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Thread: The Tangent Topic (Currently: Homosexuality and Religion)

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFonz View Post
    If you're going to call out a specific religion, then read up on it so you at least sound like you know what you're talking about.

    Christianity was founded by Jesus' Apostles(St Peter being the leader after Jesus' crucifixion) who were told to spread the Word, which are the teachings of Jesus. It was these teachings that got Jesus killed because He disliked how the Pharisees and Saducces practiced the Jewish faith and called them out on it on numerous occasions. They were basically the versions of modern hypocritical Christians but they were Jewish and it was about 2000 years ago.

    I don't even understand how it was blind faith when the Church first started considering how St Paul converted. He had actually killed and persecuted Christians before along with the Romans. Getting into the tough details of the God and religion debate needs more than paragraphs because it's a complicated thing to talk about. Despite what you hear, Christians actually have reasons for believing certain things and have had philosophical debates.

    Although some explanations for little traditions are different depending if you're talking to a Catholic, a Greek Orthodox, a Protestant, a Lutheran, etc. They still share the same core.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion

    reˇliˇgion [ri-lij-uhn] Show IPA
    noun
    1.
    a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
    2.
    a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
    3.
    the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
    4.
    the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
    5.
    the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
    Note the use of words such as 'faith', 'fundamental', 'ritual' and 'devotion'. Religion is faith, not reason. Now, you could have a different definition, but I would argue you'd be misusing the word.

    All that historical stuff was really irrelevant to the matter at hand. Maybe they thought they had proof, maybe not. It doesn't affect the definition of religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFonz View Post
    Back to philosophy, that's why hard scientific evidence is not an answer for the possible existence of God. Religion and Science tell two completely different things but are actually able to work together despite popular belief. Science is how, the physical. Religion is the why, the beyond physical.

    In conclusion, you can believe whatever you want. But to make either side of religion or science out to be a joke, then that's just ignorant
    Even metaphysical truths require proper argumentation. You need to use true premises and valid logic, not just randomly guess through blind faith.
    Last edited by Aegiscalibur; 6th December 2013 at 7:08 PM.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion



    Note the use of words such as 'faith', 'fundamental', 'ritual' and 'devotion'. Religion is faith, not reason. Now, you could have a different definition, but I would argue you'd be misusing the word.

    All that historical stuff was really irrelevant to the matter at hand. Maybe they thought they had proof, maybe not. It doesn't affect the definition of religion.

    Even metaphysical truths require proper argumentation. You need to use true premises and valid logic, not just randomly guess through blind faith.
    There's nothing wrong about what I said about religion. Religion needs faith, I never said it didn't. But religion isn't believing in something just because some old guy says so. Some people might believe that(even religious people), but they're misinformed.

    Also, we use faith in everyday life. We trust others and we never know what's going to happen once we wake up in the morning. I've never heard that all faith is blind. If all faith was blind, isn't the phrase blind faith redundant? Sure faith CAN be blind, but it doesn't HAVE to be

    http://m.dictionary.com/definition/f...n&site=dictwap
    What's wrong with fundamental? The same site says it just means:

    1. serving as, or being an essential part of, a foundation or basis; basic; underlying: fundamental principles; the fundamental structure.
    2. of, pertaining to, or affecting the foundation or basis: a fundamental revision.
    3. being an original or primary source: a fundamental idea.

    You can also be devoted to something and have rituals without being religious. I've never even heard of superhuman agency, but I'm assuming it means supernatural things?

    The historical stuff is relevant because why would these guys(referring to the Apostles and other founding members) just think there's this random man who doesn't actually exist yet he did, preached a bunch, and got crucified? It's not like they were in it for money or power, they were all persecuted and killed by the Romans. You also have to understand history to understand the present. The same reason why I had to take a class about the theory of animation before actually animating

    You're mixing Christianity with every religion when each one was founded for different reasons

    As for logic, I've been using some right here. Am I saying you need to believe in God just because somebody said so?
    Last edited by TheFonz; 6th December 2013 at 7:39 PM.


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  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFonz View Post
    There's nothing wrong about what I said about religion. Religion needs faith, I never said it didn't. But religion isn't believing in something just because some old guy says so. Some people might believe that(even religious people), but they're misinformed.

    Also, we use faith in everyday life. We trust others and we never know what's going to happen once we wake up in the morning. I've never heard that all faith is blind. If all faith was blind, isn't the phrase blind faith redundant? Sure faith CAN be blind, but it doesn't HAVE to be

    http://m.dictionary.com/definition/f...n&site=dictwap
    What's wrong with fundamental? The same site says it just means:

    1. serving as, or being an essential part of, a foundation or basis; basic; underlying: fundamental principles; the fundamental structure.
    2. of, pertaining to, or affecting the foundation or basis: a fundamental revision.
    3. being an original or primary source: a fundamental idea.

    You can also be devoted to something and have rituals without being religious. I've never even heard of superhuman agency, but I'm assuming it means supernatural things?

    The historical stuff is relevant because why would these guys(referring to the Apostles and other founding members) just think there's this random man who doesn't actually exist yet he did, preached a bunch, and got crucified? It's not like they were in it for money or power, they were all persecuted and killed by the Romans

    You're mixing Christianity with every religion when each one was founded for different reasons
    I am talking about the definition of religion and faith in general.

    People often misuse the word 'faith' in the context of religion. If they are doing something rationally, it is 'reason', not 'faith'. There are different words for them for a reason.

    The problem with 'faith', 'fundamental', 'ritual' and 'devotion' in this context is that their underlying assumption is dogmatism: believing in something not because there are good reasons for it but simply for the sake of believing itself. It is a closed system of thought. On the other hand, reason is about applying doubt and skepticism when necessary.

    Supernaturality is a categorical error because all things possible are by definition natural, but I edited it out from my list for not being as relevant as the other ones in this case.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFonz View Post
    As for logic, I've been using some right here. Am I saying you need to believe in God just because somebody said so?
    No, but if you believe in him because of reason and legitimate evidence, it is not faith.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    I am talking about the definition of religion and faith in general.

    People often misuse the word 'faith' in the context of religion. If they are doing something rationally, it is 'reason', not 'faith'. There are different words for them for a reason.

    The problem with 'faith', 'fundamental', 'ritual' and 'devotion' in this context is that their underlying assumption is dogmatism: believing in something not because there are good reasons for it but simply for the sake of believing itself. It is a closed system of thought. On the other hand, reason is about applying doubt and skepticism when necessary.

    Supernaturality is a categorical error because all things possible are by definition natural, but I edited it out from my list for not being as relevant as the other ones in this case.

    No, but if you believe in him because of reason and legitimate evidence, it is not faith.
    Then I agree to a certain extent, dogma is different and there are quite a lot of dogma that require blind faith. For example, the pope being infallible isn't something I believe entirely because it doesn't make sense to me. Catholics are taught we all make mistakes, even St Peter the first pope denied Jesus.

    However that dogma might actually not be as extreme as it seems but it has been twisted into something different as time passed. The debates with dogma are why there are so many sections of Christianity

    Also, since God cannot be without a doubt proven or disproven with logic or science it is not possible to believe in God entirely because of reason or evidence. At least some faith is always required, but how much faith it requires varies
    Last edited by TheFonz; 6th December 2013 at 7:56 PM.


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  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFonz View Post
    In conclusion, you can believe whatever you want. But to make either side of religion or science out to be a joke, then that's just ignorant
    Religion isn't just a joke; it's a harmful, deadly joke with no justification in any area, philosophical or otherwise. The ontological, teleological, and cosmological arguments are age old arguments, the last vestiges of the past that Christians can cling to when trying to prove their religion. There's a reason people don't point to modern prophesy or new philosophical arguments when trying to prove their religion- the facts don't line up with reality.

    EDIT: Here's a few nice things we can thank religion for:
    ~The Crusades
    ~The Inquisition
    ~The burning of Alexandria
    ~The Dark Ages
    ~Most homophobia is rooted in religion
    ~Use of contraceptives is scorned by (some) religion, and campaigns in Africa to stop their use has cased widespread STDs and horrifying death

    I'm not saying it's always bad, because occasionally we can thank some of it's followers for certain things, but for the most part we see war, disease, preference for ignorance, and general suffering at the hands of most dogmas followed today. In America, we have less of a problem in this regard, but at the same time it certainly exists.
    Last edited by The Federation; 6th December 2013 at 8:13 PM.
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  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Some people understand the Twilight universe better than reality- but that's neither here nor there. The truth is, I won't bother reciting to you facts that you'll only label opinion in the long run. Just read The Origin of Species.
    Okay, Since this debate has basically degraded into an argument, and you have sunken to the extremely low tactic of pointing fingers at JW's specifically, I will point out only a few things in this post.

    Obviously, we will not reach a concencus on the topic of evolution. But I would like to point out one last thing on that topic. Looking back at the majority of your posts, you have let outside articles basically speak for you in that regard. Now, that just shows me that you know how to do a google search and post a link, not that you actually understand it yourself, if you want me to understand it, first make it crystal clear that you understand it. Oh yeah, you talk about how species are still changing, and that we changed in the past. Now, how does that work? And no posting an article as your answer, you can reference it, but posting a link doesn't tell me that you, yourself, actually get it.

    Also, I will read Origin of The species, on 2 conditions. 1) I don't have to pay to get a copy of it. If I have to go to a bookstore and drop $10...thenI most likely wont. 2) You read something of mine, the [New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures], I think it will make an astronomical difference since the time you last read the Bible.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    1) Every prophesy you've offered I've refuted.
    2) Prophesy =/= proof for other claims. Even if it's all true, the claims themselves need to be verified. I don't see how you miss this step.
    3) Evolution is so much more than fossils. This is indoctrination at it's best. At least you didn't say it was lighting striking a mud puddle.
    4) You don't measure a theory by its possibility, you measure it by whether or not it stands up to scrutiny. By the way, it does and has since its creation.
    1) My god, are you serious? Not counting articles I have linked, I have posted 5 prophesies over the course of this debate. 2 you didn't even acknowledge, let alone reply to, 1 you scoffed at, 1 you used a wiki article with no references and false assumptions as a defense (so, it remains) and for the last one, you used logic that if you actually read the prophesy, you would see that it was moot. So try again on all accounts.
    2) It proves that god had a hand in the writing and preservation of the Bible. The only reason you say that that doesn't matter is because you don't want it to matter.
    3) As I said before, enlighten me on how it works, then we'll talk.
    4) As has the Bible.


    For your benefit, I will C+P the prophesies I have already posted, and maybe I'll add a few more.
        Spoiler:



        Spoiler:



        Spoiler:



        Spoiler:



        Spoiler:



        Spoiler:



        Spoiler:



        Spoiler:


    I'll stop there for now.
    Last edited by Steampunk; 6th December 2013 at 9:43 PM.
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  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Religion isn't just a joke; it's a harmful, deadly joke with no justification in any area, philosophical or otherwise. The ontological, teleological, and cosmological arguments are age old arguments, the last vestiges of the past that Christians can cling to when trying to prove their religion. There's a reason people don't point to modern prophesy or new philosophical arguments when trying to prove their religion- the facts don't line up with reality.

    EDIT: Here's a few nice things we can thank religion for:
    ~The Crusades
    ~The Inquisition
    ~The burning of Alexandria
    ~The Dark Ages
    ~Most homophobia is rooted in religion
    ~Use of contraceptives is scorned by (some) religion, and campaigns in Africa to stop their use has cased widespread STDs and horrifying death

    I'm not saying it's always bad, because occasionally we can thank some of it's followers for certain things, but for the most part we see war, disease, preference for ignorance, and general suffering at the hands of most dogmas followed today. In America, we have less of a problem in this regard, but at the same time it certainly exists.
    This(first paragraph)is the kind of talk that only sepparates people because of ignorance and being rude. Those were the people who caused the horrible tragedies you're talking about.

    Religion did not cause the Crusades. There is nowhere in any religion saying you're supposed to kill people if they don't believe what you do. People were immature and stupid enough to kill over this. It would have happened whether religion existed or not

    Obviously the Middle Ages, or Dark Ages were a terrible time filled with corruption. This had to do with Rome falling to the barbarians and civilization collapsing everywhere because of it. Religion did not cause the dark ages, the dark ages were made worse by corrupted religious figures.

    I'll have to research more on the burning of Alexandria, but I doubt it's not more of the same

    Most importantly, the homophobia thing has been thrown way out of proportion. Catholics do not (or aren't supposed to) believe being gay is a sin, fornicating is a sin. Gay people having sex is no worse or better of a sin in the eyes of the Church than a man and woman having pointless sex for pleasure. I'm sure all of Christianity have the same rules in this regard. This is an entire other debate concerning the Church's view on sex being sacred. Same with contraception

    Well humans being the corrupt jerks we are, we corrupt everything. There is nothing you said that other humans haven't done without religion. We've conquered, we've had war, we've discriminated. Because we're human and we're still learning. We're still going to corrupt things in the future whether religion is there or not.
    Last edited by TheFonz; 6th December 2013 at 9:10 PM.


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  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFonz View Post
    Then I agree to a certain extent, dogma is different and there are quite a lot of dogma that require blind faith. For example, the pope being infallible isn't something I believe entirely because it doesn't make sense to me. Catholics are taught we all make mistakes, even St Peter the first pope denied Jesus.

    However that dogma might actually not be as extreme as it seems but it has been twisted into something different as time passed. The debates with dogma are why there are so many sections of Christianity
    You still don't understand. I am not saying you should use some reason and some faith. You should only use reason. Faith cannot add anything helpful in determining the truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFonz View Post
    Also, since God cannot be without a doubt proven or disproven with logic or science it is not possible to believe in God entirely because of reason or evidence. At least some faith is always required, but how much faith it requires varies
    But weren't you just saying that there is quite a bit of proof of God's existence?

    Also, I am not entirely sure that he can't be disproven by logic. Omnipotence, omniscience, and absolute benevolence could be shown to be impossible properties for a genuine ontological entity.

    For the sake of argument, let's assume he can't be proven or disproven. So what? There is no absolute proof in empirical matters, only probabilities. In light of the evidence, the probability of God's existence is close to zero.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFonz View Post
    Religion did not cause the Crusades.
    Are you just going to ignore the fact that Pope Urban II rallied people to take back Jerusalem lmao.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    But weren't you just saying that there is quite a bit of proof of God's existence?
    I don't think he was saying that there was no evidence for god, I think he is trying to say that it takes evidence and faith together. And the faith to evidence ratio varies among religions and denominations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    For the sake of argument, let's assume he can't be proven or disproven. So what? There is no absolute proof in empirical matters, only probabilities. In light of the evidence, the probability of God's existence is close to zero.
    Then reply to the spoilers of my last post. If the probability of god existing is so close to zero, it shouldn't be that hard.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    Okay, Since this debate has basically degraded into an argument, and you have sunken to the extremely low tactic of pointing fingers at JW's specifically, I will point out only a few things in this post.
    You have failed again and again to meet the criteria I laid out: provide verifiable and reliable sources, don't use sources as your only argument, and don't post ridiculously long sources without labeling a section off. If it has become an argument, it's because you've failed to meet the bare minimum requirements for debate on this topic that we laid out.

    Obviously, we will not reach a concencus on the topic of evolution. But I would like to point out one last thing on that topic. Looking back at the majority of your posts, you have let outside articles basically speak for you in that regard.
    That's what outside articles are for. I have yet to post a link as my only refutation... instead using them to back myself up. If evidence "speaks for me", I'm fine with that.

    Now, how does that work? And no posting an article as your answer, you can reference it, but posting a link doesn't tell me that you, yourself, actually get it.
    I'll actually answer this, though it doesn't deserve a response, but first, two things. One, I intend to link to whatever I want to prove myself, as I always have, and two, only one of us has ever posted an article as a rebuttal.

    Modern speciation is something most people would call "micro evolution", despite the creation of new species in the process. Ring species, or a species that has adapted over a century or so and migrated across a continent or to an island, are the prime example. Genetic diversity of sexual reproduction allows animals, like salamanders, to change their genetic makeup over generations. The migration of a species like this means it suffers new selection pressures. This change in turn forces a species to adapt to new pressures and shed the now vestigial adaptations it needed for previous environments. This occurs in a "ring" pattern, hence the name of the term. At the end of the "ring", the first species of salamander who still occupies the original area and the new, altered salamander cannot interbreed. This is essentially how macroevolution works, but over a much longer period of time. A species adapts and loses the ability to breed with its original, non-adapted form over generations, which happens again and again and again over millions of years to yield the diversity we have today.

    Now, when talking about "changing in the past", you're referring to macroevolution. As Berkeley will inform you, macroevolution is simply the basic driver of evolution applied over a long period of time. Genetic drift, selection pressures, natural selection- all of these are essential agents that drove micro biotic species to the macro level they are today. Looking for evidence of common descent, you'll quickly find genetic evidence that proves how it works mechanically and fossils that prove how it has progressed, but you might not find things like vestigial organs or bone structures that share astounding similarities. All types of creatures, whether reptile, mammal, or bird, share common bone structures. Embryotic development in all creatures is the same until a point, which further credits the hypothesis that life had a common origin. At this point, the genetic evidence is almost irrefutable, with scientists capable of mapping the distinct similarities between organisms at a genetic level.

    Also, I will read Origin of The species, on 2 conditions.
    Don't bother. Given how much you understand of the theory, it would probably be a waste of time because you don't know the basics. Not trying to be provocative here, it really would be a waste.


    1) My god, are you serious? Not counting articles I have linked, I have posted 5 prophesies over the course of this debate. 2 you didn't even acknowledge, let alone reply to, 1 you scoffed at, 1 you used a wiki article with no references and false assumptions as a defense (so, it remains) and for the last one, you used logic that if you actually read the prophesy, you would see that it was moot. So try again on all accounts.
    2) It proves that god had a hand in the writing and preservation of the Bible. The only reason you say that that doesn't matter is because you don't want it to matter.
    3) As I said before, enlighten me on how it works, then we'll talk.
    4) As has the Bible.
    1. Quite serious. I'll refute them again for you, but I've already beaten them to a pulp.
    2. Like I said, even if every prophesy was true it wouldn't matter. Truth of prophesy =/= truth of anything else. I can understand why this might confuse you. (I've been informed this comes off as arrogant. Sorry.)
    3. Just go on back through the links I have provided and actually read them. I'm not a fourth grade teacher.
    4. Sure, but not because it has any intellectual basis. It stands to scrutiny because those who scrutinized were killed or disenfranchised in some major way.

    I'll get to the prophesies sometime, but I would appreciate you holding your fingers until I get to the point where I want to devote the time to re-refuting these.
    Last edited by The Federation; 6th December 2013 at 9:42 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moogles View Post
    Are you just going to ignore the fact that Pope Urban II rallied people to take back Jerusalem lmao.
    Are you just going to ignore the rest of my post which mentions corrupted religious figures? Jesus didn't say "Okay guys go kill in my name" is what I'm saying. Christianity is based on Jesus, not a corrupted pope

    Also, Aegiscalibur I'll respond sometime soon or tomorrow. Probably shouldn't let the debate section eat up time I need for finals stuff.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    I don't think he was saying that there was no evidence for god, I think he is trying to say that it takes evidence and faith together. And the faith to evidence ratio varies among religions and denominations.
    I answered that already:
    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur
    I am not saying you should use some reason and some faith. You should only use reason. Faith cannot add anything helpful in determining the truth.
    Quote Originally Posted by ansem the wise View Post
    Then reply to the spoilers of my last post. If the probability of god existing is so close to zero, it shouldn't be that hard.
    In short, the prophecies are too vague. If they were to say something like "Exact event X will take place in location Y at time Z" and then came true, they would have more legitimacy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFonz View Post
    This(first paragraph)is the kind of talk that only sepparates people because of ignorance and being rude. Those were the people who caused the horrible tragedies you're talking about.
    It's not rude. If I told you I thought purple popsicles were disgusting, you would think nothing of it. You need to separate yourself from your beliefs if you want to grow intellectually.

    Religion did not cause the Crusades. There is nowhere in any religion saying you're supposed to kill people if they don't believe what you do. People were immature and stupid enough to kill over this. It would have happened whether religion existed or not
    It was spurred by religious leaders. This was an orchestrated event to reclaim holy land. You can't have holy land without religion, sir.

    Obviously the Middle Ages, or Dark Ages were a terrible time filled with corruption. This had to do with Rome falling to the barbarians and civilization collapsing everywhere because of it. Religion did not cause the dark ages, the dark ages were made worse by corrupted religious figures.
    I'll give you that religion didn't single-handedly cause them, but it was an enormous contributing factor. That said, the West became the intellectual power it is now due to religious leadership during the Dark Ages, so it wasn't all bad.

    I'll have to research more on the burning of Alexandria, but I doubt it's not more of the same.
    Considering "more of the same" is you being blatantly incorrect, I doubt it's not more of the same as well.

    Catholics do not (or aren't supposed to) believe being gay is a sin, fornicating is a sin. Gay people having sex is no worse or better of a sin in the eyes of the Church than a man and woman having pointless sex for pleasure.
    Neither of those things hurt anyone.

    Same with contraception
    We're going to pretend the church had no part in the STD epidemic in Africa, then?

    There is nothing you said that other humans haven't done without religion.
    Religion didn't invent evil, it just exemplifies it. I won't say no bad would happen without religion, but I will say that I think the harms far outweigh the good. To paraphrase, a man can be good or bad without religion, but for a good man to do evil things takes religion. I think it was Wineberg (sp?) who said that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    In short, the prophecies are too vague. If they were to say something like "Exact event X will take place in location Y at time Z" and then came true, they would have more legitimacy.
    I've said this too, and it's my primary refutation for any prophesy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Religion isn't just a joke; it's a harmful, deadly joke with no justification in any area, philosophical or otherwise.

    ...

    I'm not saying it's always bad, because occasionally we can thank some of it's followers for certain things, but for the most part we see war, disease, preference for ignorance, and general suffering at the hands of most dogmas followed today. In America, we have less of a problem in this regard, but at the same time it certainly exists.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheFonz View Post
    This(first paragraph)is the kind of talk that only sepparates people because of ignorance and being rude. Those were the people who caused the horrible tragedies you're talking about.

    ...

    Well humans being the corrupt jerks we are, we corrupt everything. There is nothing you said that other humans haven't done without religion. We've conquered, we've had war, we've discriminated. Because we're human and we're still learning. We're still going to corrupt things in the future whether religion is there or not.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    ...

    Religion didn't invent evil, it just exemplifies it. I won't say no bad would happen without religion, but I will say that I think the harms far outweigh the good. To paraphrase, a man can be good or bad without religion, but for a good man to do evil things takes religion. I think it was Wineberg (sp?) who said that.
    Actually, I think you both make a categorical mistake. You adopt a decidedly consequentialist view on morality, but I would argue that it is false.

    Whether an action is morally right does not depend on the consequence but the motivation. An action is morally right when its motivation is based on acting according to a moral law, determined through rational thought.

    Therefore, even if a religiously motivated action happens to have good consequences, it is not a good action. This is because faith is an irrational basis for an action. Then the person carrying out the action is also irrational. Whether this makes him evil depends on how much weight we give to his free will and possible indoctrination.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    Actually, I think you both make a categorical mistake. You adopt a decidedly consequentialist view on morality, but I would argue that it is false.
    I am only partly a consequentialist. My stance is that the consequence of an action is a major factor in moral and ethical determinations, but not at the expense of other factors.

    Whether an action is morally right does not depend on the consequence but the motivation.
    That stance spurs moral subjectivism, which is more or less a lack of morality at all. The motivation behind the burning or Jews during the inquisition was to cleanse them and send them to heaven. The motivation of the religious who won't send their children to the doctor or give them medicine is (I guess) modest as well. That doesn't change the fact that they're killing people at the lack of empirical verification that it's the moral course of action.

    An action is morally right when its motivation is based on acting according to a moral law, determined through rational thought.
    Like I said above, but I do want to add that your qualifier (must be according to moral law determined through rational thought) is the consequentialist stance.

    Therefore, even if a religiously motivated action happens to have good consequences, it is not a good action. This is because faith is an irrational basis for an action. Then the person carrying out the action is also irrational. Whether this makes him evil depends on how much weight we give to his free will and possible indoctrination.
    I absolutely disagree. The basis of an action has little to say on the goodness of an action; religion, irrational as it may be, can make for a charitable organization. The basis isn't the moral imperative, it's the action, how it's carried out, and the result.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    I am only partly a consequentialist. My stance is that the consequence of an action is a major factor in moral and ethical determinations, but not at the expense of other factors.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Like I said above, but I do want to add that your qualifier (must be according to moral law determined through rational thought) is the consequentialist stance.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    I absolutely disagree. The basis of an action has little to say on the goodness of an action; religion, irrational as it may be, can make for a charitable organization. The basis isn't the moral imperative, it's the action, how it's carried out, and the result.
    Would you really say that a person does a good deed if he e.g. only seeks his own benefit but by chance happens to help others? I don't think moral value can depend on chance, but we may just have to disagree on that one.

    I agree that rational expectations of consequence may factor into moral decisions, but only indirectly through moral rules. For example, you should prima facie avoid causing the death of innocents, but even if you act this way, there is the chance that they will die due to some external factor beyond your control. However, I would not say their deaths make the action evil if it appeared unlikely in a rational analysis.

    Also, unless you employ something like crude utilitarism, you will have to employ rules that bring it closer to deontological models. For example, you can't only classify 'utility' as total material gain. It would have to incorporate concepts like the value of truth or justice.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    That stance spurs moral subjectivism, which is more or less a lack of morality at all.
    I think genuine morality is objective. The fact that someone thinks he has the correct motivation does not mean that he actually does. People might only think they are rational even if they are not.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    The motivation behind the burning or Jews during the inquisition was to cleanse them and send them to heaven. The motivation of the religious who won't send their children to the doctor or give them medicine is (I guess) modest as well. That doesn't change the fact that they're killing people at the lack of empirical verification that it's the moral course of action.
    Their motivation was irrational, so their actions were not good. Of course, the people involved may have thought their motivation was correct, but this is not actually true.

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    Religion has no relevence in any decision making unless it can be proven. There are plenty of belief systems that do not prohibit homosexuality at all. If you're a member of a religion, then why should other people adhere to your religious teachings if you provide no proof? It means nothing to them. My best friend is a lesbian atheist. Should she adhere to the rules provided by Christianity? If so then why not Islam? Why not Buddism? Why not the beliefs of Hinduism? It is in my opinion that isn't right to make people act against the very nature of who they are when there is no physical harm done to themselves or anyone else.

    The Bible would not make a good moral guide. There's a good load misogynistic Bible verses for example. So why should it be used and applied to people who don't believe it is the truth. Surely if someone is a Christian they believe that homosexuality is a sin anyway so people will get their punishment in hell. Let them go to Hell if it exists. I don't think it does but honestly, I would trust homosexuals to make their own judgment on whether they should be taking that sort of chance.
    WOOHOO

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    Would you really say that a person does a good deed if he e.g. only seeks his own benefit but by chance happens to help others? I don't think moral value can depend on chance, but we may just have to disagree on that one.
    [
    The action in that scenario is not a moral action. If a beneficial or moral outcome comes from an act that was intended to be harmful, the act wasn't moral. There is no link from this --> "illogical narratives can't be moral by character", though, and in some cases you'll find exceptions.

    For example, you should prima facie avoid causing the death of innocents, but even if you act this way, there is the chance that they will die due to some external factor beyond your control. However, I would not say their deaths make the action evil if it appeared unlikely in a rational analysis.
    To this I ask, "what makes moral rules inherently moral?" It's the consequence of the action as well as the decision to make that action that does. The bolded portion sounds suspiciously like moral utility, which is something not used in most moral choice systems. When it comes down to moral basis you have to have a value and a reason to valuate it so, and the accent you put on motivation as the primary moral determinant cannot reflect any moral basis (like human life, minimization of suffering, etc).

    Also, unless you employ something like crude utilitarism, you will have to employ rules that bring it closer to deontological models. For example, you can't only classify 'utility' as total material gain. It would have to incorporate concepts like the value of truth or justice.
    Considering I read this as I responded to it, this is eerily close to what I've said thus far. You make note of values like truth or justice, yet you specifically designate them as fluff? Values drive morality. Determining what value best serves everyone is at the forefront of any examination of ethics, not what motivates an action.

    Their motivation was irrational, so their actions were not good. Of course, the people involved may have thought their motivation was correct, but this is not actually true.
    I challenge you to prove that an irrational motivation leads to actions that are immoral. By your model, people who believe themselves rational are justified in anything they believe is rational. In any moral system that relies on chance, your motivation-based structure falls apart. For example, if given the choice to pick one of three buttons, 2 of which kill the person in front of you, 1 saves them, and not choosing any button also kills them, the only rational choice is irrationality- gamble with a person's life. You exclude certain scenarios from the possibility of morality, at no fault of either the actor or the acted upon. This marks an irrational moral system.
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    I don't have anyone specific to respond to, so I figured I would post my thoughts/two cents about homosexuality. Just to make sure I'm not misunderstood, I'm NOT going to address religion. As of a couple months ago, I don't necessarily believe in any religion, but not for any logical reason, so I don't feel qualified to state a religion-oriented opinion.

    Now, homosexuality. First, I just want to state that I am, in fact, straight. I've never been tempted to be gay, I don't find men attractive, and I don't ever plan on being gay. That being said, I think homosexuality isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, if you believe that sexual intercourse is for the sole purpose of reproduction, and that this purpose has been hardwired into our brains instinctually, I would make the argument that being gay is unnatural. Now, given, how many things do we do every day that are instinctually unnatural? Let's look at alcohol consumption and smoking cigarettes, for example. Our highly advanced brains are capable of understanding that alcohol and the carcinogens found in cigarettes are poisonous to our bodies. However, we willingly poison ourselves everyday, knowing that we're slowly killing ourselves.

    A lot of people are arguing about morality on this thread. I, for one, have an extremely simple definition of "morality." In my opinion, morality can't be defined. Plain and simple - there is no cut-and-dry, always the same, one-size-fits-all rule-of-thumb for morality. That being said, I leave morality out of the homosexuality debate, just as I leave out religion. From a purely objective view, I believe that people have the ability to be attracted to and love whomever they'd like. If a man and a man want to elope, good for them! They should do it. On the other hand, as soon as a homosexual's rights and aspirations infringe on my rights and aspirations, that's when I get defensive; I'll live my straight life how I please, without hurting anyone else or bothering them, and you do the same.

    That leads me to my next opinion: if gays want equal rights, they should have them. HOWEVER. If a gay's rights start to mess with my straight rights, that's where I draw the line. The debate of gay rights should be taken-up with the legislative branches of each individual State (talking about the USA right now; sorry, the rest of y'all in the world) and should follow the correct legal procedure to be put-into law. I'm tired of all the different groups in my nation complaining and whining and b**ching CONSTANTLY. If you want something to be changed, get in line and wait it out just like everyone before you did! This should NOT be a "let's see who can whine and complain and moan loudest" competition.


    I'm sure my opinions have a few logical holes in them - I'm only human, after all lol - so feel free to debate and ask for clarification wherever you might want it. The topic of homosexuality and homosexual legal rights fascinates me, though it doesn't necessarily pertain to me very much.
    Last edited by egroendyk; 7th December 2013 at 12:18 AM. Reason: Wrote "cross the line" and meant "draw the line".

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    The action in that scenario is not a moral action. If a beneficial or moral outcome comes from an act that was intended to be harmful, the act wasn't moral. There is no link from this --> "illogical narratives can't be moral by character", though, and in some cases you'll find exceptions.
    It might not be intended as harmful to the other party. If someone helps another simply because he will also gain himself, I don't think the action is morally good either. Then the "chance" is the fact that the situation favored a cooperative action instead of backstabbing the other party.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    To this I ask, "what makes moral rules inherently moral?" It's the consequence of the action as well as the decision to make that action that does. The bolded portion sounds suspiciously like moral utility, which is something not used in most moral choice systems. When it comes down to moral basis you have to have a value and a reason to valuate it so, and the accent you put on motivation as the primary moral determinant cannot reflect any moral basis (like human life, minimization of suffering, etc).
    You do need to make risk assessments even if you are a deontologist. The difference is just that the consequence does not have inherent value, only instrumental one. Also, only the amount of risk counts instead of the actual outcome, so luck is not an issue. And as stated, actions with good outcomes but incorrect motivation are not seen as good.

    It does come closer to a consequentialist system, though. It is not rare for consequentialists to operate with probabilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Considering I read this as I responded to it, this is eerily close to what I've said thus far. You make note of values like truth or justice, yet you specifically designate them as fluff?
    I meant they are fluff for the most common consequentialist systems, such as the most common forms of utilitarism. They typically place some kind of empirically measurable utility above things like truth and justice. Technically, you can include almost anything in the concept of utility, but it will come closer and closer to deontology if you take that path.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Values drive morality. Determining what value best serves everyone is at the forefront of any examination of ethics, not what motivates an action.
    Motivation is based on normative judgments and ultimately underlying normative values, so I don't see the difference here.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    I challenge you to prove that an irrational motivation leads to actions that are immoral. By your model, people who believe themselves rational are justified in anything they believe is rational.
    Not really. They may think their actions are justified, but they might not actually be justified.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    In any moral system that relies on chance, your motivation-based structure falls apart. For example, if given the choice to pick one of three buttons, 2 of which kill the person in front of you, 1 saves them, and not choosing any button also kills them, the only rational choice is irrationality- gamble with a person's life. You exclude certain scenarios from the possibility of morality, at no fault of either the actor or the acted upon. This marks an irrational moral system.
    The gamble is not irrational. If all buttons are equally likely, then the choice of button is arbitrary and pressing any button is equally rational.

    In fact, this is a counterexample to strict consequentialism. If only the outcome determines the morality of an action, there is a 1/3 chance that pressing a button is good and a 2/3 chance that it is evil. But the actor could not know which button to press, so he was not at fault. Sheer luck has determined the moral value of the action.

    Now, you can get around this by instead tying moral value to expectations, but the point is that the moral value of an action can only depend on things that are under the actor's control. Outside influence does not count.
    Last edited by Aegiscalibur; 7th December 2013 at 1:13 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    It might not be intended as harmful to the other party. If someone helps another simply because he will also gain himself, I don't think the action is morally good either.
    That's morally impartial. It doesn't have a good or bad quality to it, so it has no value negatively or positively. It's neutral.

    You do need to make risk assessments even if you are a deontologist.
    You missed the point entirely. I agree, but that doesn't matter because you didn't answer the question. If moral law is objective, and the moral man bases his actions on it, where does it come from and why does assessment of motivation supersede the law itself?

    Technically, you can include almost anything in the concept of utility, but it will come closer and closer to deontology if you take that path.
    Who's closer to deontology, you or I? As an admitted consequentialist, I am already quite far from it. You, however, evaluate the act itself (and its precepts), qualifying you as a deontologist.

    Motivation is based on normative judgments and ultimately underlying normative values, so I don't see the difference here.
    Lol which normative judgments? Pragmatic judgments? Consequentialist judgments? What is good is determined by what you value, and value have objectively good and bad qualities for humans, so the intrinsic lack of value in motivation-based judgment stands out.

    Not really. They may think their actions are justified, but they might not actually be justified.
    It's the motivation that matters for you, isn't it? If there isn't an objective standard then you are the arbiter of your moral system, rendering it useless.

    The gamble is not irrational. If all buttons are equally likely, then the choice of button is arbitrary and pressing any button is equally rational.
    The choice of whether or not to gamble isn't; you're right. But the actual choice is. The act of choice without evidence, to choose without reason, is by definition, irrational. It becomes more apparent if you change the probabilities around, too.


    In fact, this is a counterexample to strict consequentialism.
    How many people follow strict consequentialism? The circumstances of the choice influence the choice that has been made, but not to the extent that it's all that matters, which is what you claim. This isn't a workable moral system.

    Now, you can get around this by instead tying moral value to expectations, but the point is that the moral value of an action can only depend on things that are under the actor's control. Outside influence does not count.[/QUOTE]
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    That's morally impartial. It doesn't have a good or bad quality to it, so it has no value negatively or positively. It's neutral.
    I guess you mean that the motivation is morally impartial. We'll just have to disagree on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    The choice of whether or not to gamble isn't; you're right. But the actual choice is. The act of choice without evidence, to choose without reason, is by definition, irrational. It becomes more apparent if you change the probabilities around, too.
    You can only act based on the evidence you have. You should pick the choice with the highest chance of saving the person in light of the evidence. If evidence says that probabilities are equal, then all buttons are equally good choices, so the method of distinguishing between them is irrelevant.

    I really don't see the problem here.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Who's closer to deontology, you or I? As an admitted consequentialist, I am already quite far from it. You, however, evaluate the act itself (and its precepts), qualifying you as a deontologist.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    How many people follow strict consequentialism? The circumstances of the choice influence the choice that has been made, but not to the extent that it's all that matters, which is what you claim. This isn't a workable moral system.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    It's the motivation that matters for you, isn't it? If there isn't an objective standard then you are the arbiter of your moral system, rendering it useless.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Lol which normative judgments? Pragmatic judgments? Consequentialist judgments? What is good is determined by what you value, and value have objectively good and bad qualities for humans, so the intrinsic lack of value in motivation-based judgment stands out.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    You missed the point entirely. I agree, but that doesn't matter because you didn't answer the question. If moral law is objective, and the moral man bases his actions on it, where does it come from and why does assessment of motivation supersede the law itself?
    Admittedly, I focused on the part on utility last time. Alright, let's explain.

    Moral law in its genuine form is an abstract concept that can only be reached through rational thought. It is not dictated by nature if that's what you were thinking about. Nature contains no normative truths, only descriptive ones.

    According to Hume's Law, if you only have descriptive premises, you cannot reach a normative conclusion. No matter how much empirical data you gather, you will find no 'good' or 'evil' within it. If values have objectively good or bad qualities for humans, it can only be evaluated through normative judgments. There is no empirical test that shows whether something is 'good' or 'bad' for humans in a moral sense.

    Even if you only had utilitarianism, it would contain a normative rule: maximizing utility. I could equally ask where that comes from. There is no law of nature that implies it. Why is more utility 'good'? Similarly, why would the things included in utility be 'good'?



    As for "why does assessment of motivation supersede the law itself," I say that morality is only meaningful in the judgments of individuals as a result of their free will. If we value any goals, we must also value our ability to set those goals, which is rationality. I am saying that rationality is essentially free will itself. Rational motivation is the only thing through which morality becomes meaningful because it is the only thing that provides a genuine opportunity to make a choice. Incidentally, this is why I rather called some people irrational than evil.

    Then you will probably say that free will does not exist. To that I say that it exists in the viewpoints of individuals. We by necessity see the world as orderly because otherwise knowledge of it would be impossible, but we also by necessity see ourselves as free because we cannot see ourselves from the outside and are therefore forced to carry out decisions as if we had free will.

    Then you say that it is subjective. To that I say that we by necessity cannot escape our viewpoints, so we cannot see the world for what it truly is. Objective knowledge is only possible in individual viewpoints because knowledge itself is only possible in individual viewpoints as we form ideas or process the information we receive from the outside. Strictly speaking, we cannot know whether nature contains order, as Hume and Kant already pointed out. We impose order on our vision of nature in our minds because it is the only way we could form knowledge of it.
    Last edited by Aegiscalibur; 7th December 2013 at 3:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aegiscalibur View Post
    I guess you mean that the motivation is morally impartial. We'll just have to disagree on that.
    Ok.

    If evidence says that probabilities are equal, then all buttons are equally good choices, so the method of distinguishing between them is irrelevant.
    This is the point.

    I really don't see the problem here. You say that the logical background of the person making a moral determination is essential, right? In that case, whether the moral valuation needs it or not, you must consider whether or not it is logical to choose any one button over another. You've admitted it to be illogical. This being the case, logical backgrounds and reasons for specific moral choices are irrelevant.

    Moral law in its genuine form is an abstract concept that can only be reached through rational thought. It is not dictated by nature if that's what you were thinking about. Nature contains no normative truths, only descriptive ones.
    Descriptive truths provide basis for normative values systems. If the descriptive base is changed, so is the value system resting upon it. This is the epistemic hierarchy that morality has to contend with. If nature were different, so would morality. Objective facets of reality can change, even morality, if their fundamental basis is altered.

    According to Hume's Law, if you only have descriptive premises, you cannot reach a normative conclusion.
    The Problem of Induction doesn't take into account shifting grounds. It isn't a point or a counterpoint in this discussion, because it doesn't relate to the issue in a substantial way. "Real" input produces "real" output, but a shift in ground can change that to "'real' input produces 'real`' (I'll call this real prime) output." So while there may not be objective value delegated by nature itself, it determines how we value everything.

    Even if you only had utilitarianism, it would contain a normative rule: maximizing utility. I could equally ask where that comes from. There is no law of nature that implies it. Why is more utility 'good'? Similarly, why would the things included in utility be 'good'?
    And this is why I argued that presupposition in the case of motivation is flawed logic, because it lacks basis. How can a motivator embody an objective value, and what would that value be, and why?


    As for "why does assessment of motivation supersede the law itself," I say that morality is only meaningful in the judgments of individuals as a result of their free will.
    This doesn't really answer the question. In a system that supports motivation as the primary mover of moral choice, why is it that motivation takes precedent over what you consider moral law?

    Then you will probably say that free will does not exist.
    You brought up Hume first. I'm actually starting to get fuzzy on what you're even proposing anymore, haha.

    As for the rest, I understand all of it. I'm a big fan of Hume and actually liked Kant despite his theological tendencies. In fact, I might like Kant more for his epistemological evaluations of memory, perception, and reality. But none of it has direct bearing on your original stance. I feel like I'm missing something. If you want to make a point, relate it back to your contention and warrant it properly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    This is the point.

    I really don't see the problem here. You say that the logical background of the person making a moral determination is essential, right? In that case, whether the moral valuation needs it or not, you must consider whether or not it is logical to choose any one button over another. You've admitted it to be illogical. This being the case, logical backgrounds and reasons for specific moral choices are irrelevant.
    No, I think the choice of any button is logical and rational. A system isn't illogical or irrational simply because it is nondeterministic. "Flipping a coin" can be a completely rational action. Where's the logical inconsistency?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    Descriptive truths provide basis for normative values systems. If the descriptive base is changed, so is the value system resting upon it. This is the epistemic hierarchy that morality has to contend with. If nature were different, so would morality. Objective facets of reality can change, even morality, if their fundamental basis is altered.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    The Problem of Induction doesn't take into account shifting grounds. It isn't a point or a counterpoint in this discussion, because it doesn't relate to the issue in a substantial way. "Real" input produces "real" output, but a shift in ground can change that to "'real' input produces 'real`' (I'll call this real prime) output." So while there may not be objective value delegated by nature itself, it determines how we value everything.
    I disagree on this. Moral laws cannot depend on contingent factors like laws of nature. Something is not 'good' or 'evil' simply because it is based on nature. However, the application of morality is specific situations may depend on contingent factors.

    It may be that people often try to form normative conclusions based on descriptive premises, but that is simply flawed reasoning. Normative premises are necessary, and they can only be placed through reason.

    Now, it could be true that people actually don't have free will to set normative premises without external influence, but we cannot think that way when making decisions out of individual viewpoints.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    And this is why I argued that presupposition in the case of motivation is flawed logic, because it lacks basis. How can a motivator embody an objective value, and what would that value be, and why?
    Rationality precedes knowledge because you cannot produce knowledge without rationality. Rationality is valuable in an objective sense because no other value would be comprehensible without it.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    This doesn't really answer the question. In a system that supports motivation as the primary mover of moral choice, why is it that motivation takes precedent over what you consider moral law?
    Quote Originally Posted by The Federation View Post
    You brought up Hume first. I'm actually starting to get fuzzy on what you're even proposing anymore, haha.

    As for the rest, I understand all of it. I'm a big fan of Hume and actually liked Kant despite his theological tendencies. In fact, I might like Kant more for his epistemological evaluations of memory, perception, and reality. But none of it has direct bearing on your original stance. I feel like I'm missing something. If you want to make a point, relate it back to your contention and warrant it properly.
    The Kantian framework is very much relevant here. You ask why motivation takes precedence over the moral law, and my answer is that only rational thought enables you to understand the moral law in the first place. You cannot genuinely act according to a moral law without rational understanding of it, i.e. rational motivation.

    The moral value of an action cannot depend on contingent factors outside the control of the actor. This means that if you lack rational understanding of the moral law and your external actions simply happen to coincide with what the law suggests, your external actions only appear morally good by chance.

    For example, if someone helps others because he is motivated by personal benefit, he is only helping others because the circumstances favor that action. In another situation, he would harm them instead. Therefore, his help is not a morally good action because the outcome is only enabled by external circumstances.

    Similarly, if someone helps others because he has passively absorbed the notion that you should help others or helping others simply gives him a good feeling, that also is not valid motivation for morally good actions because it is by external circumstances that he has happened to learn these values or possess such a personality. There is no thought put into these actions. He is only acting as a mindless automaton.

    To answer your question about values, it depends on the definition of 'value'. Passively absorbed values are not a valid motivation for morally good actions, but values determined through rational analysis are. Rationality is what makes life meaningful because it enables knowledge and provides us with the ability to choose our actions. If you were to place something else as the highest principle in life, that principle could only be genuinely understood through reason in the first place.

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