusion. And pretty much for the same reasons. We are moral makers, we require justification from ourselves and others and give justifications for our behavior. We hold each other responsible and orient our lives along the structures of right and wrong that we find, reproduce and modify. And no matter how much you talk tough and cool, you can't get out of that, can't shake that off. And trust me, you don't want to do it either. It's what makes you live among people at all, it's what allows people to like you or at least tolerate you.

The point is: like consciousness the phenomenon that we call morality is out there, we see it every day when we meet other people and just because we might have mistaken believes about it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. People who believe in god granted morality are just wrong about a fact about morality, not about whether morality even exists.

Thus: change your idea of what morality is and you might discover that it makes perfectly good sense to require justifications for certain things.
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#57 Post by Belgarion » 01 Apr 2009 15:10

Murder/genocide is never justifiable, though. You can't ask for a justification. You could have 1000 reasons and it still would be unjustifiable. But that doesn't matter. There have been genocides in the past and there will be genocides in the future. Killing is in the nature of most humans, but some folks can educate themselves enough to avoid it.
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#58 Post by Led Guardian » 01 Apr 2009 21:34

t.a.j. wrote:*shrugs* how cold and realistic...

:roll:

To be perfectly honest, as nice and superior as it may feel to go about proclaiming the non-existence of morality, it's as mistaken and naive a position as that consciousness is an illusion. And pretty much for the same reasons. We are moral makers, we require justification from ourselves and others and give justifications for our behavior. We hold each other responsible and orient our lives along the structures of right and wrong that we find, reproduce and modify. And no matter how much you talk tough and cool, you can't get out of that, can't shake that off. And trust me, you don't want to do it either. It's what makes you live among people at all, it's what allows people to like you or at least tolerate you.

The point is: like consciousness the phenomenon that we call morality is out there, we see it every day when we meet other people and just because we might have mistaken believes about it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. People who believe in god granted morality are just wrong about a fact about morality, not about whether morality even exists.

Thus: change your idea of what morality is and you might discover that it makes perfectly good sense to require justifications for certain things.
Morality does exist, but only in the mind. Take away all creatures that can moralize, and morals no longer exist. Take away all creatures that can perceive a rock, and a rock still exists. That is not to say that we should rampage around and do whatever we want, but morality depends on society. Ask our society when it's alright to kill an innocent, then ask an ancient Mayan (assuming that was possible), and you'll get different answers. Mayans thought it was right to sacrifice innocents, because it brought the rains and kept them alive.
We have made morality a reality within our subjective reality, but unlike the beliefs of people like fundamentalist Christians, they don't exist within objective reality. The closest morality can come to absolute is whatever is held to be a moral standard by the vast majority of people in a culture. So the question is of course not whether we will have standards, but who gets to decide them?

I believe this is basically what you were saying, but I wanted to toss in my own two cents.
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#59 Post by t.a.j. » 01 Apr 2009 23:45

Led Guardian wrote: I believe this is basically what you were saying, but I wanted to toss in my own two cents.
It was quite close. Though I'm not convinced of a full blow cultural relativism. Some things, like forming socialities, are present in all cultures and that human condition if you like, finds itself always with the same questions to answer anywhere.

Since you mentioned the killing of innocents: I don't believe that the Mayans had no qualms about killings innocents. They too were human and they had the need to construct a sense of security and certainty and that requires them to find ways to regulate the killing of members of their own group. You can have security or certainty, when there is rampant killing. So in some sense murder - the unjustified killing of group members - will always be prohibited, if not by law, then by custom or habit. When the Mayans sacrificed humans to strengthen the sun and thus protect society, that was not Murder, it was not, in the sense that we would understand it, killing of an innocent. It was a sacrifice, it had a purpose (nevermind it couldn't possibly achieve it) and it had a justification they could understand. At least this then is an example for a universal moral rule that requires only the possibility of moral makers and is independent of any particular group of moral makers.

Now from this, one needs to find some way to defend rational justification under epistemic responsibility and most of what we would generally think about morals could be saved from relativism. Sadly though, I have no way on offer.
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#60 Post by Led Guardian » 02 Apr 2009 02:24

t.a.j. wrote:Since you mentioned the killing of innocents: I don't believe that the Mayans had no qualms about killings innocents. They too were human and they had the need to construct a sense of security and certainty and that requires them to find ways to regulate the killing of members of their own group. You can have security or certainty, when there is rampant killing. So in some sense murder - the unjustified killing of group members - will always be prohibited, if not by law, then by custom or habit. When the Mayans sacrificed humans to strengthen the sun and thus protect society, that was not Murder, it was not, in the sense that we would understand it, killing of an innocent. It was a sacrifice, it had a purpose (nevermind it couldn't possibly achieve it) and it had a justification they could understand. At least this then is an example for a universal moral rule that requires only the possibility of moral makers and is independent of any particular group of moral makers.

Now from this, one needs to find some way to defend rational justification under epistemic responsibility and most of what we would generally think about morals could be saved from relativism. Sadly though, I have no way on offer.
Ah, but while the Mayans had their own way of making the sacrifices justifiable, that is not a justification in all cultures. In the US, while the right to practice one's religion is far-reaching, human sacrifice is not allowed. Even if the people committing the sacrifice believe it will achieve some beneficial effect, the US and its citizens have deemed that this is murder, and is wrong. That there makes that moral relative to the culture. What is justifiable in one culture is not necessarily considered justifiable in another.
Often, too, the moral justification for a killing or mass killing comes after the fact, and is created by the perpetrator of the killing. The Inquisition for instance. The church killed Jews and pagans to solidify their power base, not something generally considered to be a moral justification. However, when presented to the public, they were killing evil heretics who were trying to destroy and corrupt God's Children. Granted, some of the people who were in charge may have genuinely believed this reason, but I think it is overly optimistic to believe they all did.
Also, you're argument that certain universal morals are independent of particular groups of moral-makers assumes that just because a majority (even a vast one) believes something, then it is truth. A majority of people throughout human history have believed that there is a God or gods, but that doesn't mean that their existence is an absolute certainty. An omnipotent, universal being is by its nature unknowable. In this way, a moral is kind of like a god. You can make something up for it, give it some qualities, but that doesn't necessarily give it a concrete existence. It is inevitable that someone else will have attributed different qualities to it, or decided that it doesn't exist at all.
I don't think it is even necessary to "save" the concept of morals from relativism. We have generally accepted values, so whether they actually exist in an objective reality doesn't matter. It is like money. As long as people generally believe it has value, it does for our purposes. I couldn't care less whether I exist. I feel like I do, so that's good enough for me. I have concepts that I hold to be my morals, so they are good enough for me too. Don't worry so much about their relativism. As far as society as a whole is concerned, it is irrelevant anyway.
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#61 Post by t.a.j. » 02 Apr 2009 07:10

Led Guardian wrote: Ah, but while the Mayans had their own way of making the sacrifices justifiable, that is not a justification in all cultures. In the US, while the right to practice one's religion is far-reaching, human sacrifice is not allowed. Even if the people committing the sacrifice believe it will achieve some beneficial effect, the US and its citizens have deemed that this is murder, and is wrong. That there makes that moral relative to the culture. What is justifiable in one culture is not necessarily considered justifiable in another.
A slight mix-up: killing group members is the action, sacrifice to the sun is the justification. Other groups have the death penalty, a self defense clause, abortion rights (group membership debatable), assisted suicide, widow burning,....
Often, too, the moral justification for a killing or mass killing comes after the fact, and is created by the perpetrator of the killing. The Inquisition for instance. The church killed Jews and pagans to solidify their power base, not something generally considered to be a moral justification. However, when presented to the public, they were killing evil heretics who were trying to destroy and corrupt God's Children. Granted, some of the people who were in charge may have genuinely believed this reason, but I think it is overly optimistic to believe they all did.
The moral justification of an action does not have to be its actual cause or reason. If you save a child from a burning building in order to be treated as a famous hero, you still do a morally good thing (assuming saving children from fiery death is a morally good thing). That of course doesn't mean that motivation does not play a role, if you do the right thing for the right reason we might find it especially recommendable.
Furthermore, I do indeed believe that many people in their everyday life try to act according to morals even explicitly. "You just don't do that" and so on. And another caveat: of course if someone is motivated by a moral believe does not make that moral believe true.
Also, you're argument that certain universal morals are independent of particular groups of moral-makers assumes that just because a majority (even a vast one) believes something, then it is truth.
Not at all. The very point is to transcend the category of belief. Believing something to be true, no matter how many people do so, does not make it true in any way. If anything it will tilt your judgment on whether it's true or not, but like anyone, you may be wrong.

My argument aims to show that all human beings, simply by virtue of being social animals (We live with others), moral makers (rational agents, engaged in practices of justifying their actions to one another) and cognitive predictors (we think about the future) find themselves in a situation where a rule regulating (forbidding it, requiring justifications for exceptions and creating a sense of what counts as a justification) the killing of members of one's own in-group (the people you live with, your society) will be set up. The reason is two fold: for one, as I mentioned, we need a sense of security and certainty in order to actively be engaged in our world and will, if healthy, do whatever it takes to create that sense. For another, cooperation requires living people to cooperate with no. No group can survive the continuous killing of it's own members.

A similar, but weaker argument can be made concerning the regulation of sexuality, but that argument hinges of reproduction being linked closely to sex, a connection that modern technology (contraceptives) has basically severed in the western countries.

As you see, the argument does not argue from what people believe, but from a reason why any survivable society at all, simply by what the human condition (or human nature, if you will) entails, will come to accept certain morals. Note that none of the reasons I gave for adopting those morals are moral reasons and also note that in some sense, it is a very abstract argument, it is concerned with the necessary requirements for the possibility of sociality at all, not with any sociality in particular.
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#62 Post by Led Guardian » 02 Apr 2009 21:20

t.a.j. wrote:
Led Guardian wrote: Ah, but while the Mayans had their own way of making the sacrifices justifiable, that is not a justification in all cultures. In the US, while the right to practice one's religion is far-reaching, human sacrifice is not allowed. Even if the people committing the sacrifice believe it will achieve some beneficial effect, the US and its citizens have deemed that this is murder, and is wrong. That there makes that moral relative to the culture. What is justifiable in one culture is not necessarily considered justifiable in another.
A slight mix-up: killing group members is the action, sacrifice to the sun is the justification. Other groups have the death penalty, a self defense clause, abortion rights (group membership debatable), assisted suicide, widow burning,....
I know what you are saying, I'm just pointing out that a moral justification in one culture is not necessarily accepted as a moral justification in another. In certain cultures, killing any person in any group for any reason is considered unjustifiable.

I also agree with most of the last part of your argument. I agree that humans will accept certain morals toward the end of preserving their society. My only point is that morals, having no absolute existence, are relative. Just because almost all humanity holds a certain moral does not make that moral any less relative. There will always be people who don't hold that moral to be their own. My argument isn't about the application of morals to human society, it is about the nature of morals themselves, i.e. they have no intrinsic value. For a society to survive, it does indeed need to have certain morals like you mentioned, such as members of a group not killing others of their own. But as long as someone can believe that one of these morals is not their own (which will always be possible), morals have to be considered relative, on at least the individual level.
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#63 Post by t.a.j. » 02 Apr 2009 22:47

I disagree with that last point. They could also simply be mistaken. I might believe my car is red while you believe my car is blue. That would not make the color of my car relative.
On the same token, the mere disagreements about what moral statements are true does not suffice to make all morality relative.
Believes and facts are different things and while it might be very easy to assume that there are no moral facts (a sentiment shared not only by the postmodern crowd), actually giving a reason for it that is neither political nor stems from the misinterpretation of diversity is a rare thing.

Maybe in comparison: an argument from religious diversity to the non-existence of the christian god proceeds like this:
1) There are many, incompatible religious believes.
2) Non-believers are damned to eternal suffering.
3) It's bad to condemn people to eternal suffering through no fault of their own.
4) People who have never heard about christ are non-believers through no fault of their own.
5) A good god would not do a bad thing.
6) There are people, who have never heard about christ and those people are damned to eternal suffering through no fault of their own.

Either God is not good or non-believers are not damned. Either case, no christian god. This argument works because of certain attributes of the christian god (goodness and the power to condemn), but morality does not have any similar attributes, so no similar argument is available.

Let me add that I am not doubting that many moral believes and practices vary a great deal among different groups and over time and that that makes it difficult to blindly believe in one's own group's morals and rightfully so. It is a very good opportunity for reflection and consideration, but giving up the search for the good at all seems premature to me. Add to that that at least naive relativism ("there is no truth") is incoherent and at least to my mind, refined relativism and subjectivism both leave something important to desire. Refined relativism ("we cannot be objective enough to learn the truth") seems to me to underestimate our ability to get out of our skin and adopt another's vantage point. Subjectivism threatens to leave out the social and since morals are encountered within the social, it's no wonder it finds them hard to grasp.
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#64 Post by Led Guardian » 03 Apr 2009 00:38

t.a.j. wrote:I disagree with that last point. They could also simply be mistaken. I might believe my car is red while you believe my car is blue. That would not make the color of my car relative.
On the same token, the mere disagreements about what moral statements are true does not suffice to make all morality relative.
In case this is the source of our disagreement, let me point out that the axiom that I personally believe, in regard to morals, is that the universe imparts no intrinsic value upon morality, and that morals exist solely within a consciousness capable of comprehending them.

Since morals exist only within the mind, there is no absolute, universal standard. Without this standard, these morals can only have a truly comprehensible value when compared with other moral concepts. As an analogy, how can you truly understand what it means to be happy, if you have never known any grievance? There is no reference point for comparison.

On the other hand, something like color has an intrinsic value without anything to perceive it. Whether you or I perceive a color has no effect on its value. Color is determined by which light waves are absorbed, and which are reflected, something that occurs within objective reality, so the comparison you made is inaccurate.

That's the difference between the two. One has a "real" existence while the other does not. While a disagreement about color does not equate to the relativity of colors, a disagreement over something such as morals does equate relativity of morals, since the only way to give a moral a comprehensible value is to compare it to others morals. That's basically the definition of relative.

I also disagree with your take on refined relativism, and would explain why, but it's dinner time. :)
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#65 Post by Joost » 03 Apr 2009 02:20

Led Guardian wrote:Since morals exist only within the mind, there is no absolute, universal standard.
But can't it be that the belief in certain moral propositions is just a part of our genetic code, that it's something that has grown into us through evolution. That seems quite likely to me, even: a moral proposition like "don't kill thy neighbour if he hasn't done anything bad to you" is something that has a strongly positive effect on the viability of a population (especially of social animals like humans), and it's exactly those types of moral propositions that are most universal among humans. And at the same time I don't think morality is derivable from some divine source, nor do I think that it is some intrinsic property of the universe.

In fact I think I would go as far as calling moral propositions such as the aforementioned ones "universal among humans". They are not relative, in the same sense as "humans have two arms and two legs" is not relative. There are exceptions, but they are very uncommon - more like freak accidents - and you definitely won't find any human cultures morally approving random murder, just like you won't find any populations of humans missing an arm or leg.
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#66 Post by t.a.j. » 03 Apr 2009 09:01

One more point:

Color: There is a certain property being had by objects in the world that almost all human social groups recognize as color c. They have different words/names for it, but they mean the same property.

Bad action: There is a certain kind of behavior, shown by people in the world, that almost all human social groups recognize as bad action b. The have different words/names for it, but they mean the same kind of behavior.

In both cases what is perceived is in the world, both the light reflecting behavior of objects and the murderous behavior of people are real in the sense you required. Yet that it is that color and not some other color, and that is that bad action and not some other more or less bad action is what is relative about it.
But if all human social groups recognized the color of the beach to be different from the color of the sea, thus distinguish between those color values and all human social group recognize a the killing of group members to be different from sowing seeds in the fields, thus distinguishing the moral value of the behavior types, what makes the class "murder" any more relative or even subjective than the class "blue"?
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#67 Post by No‘am » 05 Apr 2009 23:41

Why Jesus has nothing to do with sex (in case you were wondering about the name) and why Jesus will always return your pen if he borrowed it
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l238xIXfq-4

plus some scientific proof why condoms don't really protect from AIDS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaZBSZ0xbfk&NR=1
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#68 Post by Sleeping Dragon » 06 Apr 2009 07:20

No‘am wrote:Why Jesus has nothing to do with sex (in case you were wondering about the name) and why Jesus will always return your pen if he borrowed it
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l238xIXfq-4
watched the video but i lost him halfway, wasn't really listening, to be honest. :wink:
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#69 Post by End Of An Era » 06 Apr 2009 09:35

this guy is hilarious and doesn't even know it.. :)

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#70 Post by Sleeping Dragon » 06 Apr 2009 18:52

he's right about the pen thing, though. i hate it when people don't return pens.
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#71 Post by No‘am » 02 May 2009 12:25

And this is the right way to have sex:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKD6wLivhhc
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#72 Post by Joost » 02 May 2009 12:38

lol @ him saying how sperm cells enter the womb and then 'will turn into a baby' without even mentioning the existence of ova. :lol:
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

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End Of An Era
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#73 Post by End Of An Era » 03 May 2009 20:18

give this man the nobel price for outstanding performance in the field of comedy!!!

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#74 Post by Draugwen » 04 May 2009 22:15

Is that supposed to be satire or serious? ô.o
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#75 Post by the blue magian » 04 May 2009 22:32

does it realy matter we all have a good laugh aboute it and do our own thing anyway ;)

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#76 Post by End Of An Era » 05 May 2009 00:16

Draugwen wrote:Is that supposed to be satire or serious? ô.o
well, since an actor that good will never remain unnoticed, i think he is actually serious. Which makes it even funnier!! :P

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#77 Post by Joost » 05 May 2009 00:25

Actually I'm pretty sure he's not serious. Some of his friends posted comments (in Dutch – yes, he's from the Netherlands) on his profile page, basically just commenting on how funny it is, and how stupid people are for not getting that it's satire.
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

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Re: Homosexuality is against God's will (2nd try)

#78 Post by No‘am » 19 Jul 2009 18:16

Male me marem putatis? Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo

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