Moral Nihilism

182 posts / 0 new
Last post
Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Ratty

@ Ratty

Hot Pocket

Sounds like one of this practical jokes they have started serving at breakfast...had one a few years ago after sticking in the toaster at the motel we had been booked in...burnt the fuck out of my mouth and filled my body with strange and unpleasant chemicals for the day...do people actually go to work after ingesting that shit?

Now they have designed the same nasty chemical laden shite into bacon flavored and "cheese" (flavoured dairy fat) and marketed it as a dinner or lunch fucking substitute? Fuck me dead...you guys are so far gone.......

But hell, what do I expect from a Rat and an aluminium human substitute...

rat spit's picture
Well fuck, Old Man. Would you

Well fuck, Old Man. Would you rather like some “head cheese” from my “private stock” in my “deep freezer”?

rat spit's picture
@Tin Man

@Tin Man

Can’t argue with that. Just do me one favour. Get it on video? I’d like to watch it if and when I come out of the coma.

Sheldon's picture
Morality is the ability to

Morality is the ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong behaviours. All animals that have evolved to live in societal groups are capable of this. Humans have also evolved intellects that along with vocal chords, and the ability to write, have enabled us to communicate complex reasoning and ideas. Thus our morality has and is evolving as we dedicate more time and energy into considering why we believe some behaviours wrong or immoral.

The idea that a behaviour pleases or displeases a completely unevidenced deity is a complete waste of time, as it produces no tangible benefit to humans living in post industrialised democracies in the 21st century.

Rather our morality must address general well being of all humans, and to a lesser extent the well being of all conscious animals. Thus my morality is driven by the desire not to cause unnecessary suffering, and to eliminate suffering wherever possible.

Trying to please fictional deities quite obviously doesn't help achieve this goal at all...it often has been shown to have the opposite effect, based as it is on the "moral" perception of bigoted and misogynistic bronze age patriarchal Bedouin tribes. Or cobbled together centuries later from contradictory ideas.

rat spit's picture
@Sheldon

@Sheldon

“Morality” is a completely provisional concept. “Ethics” comes closer to day-to-day choices over the “utility” of an action (I.e. will it benefit me/my kith and kin - or won’t it). Right and wrong; good and bad - these are preposterous illusions of speech.

Regarding the Supreme Beings ethics - they are incontestable. Not absolute or even “right” - simply, one cannot argue with Him when he’s passed judgment on you (visibly or invisibly - in this life or in the life to come).

Tin-Man's picture
@Rat Spit Re: "Regarding the

@Rat Spit Re: "Regarding the Supreme Beings ethics - they are incontestable. Not absolute or even “right” - simply, one cannot argue with Him when he’s passed judgment on you..."

Oh, not true! I can definitely argue with Him. Granted, may not do me any good one way or the other, but I will most certainly argue. Just my nature... Unless, of course, He happens to be right. In which case I will likely just do a bunch of bitching and mumbling to myself.

Sheldon's picture
"Ethics and morals relate to

"Ethics and morals relate to “right” and “wrong” conduct. While they are sometimes used interchangeably, they are different: ethics refer to rules provided by an external source, e.g., codes of conduct in workplaces or principles in religions.Morals refer to an individual's own principles regarding right and wrong"

Your fictional deity isn't real to anyone else until you can demonstrate objective evidence for its existence.

I no more fear your claims than I would the wrath of an angry unicorn someone threatens is out to get me.

"Right and wrong; good and bad - these are preposterous illusions of speech."

Since that statement claims it can neither be right or wrong I find itpreposterous, and therefore irrelevant by your own admission. So something of an own goal there, to negate all your subjective unevidenced opinions in a single sentence.

Cognostic's picture
Why do you insist on going on

Why do you insist on going on with this inane concept of utility?

"
Utilitarianism
Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that determines right from wrong by focusing on outcomes. It is a form of consequentialism.

Utilitarianism (RATTY) holds that the most ethical choice is the one that will produce the greatest good for (HIMSELF).This is also the most common approach to moral reasoning when used in business because of the way in which it accounts for costs and benefits.

HOWEVER!, because we cannot predict the future, it’s difficult to know with certainty whether the consequences of our actions will be good or bad. This is one of the limitations of utilitarianism. Actions may or may not be MORAL>

Utilitarianism also has trouble accounting for values such as justice and individual rights. SO AGAIN IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MORALITY. For example, assume a hospital has four people whose lives depend upon receiving organ transplants: a heart, lungs, a kidney, and a liver. If a healthy person wanders into the hospital, ACCORDING TO UTILITARIANISM - his organs could be harvested to save four lives at the expense of one life. This would arguably produce the greatest good for the greatest number. Of course it would also be abhorrently immoral.

THE DISCUSSION OF UTILITY AND MORALS IS OVER RATTY. DONE. YOU LOSE AGAIN.

http://www.atheistrepublic.com/forums/debate-room/moral-nihilism?page=1#new

Sheldon's picture
S you say Consequentalism

As you say Consequentalism maintains the most moral outcome is the one that produces the "best" result. The problem is that "best" result is an entirely subjective view, the best result for a Nazis would be the Holocaust and a totalitarian state.

If a moral worldview doesn't encompasses the concept of equal rights, or recognise the inherrant value of a single human life, I want no part of it.

rat spit's picture
Thanks Cog. You made my point

Thanks Cog. You made my point. Utilitarianism has nothing to do with morality. Morality is a conceptual framework invented by humans to underlie the deep insecurity they feel about evil going unpunished and Utilitarianism is about moving and acting towards your lasting good and happiness - regardless of whether some morality tells you it’s “right” or “wrong”. But the discussion isn’t over.

Quote:

“Normative evolutionary ethics is the most controversial branch of evolutionary ethics. Normative evolutionary ethics aims at defining which acts are right or wrong, and which things are good or bad, in evolutionary terms. It is not merely describing, but it is prescribing goals, values and obligations. Social Darwinism, discussed above, is the most historically influential version of normative evolutionary ethics. As philosopher G. E. Moore famously argued, many early versions of normative evolutionary ethics seemed to commit a logical mistake that Moore dubbed the naturalistic fallacy. This was the mistake of defining a normative property, such as goodness, in terms of some non-normative, naturalistic property, such as pleasure or survival.”

Utilitarianism prescribes pleasure and survival as it’s underlying agency of ethics. It does not commit the “naturalistic fallacy”.

Quote:

“A key issue in evolutionary psychology has been how altruistic feelings and behaviors could have evolved, in both humans and nonhumans, when the process of natural selection is based on the multiplication over time only of those genes that adapt better to changes in the environment of the species. Theories addressing this have included kin selection, group selection, and reciprocal altruism (both direct and indirect, and on a society-wide scale). Descriptive evolutionary ethicists have also debated whether various types of moral phenomena should be seen as adaptations which have evolved because of their direct adaptive benefits, or spin-offs that evolved as side-effects of adaptive behaviors.”

Both quotes are from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_ethics

Altruism is explained mathematically in evolutionary terms.

Quote:

“Altruism occurs where the instigating individual suffers a fitness loss while the receiving individual experiences a fitness gain. The sacrifice of one individual to help another is an example.[24]

Hamilton (1964) outlined two ways in which kin selection altruism could be favoured:

The selective advantage which makes behaviour conditional in the right sense on the discrimination of factors which correlate with the relationship of the individual concerned is therefore obvious. It may be, for instance, that in respect of a certain social action performed towards neighbours indiscriminately, an individual is only just breaking even in terms of inclusive fitness. If he could learn to recognise those of his neighbours who really were close relatives and could devote his beneficial actions to them alone an advantage to inclusive fitness would at once appear. Thus a mutation causing such discriminatory behaviour itself benefits inclusive fitness and would be selected. In fact, the individual may not need to perform any discrimination so sophisticated as we suggest here; a difference in the generosity of his behaviour according to whether the situations evoking it were encountered near to, or far from, his own home might occasion an advantage of a similar kind." (1996 [1964], 51)[2]”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kin_selection

The mechanisms of what humans call “right” and “wrong” do not belong to “morality”. Morality belongs to the underlying evolutionary mechanisms that provoke a genetic mutation to flourish from one generation to the next. Kin selection is merely an example of why it’s good to protect your brother or take a sacrifice for your platoon or what have you. There’s nothing moral about it. It’s completely rooted in naturalistic cause - pain, pleasure, mating rights, feeding rights, status, etc.

“Is it ever moral for a 50 year old man to rape a 9 year old girl?” - Sheldon’s favourite Islamic brain teaser.

For fuck’s sake. No! But why? Can you say why, Sheldon? Because, it’s not right? Why is it not right? Can you say why in evolutionary terms? Or do you have to explain it through a construct of some kind? Go ahead, I’ll wait. I’ll be sleeping for the next ten hours. Gotta love the weekend. I’ll be plastered tomorrow, so this should get interesting.

Sheldon's picture
"Morality is a conceptual

"Morality is a conceptual framework invented by humans to underlie the deep insecurity they feel about evil going unpunished "

It is an evolved trait evidenced in all societal animals. Its origins are from an evolutionary necessity, as to have no concept of right and wrong behaviours would negate the ability of any animal to live in societal groups.

Evil is just a subjective perception.

"Utilitarianism is about moving and acting towards your lasting good and happiness - "

Which as has been pointed out might easily negate the lasting good and happiness of others, or yourself. It doesn't work, since consequentalism is overly simplistic, and could easily present a scenario where our moral choices result in doing "bad" things for an end goal. See Cognostic's examples.

In order for morality to truly benefit and promote the general well being, it must encompasse the inherrant value of a single human life, and the concept of equality, neither consequentalism nor utilitarianism need do this. Nazis could adopt those moral concepts, and yet remain Nazis if the "good" end goal they wish to promote is fascism and a genocidal Holocaust to create an Arian world. I can think of no better bench mark for morality than that simple test.

"Is it moral for a 50 year old man to rape a child. For fuck’s sake. No! But why? Can you say why, Sheldon? Because, it’s not right? Why is it not right? "

I have said so many many times, sadly you talk and talk and talk, but never listen.

My moral worldview encompasses the concept of equality and the inherrant value of a single life, so unless I'd be content to be raped myself at the capricious whim of anyone who wanted to, or see those I care about raped, then it is clearly not a rationally consistent position to justify such a cruel act. My morals also care that others do not suffer unecessarily. Ipso factor rape is immoral to me. You're using the idiotic theistic argument that because morality is subjective it has no inherent value beyond its evolutionary origins. If you're ever unfortunate enough to be raped maybe you'll see why this position is so absurd.

Evolution doesn't dictate human moral choices. Morality is derived from that process, but we also have the ability to reason. Some less so than others admittedly.

"The mechanisms of what humans call “right” and “wrong” do not belong to “morality”."

Absurd nonsense, look up the word in any dictionary. This is idiotic semantics. Evolution is an insentient process, the "morality" it produced succeeded because it had an evolutionary benefit. However we need no longer be tied to that process as our evolved intellect enables a fair amount of autonomy.

Again, evolution **ALONE doesn't determine how we act. Our evolved intellects enable us to rise above our base instincts WHERE THEY MIGHT CAUSE UNECESSARY SUFFERING, to create societies and even a global community where our morals strive to eliminate all unnecessary suffering.

THIS would promote the general well being.

The rape of a child causes unimaginable suffering, and is obviously an unnecessary and cruel act of self satisfaction, ipso fact it is an Immoral act if one's morals care at all about the suffering of other conscious beings.

"“Is it ever moral for a 50 year old man to rape a 9 year old girl?” - Sheldon’s favourite Islamic brain teaser."

Yes, and the context shouldn't be lost on you either, though sadly I feel it has been.

I also notice your bombast doesn't say **WHY YOU think the rape of a child is immoral? So not very honest, but fairly typical of a theist to demand answers of atheism and secular morality they don't feel obliged to offer themselves.

Please enthrall us all with your reason for claiming the rape of a child is immoral. I'd be interested to see how consequentalism deems it immoral without caring about the suffering it causes.

rat spit's picture
I see you have neglected to

@Sheldom

I see you have neglected to read the quotes - particularly the one from Hamilton on kin selection. Completely explained without reference to “right” or “wrong”. In fact, explained with reference to how the kin selection gene might flourish under natural selection. I have a sneaking suspicion your knowledge of the way the evolutionary/genetic mechanism works is lacking. What kind of background do you have in this area of study, Sheldon?

Sheldon's picture
"quotes - particularly the

I see you have neglected to acknowledge my answer to your question, or offer an answer to mine...typical theist dishonesty I must say.

"quotes - particularly the one from Hamilton on kin selection. Completely explained without reference to “right” or “wrong”"

Be a sweetheart and quote part where he says this trait entirely negates moral choices across the board.

Dear oh dear rat, this preposterous line of reasoning has been championed by theists on here innumerable times.

"What kind of background do you have in this area of study, Sheldon?"

Ah, you're switching to an appeal to authority fallacy. Well at least it's a break from your tedious argument from ignorance fallacies anyway.

Again be a darling and link the peer reviewed scientific paper that supports your absurd idea we have no moral autonomy beyond predetermined animal instinct.

By the way, are you going to list your credentials in this field? Along with any research you've had peer reviewed? Or is this to be the usual theistic double standard?

Tell you what show the peer reviewed research that confirms your thoughts are caused by an external supernatural deity? Or does this appeal to authority fallacy only apply to the bits of science you've cherry picked as supporting your own beliefs?

"What kind of background do you have in this area of study, Sheldon?"

Have I claimed any? For future reference that is the definition of an intellectual snob, irony overload. Again I await your own credentials with links to work you've had peer reviewed that supports your position. Otherwise the irony is palpable.

Dear oh dear rat. Your problems start and end with how utterly closed minded and intransigent you are about your beliefs.

You simply dismiss those who disagree with you. Either directly as above or now with appeal to authority fallacies.

Explain how sacrificing our time and energy to help people we have never met and never will fits your bizarre notions about morality? Yet millions expend time and energy in just such a way through charity work.

rat spit's picture
“Dear oh dear rat, this

“Dear oh dear rat, this preposterous line of reasoning has been championed by theists on here innumerable times.”

Really? Theists ... championing moral nihilism on the basis of evolution? You’re really saying this is a “theist” position.

Wouldn’t a theist argue moral absolutes on the basis of creationism?

I think your cheese might have fallen off your cracker this time Sheldon. Can I have a nibble?

Sheldon's picture
@ratsppit

@ratsppit

Still no answer as to why it is wrong to rape a child?

Still a dishonest liar.

tic toc....

rat spit's picture
@Sheldon

@Sheldon

See below for answer. And where’s YOUR answer to this apparent paradox of the theist arguing moral nihilism from an evolutionary perspective.

Typical of you, to dismiss any question that makes you look silly.

Sheldon's picture
Typical of you as a theist to

Typical of you as a theist to keep lying and evading my question. You claimed it was immoral for an adult to rape a child, then asked me why I thought it was, my answer is on the previous page, link below. but you have since refused to say why you claimed it was wrong, you're embarrassing yourself with this lie.

Anyone who wants to read my answer, and see how long you've been avoiding my question can follow this link:

http://www.atheistrepublic.com/forums/debate-room/moral-nihilism?page=1#...

Sheldon's picture
You've ignored both my

You've ignored both my question, and the answer I gave to yours.

This why no one akes your guff seriously, because like all theists you're thoroughly dishonest.

Why is it immoral for an adult to rape a child?

I answered you, but true to form you just rolled right past it, and won't even offer an answer yourself.

rat spit's picture
I asked for a response in

I asked for a response in evolutionary terms. Give me yours and I’ll give you mine. Now. I know what you want that sentence to mean, but we all know long distance relationships are hard to maintain. And what is your background in evolutionary theory, Sheldon? What schooling do you have under your belt? None? It’s okay. Just be honest.

I have four hard earned years and a Bachelors of Science in Biology and Math. I’m assuming you majored in Philosophy - back in the day when any old Arts degree might land you a cushy administrative type of job? Hmm?

Sheldon's picture
Again I answered your

Again I answered your question, so why lie? And again you ignored mine, reciprocity from now on I'm done humouring you. I already pointed out your appeal to authority fallacy, so why you'd repeat it is not clear, but I see no links there to peer reviewed research, so it's meaningless posturing as I pointed out. You can assume whatever you wish, it's meaningless like your fictional deity.

Why is it immoral for an adult to rape a child?

You claimed it was, now won't say why, quelle surprise.

rat spit's picture
I have an answer in terms of

I have an answer in terms of evolution. I’m taking a shit at work with a busy night ahead of me. I’ll formulate it for you some other time. And it won’t have anything to do with right or wrong, moral or amoral.

rat spit's picture
@Sheldon

@Sheldon

Mmm. I always think better after a good long shit. Okay. Raping nine year olds. What’s up with that? I will tell you.

It’s not morally wrong. It disgusts me. My natural reaction to such an idea is disgust and anger. How could anyone inflict such emotional and physical damage on anyone - let alone a girl who has five or six years left to reach puberty. And puberty has nothing to do with it. I would want to kill any man who would commit such an act on - say - a relative of mine at any age - 9 or 39. And not even a relative necessarily.

So what do we have? Disgust. Anger. Revenge. These are all of my emotional responses to the Muhammed proposition.

All of those emotions have evolved over time in humans to protect us. We use them to bring about peace by waging war. There’s nothing right or wrong about it. These traits can be found in most mammals.

And. Btw. Is there a point in evolution where a gene mutated, causing us to see injustice in slavery, racism, homophobia, etc? Can you narrow down the progress in global tolerance for minorities to a genetic mutation?

Sheldon's picture
ratspit "Mmm. I always think

ratspit "Mmm. I always think better after a good long shit."

You did seem full of it.

ratspit "It’s not morally wrong. It disgusts me. "

You think it is moral right to rape a nine year old child, well that disgusts me.

"My natural reaction to such an idea is disgust and anger. How could anyone inflict such emotional and physical damage on anyone - "

So your morality encompasses empathy, and you do care about the pain and suffering of others, and that has nothing to do with natural selection quite obviously. If you trained as a biologists you should demand a refund from the university.

ratspit "Is there a point in evolution where a gene mutated, causing us to see injustice in slavery, racism, homophobia, etc?"

No, what an absurdly stupid question. Why are repeating the idiotic lie that have claimed morality is **ENTIRELY** derived from evolutionary gene mutation? No matter how often you repeat this lie it won't change my original answer and again anyone if free to read it on the previous page by following this link:

http://www.atheistrepublic.com/forums/debate-room/moral-nihilism?page=1#...

Here's the quote you seem determined to ignore and lie about. "Evolution doesn't dictate human moral choices. Morality is derived from that process, but we also have the ability to reason. Some less so than others admittedly."

Sheldon's picture
Sometime, typical dishonest

Sometime, typical dishonest theist. So the reason you think raping a child has nothing to do with being right or wrong. You've outdone yourself.

rat spit's picture
You don’t think our emotional

You don’t think our emotional reactions colour our perception of the act? Are you a sociopath of some kind? Right and wrong are after thoughts. Kill this man and stop him from ever doing this again is the immediate concern for all. The biggest tragedy is that people feared him and would allow it to happen. Again. Not right or wrong. Just fear.

Sheldon's picture
ratspit "You don’t think our

ratspit "You don’t think our emotional reactions colour our perception of the act?"

I have said nothing of the sort, why must lie so relentlessly? Are you seriously claiming we are only capable of emotioanl responses? Again I'm not sure where you studied biology nut I should demand a refund if I were you. Again I covered this is my response on the previous page that you have shamelessly ignored, so here it is again then:

No, what an absurdly stupid question. Why are repeating the idiotic lie that have claimed morality is **ENTIRELY** derived from evolutionary gene mutation? No matter how often you repeat this lie it won't change my original answer and again anyone if free to read it on the previous page by following this link:

http://www.atheistrepublic.com/forums/debate-room/moral-nihilism?page=1#...

Here's the quote you seem determined to ignore and lie about. "Evolution doesn't dictate human moral choices. Morality is derived from that process, but we also have the ability to reason. Some less so than others admittedly."

rat spit's picture
Sheldon said

Sheldon said

“Again, evolution **ALONE doesn't determine how we act. Our evolved intellects enable us to rise above our base instincts WHERE THEY MIGHT CAUSE UNECESSARY SUFFERING, to create societies and even a global community where our morals strive to eliminate all unnecessary suffering.”

Exactly my point. The parts that don’t pertain to genetics and evolution in that sense - they’re all constructs. Thanks, Sheldon. Thanks for that.

Sheldon's picture
"The parts that don’t pertain

"The parts that don’t pertain to genetics and evolution in that sense - they’re all constructs. "

Nice try show a post where I said human morality had no conceptual constructs? I hope your work wasn't this sloppy and dishonest when you claim you did your degree.

You have also failed to offer a reason why you claim the rape of a child is immoral. Typical theist making grandiose and dishonest claims for their morals, misrepresenting secular morality, then doing a brave Sir Robin when faced with a simple moral question, where they know it will expose their verbiage.

rat spit's picture
Totally unnecessary and weak

Totally unnecessary and weak ad hominem regarding my Uni days. I’ll ignore it as usual.

Good. You claim morality has conceptual constructs. Great! That’s all I’m saying.

Also, if you read carefully - I don’t make any claims that raping a child is immoral or moral. Any idiot can see that it’s immoral on a conceptual level. I’m telling you that it’s disgusting from an emotional stand point and urges one to seek revenge on the rapist.

I’m not misrepresenting secular morality either. You are misrepresenting moral nihilism. I couldn’t give a damn about your secular morality - except to say that it’s a social phenomenon - not a genetic one.

So many straw men, Sheldon. Is this how you expect to look intelligent? By utterly misrepresenting the other party? Calling me out with you outdated, overused stock insults? As if a theist would argue moral nihilism on the basis of evolution. You’re off your rocker, boy.

doG's picture
@ ratbrain

@ ratbrain

Evolutionary changes in neurochemistry show that there is no creator deity. Furthermore, no amount of human conceptualization will change the fact that our existence is based on survival. The traits we develop underline this fact. No amount of philosophical afterthought is going to change this. Your OP equates to Mumbo Jumbo. Go seek cheese...this will fulfill most of your desires.

Pages

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.