Morality Posts – an interesting exchange

I had a very interesting exchange with a theist on Nate’s Finding Truth blog over here.  It started from unkleE’s comment and then went back and forth from there.  It was a little off the main topic of Nate’s post but it was related somewhat.  I’m guessing it’s a low probability that any reader will be interested enough to click the link and read through our comments, but if you want to understand some of my views on morality a little more and would like to comment here or offer counter-arguments please do.  I kept it focussed on one particular item, but it did offer some interesting side discussions along the way.  At any rate this is at least a bookmark for myself in case I want to go back at a later time to understand what my views were at this point in my life.

An interesting thing to note in thinking a little more about this afterward is that if I were to return to a moral nihilistic view (which I had held for about 16 years of my life after I decided I didn’t have enough reasons to claim to be a theist) it would be because I felt that there was not enough evidence to support objective morality, not because I felt that somehow moral truths cannot exist without gods.  And if I decided that there was not enough evidence to support believing in objective morality, then that just takes me another step away from concluding that there are invisible conscious entities that exist.  This relates to what I have written in my 4th paragraph of this post.  I haven’t taken a poll or anything but I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of atheists feel the same way.  I mentioned most of this (but not all) in the exchange as well.

There are a lot of other interesting things that this discussion got me thinking about.  If I can get some time away from work I hope to blog about those ideas.  I’ve taken on a new role at work and it’s been kicking my butt – and unfortunately it will get worst before it gets better.  This is the reason why my blog has been on hold for a little while.  I do hope to come back to this blog however, but I’m not sure when that will be.

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9 thoughts on “Morality Posts – an interesting exchange

  1. Thanks for sharing the link to my blog. I really enjoyed your discussion with unkleE, even though I didn’t chime in. Just four years ago, I was still a firm, Bible-believing Christian, so while I now know that I have many good reasons to be moral that don’t stem from the existence of God, I haven’t thought through all the ins and outs of morality the way that you and unkleE have. So I definitely found the discussion enlightening, and I look forward to learning more as time goes on. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the comment Nate! Funny thing is that I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of this topic.

  3. I think morality boils down to what actions benefit other people the most efficiently. In this sense, I understand morality to be acting to the benefit of others, even when you don’t feel like it, or particularly want to.

    I think Christianity also supports this outlook. I believe that possibly one of the main reasons people believe in Jesus is because He is considered to have Sacrificed Himself for others.

    I sometimes think, would people believe and follow Jesus if He had died and rose from the dead, but was not a sacrifice for their sins?

    In other words, if Jesus was still God, but heaven was not a guarantee, would people still believe?

  4. I know this is in no way groundbreaking, but if Heaven was not an aspect in the faith, how many people would still believe? It seems to me that an eternal personal reward is final hope for many people. Does this cause people to cancel out or ignore anything that might compromise this hope?

  5. And by cancelling out I mean rationalising away. But I suppose we all do this, no matter if we are theists or atheists. When our cherished beliefs are challenged, we look for ways to defend them. Because it’s the window in which we view our worlds. We are not going to give up our perspectives that easy. I don’t think anyone likes their worlds being invaded.

  6. I wonder about these things as well Ryan. Some religions don’t have eternal rewards and they still have many adherents, but I guess they aren’t the majority religions, so maybe there is something to that. Eternal rewards is surely at least a good marketing scheme. 😉 I agree 100% that no matter what peoples world views are we all are subject to confirmation bias. The important part is to recognize it and try your best to overcome those. There are some techniques to help do that, but in the end it really is an extremely hard thing to overcome for all of us. Poetry is written about this kind of stuff. 🙂

  7. Wow, I come over here and notice at least half a dozen articles on morality. This is both good and bad. It is good b/c it is important to think about and discuss this very important topic. It is bad b/c I’ve been working off-and-on for about 3mon on an article regarding morality and I’ve been beaten to it decisively. True, this isn’t a contest, but sometimes one can say “why bother” with all this other content out there? lol…

    Right now I’m just torn as to whether to read these articles now and so perhaps inform my further writing, or whether to refrain lest I lose focus or what not. OH well…I’ll enjoy exploring your site, Howie!

  8. Hey eSell. I wouldn’t worry too much about that. There are so many blogs and websites out there with information about pretty much anything we’re writing about, so these things have been covered so many times over even before you or I thought to write about them! 🙂 I’d still encourage you to not let that slow you down. Writing these pages were good even for me just to clear my own head. If anyone learns anything from it that’s just icing on the cake. Tell you what – I’ll read your articles when your done. 🙂

  9. Thanks–makes sense!

    I’m fairly new to blogging and so still getting some things sorted out. For one thing, there is no END to interesting blogs to look through and no way to adequately give each the time they deserve…but that said, I am looking forward to reading at least your series of morality posts. 🙂

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