Why I believe in God.

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Hsoj, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. LJoll

    LJoll Valued Member

    You have said that we "ought" to act in a way that benefits us. You have yet to offer a satisfactory logical reason why this is so. It is clearly not self evident that it is right or that it is implicit in the word "ought", as plently of people believe that it is not true.

    You repeatedly have stated that we have a nature, and that it is morally correct to act in accordance with that nature. That is also not self evident, and does not follow a logical progression.
  2. Strafio

    Strafio Trying again...

    Let's distinguish between two types of ought.

    The first 'ought' is the 'ought' of practical reason.
    If someone wants a boiled egg then they ought to take an egg and boil it.
    If someone is a human being with human needs of a human nature then they ought to abide by a system of morality.
    The second 'ought' is the 'moral ought'.
    Given that they wish to abide by a system of morality then there is a right and wrong way of going about this. I think that these are the 'oughts' that you have been referring to in your 'counter examples'.

    No. If you go back a page or two I corrected this misunderstanding with large lettering. I have said that our human nature leaves us with natural aims and it is a matter of practical rationality that we ought to achieve them. This comes before we talk of morality. We justify our moral practice with practical rationality - not the other way around. What is morally correct is what is good from the social point of view and the reason why we should do what is morally correct is because of our practical rationality.
  3. WatchfulAbyss

    WatchfulAbyss Active Member

    Good deal, I just had to check and see what the general idea of the statements were....
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
  4. LJoll

    LJoll Valued Member

    I don't see why you are distinguishing between the two ideas of "ought". If you "ought" to do somethingm you should do it. Your first example is applied in a system when a certain outcome is already assumed desireable. "In order to achieve x, one ought to do y". I am arguing that there is no logical way of discriminate between to "x"s, so we end up doing things due to subjective desires, not an objective truth.

    We then when on to talk about what was in fact morally correct. I disagreed that it was, "what helps sustain a stable society".
  5. Strafio

    Strafio Trying again...

    It's because you keep confusing them.

    Yes. And it applies to both 'oughts'.
    The 'ought' of practical rationality is a matter of achieving your aims.
    The 'ought' of morality is about abiding by a moral code.
    And because our human nature demands a moral code, we 'rationally ought' to do what we 'morally ought' to do.

    Once again you make the groundless assumption that all our desires are subjective. Do you deny that there are objective facts about human nature or are all our actions and desires absolutely random and unpredictable? If not then there are x's that the human race share in common and there are objective 'rational oughts' that all humans should do.
    An obvious one is eat.

    Your reasons for disagreement haven't done the job.
    You claimed that it contradicted the everyday moral practice of people but that's not true. You pointed out that some people disagree with me but all that means is that some people disagree with me. Unless you present their good reasons for disagreement then it means nothing. You showed an example, the case of animal rights that you thought was at odds with this conception of morality but that hasn't held.
  6. Timmy Boy

    Timmy Boy Man on a Mission

    To the OP,

    I'm sorry if this point has already been raised but I came into this thread late so I couldn't be bothered to wade through 30-odd pages looking.

    If you accept this "intelligent design" argument, how do you know that the designer was God? Why not some other deities from another religion?
  7. dogdragon

    dogdragon New Member

    If god as a perfect being made us in it's image would we not thus all be the face of god? :D Do you think it frustrates god that every time an apperence is made the god image must match the concept of the observer and thus every one fights over what the "true" god looks like? :eek:
  8. LJoll

    LJoll Valued Member

    I agree that what we generally consider to be moral is beneficial to us. I don't agree that they are actually morally wrong or right though. As such, we don't need to make a distinction between moral values, if we can act in the same way through acknowledging a personal (or other) benefit in doing so. You don't seem to be acknowledging moral values as anything other than an arbitrary set of values that are not right and wrong in itself. In this sense you do reject distinctions in moral values, in as much that things are not morally right or wrong. Instead you seem to think that some things happen to be moral and the reason we should act on them is because they help us, not that they are moral.

    I did not disagree with this:
    You seem to reject moral value as well. The fact that you have to justify morality by it's help to us and not the other way round seems to clearly show that you don't have moral values.
  9. Strafio

    Strafio Trying again...

    I don't see how that is a rejection of morality.
    Philosophers from Socrates and Aristotle, through Kant to modern contempories have often believed morality is a form of, or atleast consequence of, rationality.
    "See our moral practice, it is simply the actions of a rational person."
    Christians recognise the value in morality. They might be wrong in why morality is valuable but their recognition of this value is all that is required for their practice. As a result, our society is better for it. Nihilists don't see the value of morality and therefore are a pain in the ass to live with because they'll do things with seriously bad consequences for everyone. (If they really are nihilist... I'm not sure that many people really are)

    So that's why a society with Christian morality, flawed as it might be, will be preferable to a society with no morality, which is the original claim that Blind and myself were holding against you and Tekken God... if I remember right. :)

    Not quite...
    The moral actions on their own don't necessarily help us directly.
    Moral practice as a whole helps us. It is moral practice as a whole that is justified by practical reason. Individual actions might not be.
  10. LJoll

    LJoll Valued Member

    I think there is a difference between valuing morality and having moral values. If you value "morality", you can say you'd like it if people acted in a certain way. But to have moral values, I think, assumes that things are right and wrong in themselves.
  11. WatchfulAbyss

    WatchfulAbyss Active Member

    I have moral values, and I don't assume they are right and or wrong in and of themselves. I believe it is right and or wrong to act a certain way given the reality at hand.
  12. LJoll

    LJoll Valued Member

    Do you think things are moraly right and wrong, or that it's right or wrong to act morally?
  13. WatchfulAbyss

    WatchfulAbyss Active Member

    To be honest, I don't see the difference. To me, and from my point of view, both are true or false depending on what the phrasing is ment to convey.

    I think things are moraly right or wrong for reasons that have been stated.

    I also feel that it is right to act moraly. Again, for reasons that have been stated.
  14. Strafio

    Strafio Trying again...

    Um... I've not really heard it used that way before.
    When people say that have moral values, to me that says that their values conform to morality and that they value morality.
    When you value morality, it's more than deciding to follow some rules.
    You decide to 'aquire a taste' for certain moral values.
    I.e. you aim to come to value kindness for the thing in itself, for while it is good to be kind out of following moral rules, it is better than you condition your mind so that the kindness comes naturally.

    Either way, I think we're entering murky waters by discussing what others do and don't believe about morality. What I wanted to establish was that a proper moral practice is rationally justified, even if the practitioner doesn't fully understand the justification. (i.e. they are following it because it seems to 'work')
    How other people see morality is interesting from an anthropological point of view, though, so I might carry on the conversation for this. So far we have talked about what makes moral facts true. How people come to know or how they actually think of these facts in everyday life is a different matter.
  15. LJoll

    LJoll Valued Member

    I think that to hold a moral value means that the action is question is justified by being moral. To act in the way that you propose requires no distinction between moral values. It is just as easy to bypass them as naieve distractions.
  16. Strafio

    Strafio Trying again...

    Perhaps if we distinguish between the psychology of morality and the rational justification of morality. The upcoming quote shows the psychological stages of a person's moral devellopment. With each step they become more 'selfless', but this is a psychological selflessness. It doesn't contradict a rational selfishness.

    Psychological selfishness is thinking about yourself and having your own desires and needs at the forefront of your mind.
    Rational selfishness is carrying out the lifestyle that will satisfy your most important needs and desires, bringing you contentment and happiness.
    Psychological selfishness, the immoral kind of selfishness, this turns out to be counter productive to your rational selfishness and is therefore irrational.

    I'll quote an essay from a philosopher/psychologist from another forum I visit. What he says about morality is likely to be very familiar.

    This essay talked about the ideal psychological perspective on morality - psychological selflessness. When we act in accordance to morality we should not have our own desires and needs at the forefront of our mind. We justify this with a rational selfishness because develloping this psychological selflessness is necessary for our greater good in the long run. So when someone accuses you of being selfish, they are talking about psychological selfishness.

    Does that clear up some of your complaints?
  17. LJoll

    LJoll Valued Member

    His idea of morality seems to be a method of tricking yourself into doing what's best for you. You make judgments on the basis and justification of moral values, that eventually help you in a practical way entirely separate from the justification.

    As I see it, after realising that these are what your morals are, there is no need to make distinctions between moral values, as you can understand what helps you as a matter of cause and effect rather than "right" or "wrong".
  18. Strafio

    Strafio Trying again...

    No trickery. You are following your rational decision clearly without deception. It is just recognising what psychological state of mind would serve your interests best. While you were being psychologically selfless, you would still recognise that this was in your best interests and making you happy, you just wouldn't dwell on the idea because your practice of following your interests demanded your attention elsewhere.

    When you are going something you enjoy, do you feel the need to introspect and remind yourself "right... this is what I need to do to be happy"?

    The distinction is still valid for a several reasons.
    Often it's not obvious what's in your best interests or why something is bad for you. If someone tells you that it's morally wrong, you get a clear picture of why it is against your interest.
    What's more, morality isn't purely about what was in your interests (like I might suggest that you get more sleep so you were more active the next day).
    If you refused to take my advice on a lack of sleep then I'd probably shrug as it's purely about you. If you were to do something morally wrong then it's more than your own interests at stake. The "it's wrong" compared to "you probably don't want to do that" imply that not only does it entail bad consequences for you, it also entails bad consequences for other people who aren't going to tolerate it.
  19. LJoll

    LJoll Valued Member

    I was thinking more of the last stages where an abstract idea of morality, which doesn't necessarily need to be connected to your needs, is followed.

    The point is that you do not decide that they are wrong by using moral values. It is possible for something to be thought of as morally right and yet still not help you. Once we realise that something being moral is not a good reason to do it, we may as well just abandon morality altogether. We do not need to worry about whether things are morally right or wrong, as we can just jump straight to working out whether they help us. Morality is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Thus a distinction in moral values is really arbitrary as the only thing that is really important is the personal gain. Where morality diverges from where it helps us, it is to be abandoned. At best it's an approximation as to what is best for society and in turn ourselves because it makes everything easier. If you are prepared to go and rationally justify it, you might as well do away with morality altogether.

    Personal attack :ban:
    Last edited: May 12, 2007
  20. Strafio

    Strafio Trying again...

    Ah, I see...
    Yeah, I said that morality is holistic.
    It only works if you back it as a whole.
    So single, moral actions might not be in your interest, but it's better to back morality as a whole than not back morality as a whole.

    It's still not trickery.
    (A more detailed explanation is given further down)

    You do. You just acknowledge why these moral values have non-moral value.

    It is though. Morality is holistic.
    It doesn't work if you just treat individual
    Think of it like this:
    1) To accept morality, in general, you need to adopt certain values.
    It is possible to act morally without adopting the values (e.g. you could just follow the rules) but it's a lot more difficult and it makes more sense to adopt the values.
    2) Having accepted the values, there are some issues that now affect you that wouldn't have had you not adopted the values. So you could say adopting these values had a side effect.
    3) But it's still better to adopt these values than to reject them, so such a side effect isn't a problem.

    So if we hadn't adopted moral values then there would be some things we wouldn't rationally justify - i.e. helps us, but as we adopt moral values our original interests are altered to be more altruistic. And it's rational because it's more in our interests (based on our needs) to go through with this than not.

    You just wanted to use that emoticon, didn't you! :p

Share This Page