A former member
Post #: 8
Hello All,
From my last post you know what I believe and I know you don't believe in any god(s). I would like to ask you some more questions without putting my beliefs on you. I was wondering what you think about Morality? If there is no God who we are accountable for then why not do everything that is wrong? Granted there will be physical punishment, fines, prison etc but why not do wrong? I am only curious and was hoping you would answer my question.
Thanks!
Jordan
Jack C.
user 3043821
Group Organizer
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 60
Hi Jordan,

As I've written before, if you really want a discussion, the best way would be to meet in person. The question you ask is a basic one, and you'll find the answer in any number of books, videos, or podcasts. Philosophers from Aristotle to Epicurus to Spinoza and Hume (and many more) have been making the case for morality and ethics without supernatural beliefs for centuries. The simplest way to put it, though, is that we humans have evolved as social beings who can imagine the suffering of others. We have empathy, and can feel others' pain. The golden rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) goes back much further than Christianity or Judaism--you'll find it in the writings of Buddha and Confucius, both of whom did not believe in gods.

To put it another way, I don't like people who treat me badly, so if I treat others badly, I couldn't like myself. And if I behaved ethically only because I feared punishment, I wouldn't be truly ethical--I'd simply be serving my selfish interest of avoiding punishment without caring about the feelings of others.

There are many more points to be made, but if you'd like to explore them I suggest some basic readings in philosophy.

Jack C.
A former member
Post #: 9
Hello Jack,
Thank you for your reply. Would you be willing to meet me somewhere? I live in the Eden Prairie area. What days or times and location work best for you?
Jordan
Jack C.
user 3043821
Group Organizer
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 61
Hi Jordan,

I welcome the chance to meet and talk. I'm just north of Minneapolis, but hopefully we can find a place to meet somewhere in between our locations. Rather than go over the logistics on the message board, I'll e-mail you with some specific ideas.

Thanks,
Jack
A former member
Post #: 10
Hello Jack,
Wonderful I am looking forward to meeting with you and talking with you, thank you so much for willing to email me with specific ideas. Do you have my email address? If not it is jordanrgeffre@gmail.com.
Thanks,
Jordan
Jack C.
user 3043821
Group Organizer
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 62
Hi Jordan,

I've been having trouble retrieving my e-mail since yesterday, so if you've provided a date and I haven't replied, that's why. Perhaps you could reply to this comment with a date (I know all the other details), or e-mail me through the Meetup (click on my name or photo, go to my profile, and send and e-mail).

Thanks,

Jack
Vaughn K.
user 44018142
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 7
Hi Jordan,

I have always had a problem with the, "If God doesn't exist, everything is permitted" argument. (You may wish to read "The Brothers Karamozov" by Dostoyevski where this issue is front and center with the intellectual character Ivan in that book.)

My main problem with this argument is that it is a consequentialist argument. In other words, "I had better do X, otherwise Y." It is not a positive affirmation of a moral standard but instead an argument based on fear--esp. fear of the consequences. To put it bluntly, it is a morality of cowardice. For me, as well as for Plato, virtue is its own reward. We do good for its own sake and because it nurtures the proper ordering of our soul--yes, our "soul." We do not need to look to externalities for supporting the justification of our moral position. There IS a human nature and we behave most humanly--or "virtuously" ("virtus" or "manly" in Latin)--when we are led by reason and acknowledge fellow human beings as our equals (without having to appeal to God or the gods for justification). As Kant would put it, "we are not to treat fellow human beings as a means merely." Human beings have intrinsic value and not merely instrumental value--at least if they are being treated fairly. As Jack notes, it can also be seen as going back to the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This is a positive formulation of a moral principle, not once based on fear of punishment. If God does exist, I doubt He would want the adulation of cowardly and fearful children but instead He would prefer the acknowledgement of free willed, think-for-themselves, manly (and womanly) adults.

Vaughn
Powered by mvnForum

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy