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About Bonky

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  1. Objective morality

    If by morality you mean the ethical and fair treatment of humans by other humans....I don't know how you ask the question with a straight face. If by morality you mean "the treatment of human beings as dictated by God" then no wonder this may not make sense to you. Flourishing for ALL? Or just the slave owners? The context is pretty important. In a world where people don't care about the treatment of other people that's probably what it would look like. Is that the world we live in? Is that the world we want to live in? That's where morality takes off is it not? I can turn around and ask similar questions. Why is obeying God good? Why does it matter if someone becomes saved or not? Why does it matter what God wants?
  2. Objective morality

    You mean take the term "flourishing" and mess with it so that it's not the same thing anymore? I'll bet you $1000 you know exactly the kind of things I'm thinking about when it comes to human flourishing. Would you consider working all the time and very little off time as a good "quality of life"? Well let's look at some synonyms; grow, thrive, prosper, bloom. Some antonyms; die, wither, decline. Now I know we might bicker about some of the fine details, but it's not a mystery here what I'm referring to. Because of the stark propensity for abuse of humans which violates the whole "prosperity" thing. Other than that it's great.
  3. Objective morality

    Well except that you need time to think and space for a brain that does the thinking ;). As I view the secular morality that I see established in many Countries I'm not seeing "random choice" as a component. I think you are using the term "arbitrary" to mean "of human origin" or something like that. You also have a bit of a paradox on your hands. On one hand you point to how frail and corrupt the human mind [and therefore couldn't begin to handle morality] is but then use that same human mind to determine that a particular religion [out of hundreds/thousands] that sprang out of ancient Palestine accurately describes the being who is the ultimate objective authority for humans. I'm not sure how that works. Fair question. This is a complex topic but I think the reason why humans tend to care is because we're social creatures. We can find many occurrences in raw nature where social animals look out for each other and even appear to show empathy. It doesn't strike me as odd at all that a social creature who also has a very powerful nervous system/brain is capable of establishing a fairly complex moral code. If we were sharks? Yes I'd say morality is out the window and it's time to look for lunch. I'll enjoy sinking my team into the flesh of whatever and feeling full. I agree, and it seems that no matter what your moral views are....you are in the same boat as me. There's no one "Christian" way on how to treat animals. I don't even think there's one "Christian" way on how to treat humans. It might be "decent" behavior back then, but I don't think these actions would be very popular these days. That's why we have ongoing debates about how we should respond to certain actions. Places like America have some measures in place to make sure no rogue totalitarian gets into power.
  4. Objective morality

    Hi there! Glad to chat with you again. I get the points you are raising, we live in a world where people have all kinds of ideas about how it should run or how things should work. We have a marketplace of ideas which is a good thing. I would think the best way to sift though these ideas is to talk about them, critique them, debate etc and see what logic and reason might have to say about the issues. We also have the past few thousands years of written human experience at our disposal. I don't think this is a very fair assessment. I don't feel that I've been vague or flimsy about the basis of a secular morality. Nothing about my view of secular morality is just arbitrary or based on a whim. I don't think the slavery topic is a red herring at all. The only defense I really got was that the only slavery that's really bad is the one that America engaged in a couple hundred years ago. It's like having two wife beaters, one beats the wife so bad she has broken bones or ends up bleeding etc. The other doesn't go that far but he does punch or push here and there. Neither one is acceptable! It worries me that I feel like I'm the only one here who gets that distinction. Slavery is a BAD idea and that's why we abolished it in America. Think about it, we allow people to drink liquor and drive cars...but not own slaves. Can you show where I've been supporting this view? What does "ultimate accountability" mean? We can all do this, we can all trivialize a view and break it down to bare components and say "ok so what's so great about this". I also see that you have no solution for how I should know that the Christian theistic moral compass is superior to that of an Islamist. I still feel that's not been addressed yet. I get attempts, but nothing of substance...."Just trust us, the Christians have the right morality".
  5. Objective morality

    I haven't had a lot of time the past couple of weeks as I've been on call for my work and my hours have been a bit crazy. I don't have a lot of time for a lengthy response but I wanted to respond nonetheless. If your position is that there can be other things that are timeless and spaceless that aren't God then you wouldn't be guilty of special pleading. I'm not sure why you are using the word "arbitrary". Our morality would be arbitrary if we picked our moral actions or guidance from a hat with a bunch of actions written on pieces of paper. Subjectivity doesn't equate to arbitrary. It seems to me your only real complaint with secular or godless morality is that it's not approved of by God. In these statements you essentially failed my test, your principle here "might makes right" also can extend to violent terrorists who believe they serving the one true God. Your Christian version of morality might disapprove of murder but they aren't Christians and their God has a different take on how to deal with people. So from your perspective I can see you claiming that they follow the wrong God, but not that they're behaving immorally. I guess it comes down to when we talk about "morality" what are we addressing? We're addressing how humans should treat each other [I'm simplifying]. I think we can advocate and stand by a view of morality that values human life, human freedom, security, safety etc. by using logic and reason alone. Look at the places where they're blowing people up and beheading people, sound like a place you want to live? Evidently God decided in some cases that when the Israelites went to war they were to kill everything; man, woman and child. Well not quite true, the young women were kept alive as part of the "plunder of war". I agree more with your take on this issue. And we can use our intellect to examine the claims of the Nazi regime. What you'll find is that they're fears or claims of the Jews were UNFOUNDED. They were/are not inferior, they were not the cause of Germany's problems, the Nazi's were hosting Youth Camps to brianwash kids etc. We can see a complete lack of logic in their actions. I still see a similar connection to other facets of life. I work for a company of about 500,000 people. There is no way you can have a company that size [that continues to grow and achieve] and not invest serious time/effort/money into cultivating a culture that is inclusive, respectful of others, encourages teamwork etc etc. We go to classes yearly to continue to nurture these company policies and open channels of communication with our peers etc. You admit that intelligence can help us realize these different values in order to grow and foster a "good working environment" and a successful company etc. I don't see why when talking about morality we can't include intelligent thought.
  6. Objective morality

    So you're talking about what ultimately we can credit for our existence. Either way, we're here....we came from something. It's not like our human behaviors and instincts came from a vacuum. That's a convenient quality to have I guess. Not sure how a spaceless/timeless entity exists, sounds like special pleading almost. The morality I'm advocating doesn't deal with arbitrary values either. If we have no hope of knowing "good" or "bad" then how did you come to realize that God's nature is "good"? I mean outside of just saying "ok" and agreeing with the claim. The principle you're selling here also would mean you can't criticize Islamists who blow people up and cut off their heads. Until there's a way to determine who's God concept is accurate, you kind of have to accept them all as being potentially valid. I've raised this point a few times and nobody seems to take this issue on. Perhaps the way that you view or define morality this might make sense or be the case for you but I don't follow. By your own principle "humans aren't the focus" you have essentially completely validated the actions of violent Muslim extremists. If humans ARE the focus, we can make judgments on the actions of violent Muslims and condemn them. You say morality hasn't evolved, would you be ok with your Country going to war and the soldiers killing civilians on purpose? I was responding to your idea that if we don't have some eternal source for X then X is useless. What else do we need divine guidance on? What about how we manage our roadways using traffic lights? How do we know traffic lights are the right approach? How are we to manage our large corporations w/o divine insight, who do we tell if a company is doing good or not? If you throw out any kind of metric, sure you can look at the different scenarios and say "There's no way to tell which one is good or bad". We have metrics though. We can see the consequence of our actions and we have control over our actions [generalizing]. What I'd like to see from your standpoint is to advocate your system of morality w/o also, in principle, supporting violent terrorists.
  7. Objective morality

    I appreciate where you are coming from. I don't view things the same way I did just a couple/few years ago. I feel that I'm pretty good about changing my view or mind on something if I evaluate something else and discover that it's superior. I have no unmovable bent against theistic claims. My mind gets blown every time I consider a Universe with a God and a Universe w/o one. I didn't take offense to your comment it was more the idea that I got the feeling that you were accusing me of not seriously considering another viewpoint. I've changed my views politically and philosophically over the years. I'm not trying to waste anyone's time by asking questions I have already set my mind on, I'm really asking honest questions to try to understand better.
  8. Objective morality

    That's an awful slippery slope. I mean what you just said here could essentially be "We figure it out as we go" masked through "we follow a behavioral paradigm". You also state on one hand the Bible doesn't address every sin yet you're supposed to define morality based on sins. Again I'm face with how ultimately useful this "standard" is. What if two christians disagree over whether a parent is being too harsh and possibly abusing their kid? The Bible isn't going to sort that out for you so at some point human judgment comes into play. That's fine, but this doesn't change my point. If this is ok then it can also be ok to behead someone at the behest of a God. You are providing justification for why something that might normally be viewed as "barbaric" today, was totally acceptable in the past. I hear Christians routinely criticizing Islamists and their violent deeds but they're only getting their orders from the source of their "objective standard".
  9. Objective morality

    How does the 10 commandments tell us that child abuse is wrong? Or what classify's as child abuse? I know, in the theistic view morality is all about what a "God" wants. That's why it can be ok to throw stones at someone's skull because they worked on the wrong day.
  10. Objective morality

    I don't know what you mean by "If we came from nothing...". I don't view us as coming from "nothing". Our feelings of right and wrong don't come from "nothing". I'm can't accept your starting premises so it's hard for me to answer these questions. I think I understand perhaps what you're trying to say so I'll attempt an answer based on that. I could really pose the question right back, we can ultimately trivialize anything I would think and say "why does it matter?". The Bible states that God wants his created humans to serve and worship him so that he can spend eternity in heaven with them. Some people make it and some don't, in either case ... what does it matter? In my view of morality humans are the focus, in your view it seems that humans are NOT the focus. We don't HAVE to strive for a moral framework but we have the choice to. You relegate our morality as just a "human construct" so why does it matter? Because it involves humans, that's why it matters to US. What is the eternal significance of going out for a round of golf with your father on fathers day? None whatsoever so why do it right? Why take a walk in the park with your Mother on mothers day? What eternal good does that do? So why do it? From that perspective we can question anything we do and say what does it matter.

    If you get annoyed at atheists suggesting that people need religion because they are weak and need a crutch, then I would encourage you not to claim that people support evolution in order to "avoid being accountable to an all-knowing God". It's just as silly.
  12. Objective morality

    My statement was made a bit "tongue in cheek". The comment seemed to suggest that I, a priori have some "contempt" for an objective standard. I don't feel that I've done anything other than ask fair questions. So my spin on the comment was to suggest perhaps that's something somebody would say when they don't want their critics to question their claim(s). Having said that I don't recall my question really being answered. So far I've essentially heard that there's an objective standard that we should be measured against but no idea where the standard came from or what it's based on. My view is that if morality entails how humans should treat each other to maximize human flourishing and freedom, then we have solid tangible avenues to take to try to strive for that goal. If you're ultimately asking, "Why should we strive for happiness, freedom and security?" to me that's a senseless question I guess.
  13. Objective morality

    Sounds like a good phrase to give someone when they're asking questions that make you nervous
  14. Objective morality

    Even if that's true then you are merely responding to arguments I made in the past, what about the argument I'm making now? I understand that but I don't see how this is troublesome for my view. They believe the highest authority in existence is asking them to take out "infidels". They are only doing what their "God" is telling them. So if something is developed and worked on over time it's inherently useless? If the Bible is so useful in guiding humanity then why did it take us so long to establish societies grounded in the values we hold to today [in free developed Nations]? I disagree.
  15. Objective morality

    Negative, I never suggested morality comes from consensus. I'm showcasing the tangible logical sense in promoting morality that focuses on human freedom and flourishing. Islamists are right behind you on that. I'll side with secular morality that is founded on values such as human freedom, safety and empathy [the things we think of when we talk about 'morality'] then some mysterious God claim that's completely unsubstantiated.