Atheism creates a moral vacuum which only a religion can fill.

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Valiya's picture
Can you tell me how you can

Can you tell me how you can find out which taste is better?

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
You took just 1 example where

You took just 1 example where Taste is so subjective that you cannot say which one is better.

Then generalized the idea that since those 2 positions are equally valid then you cannot find which one is better ALWAYS with my method. Very dishonest indeed.

I said from start that subjectivity means that there will be situations where you cannot find the better between 2 position but in most cases you can.
That is why there are food competition, wine tasting etc...
Taste has many characteristics, I am not gonna explain Taste here since it be useless.

You are simply wrong and you don't want to admit it.

Valiya's picture
You said: ""there's really no

You said: ""there's really no way to tell which of the two tastes is better."It is wrong, there are ways."

Therefore I was curious to know what it is? Because as far as I know there is really no way you can say for certain which taste is better. You said about food competitions and wine tasting competitions. If the same food or wine is given to two different judges, they will give two different results. It is entirely dependent on the individual judge's opinion, which has no precise measurement standards. This is the whole idea of 'Subjectivity'.

I am not dodging your other points. I just wanted to know what you have to say on this before proceeding. Just give me a bit... i will come back with answers to each of your points.

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
pff why are you insisting on

pff why are you insisting on this stupid claim?

There are ways to distinguish between 2 different things.

you give an ice cream that tastes like piss compared to a chocolate icecream the judge will say that the chocolate tastes better.

I am not saying that this will allways happen but when we are talking about something which is subjective to the individual concerned one must take logic into consideration and understand that the one that taste like piss and made the judge spit it immegiatly has a worse tase then the chocolate icecream.

It does not take a genius to realise that claiming that there are no ways to distinguish different in quality of food is just nonsens.
There are situations yes that it cannot be determined since it is subjective to the individual but in most cases the quality of the food and it's features are considered and evaluated by the taste.

Good wine tasters can determine which wine is better with little margin of difference between them, thus there is no way that a mediocre bad taste wine will make it to the top wines chosen as better.
I am not saying that there won't be disagreement but that is why there is no objectivity regarding taste.
But in most cases you can say which one is better since there are more scenarios where there is worse taste then scenarios where there is equal levels of quality or features.
Eg; shit most likely has worse taste then any healthy food, etc...

Valiya's picture
Fine. I don't wish to push

Fine. I don't wish to push this point too far. As long as you agree that there are at least some subjective issues that can't be settled through pure logic...

I am in the middle of some work... as soon as i am done, i will respond to the rest of your points. Take care.

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
Yes there are some subjective

Yes there are some subjective issues that can't be decided since they are subjective and I achnoledged them from start.
The problem lies in your lack of understanding of what people say.

"But you are completly incorrect here:
"there would be no way to ascertain which of the two positions in more correct."

"An ongoing understanding of reality." is based on knowledge and logic so IN MOST CASES there are ways to ascertain which position is better."

As you can see that I said IN MOST CASES from the very start.
I never said that all moral questions can be answered by this method.

BTW neither can you answer them by your book since it is outdated even on most important issues like slavery, gay rights, etc...

Valiya's picture
When I send my replies, I

When I send my replies, I will ask you some moral questions. You will have to show me how by applying your method you can get conclusive answers for them. You can also ask me moral questions and then i will show you how i derive conclusive answers from my holy book.

But really sorry... i have to go for now. My work is still not over.

Valiya's picture
Here is my response to Cyber

Here is my response to Cyber LN:

As I had explained in my earlier, my question is about the fundamental paradigm of morality. You said that when an atheist and a theist behave decently, why should it matter where their morality comes from? However, the question is "what is decency." An atheist thinks that going to a prostitute is decent, whereas a theist thinks it is indecent. Muslims think drinking alcohol is indecent, an atheist thinks otherwise.

Next, you said that theists ignore moral obligations as per their convenience and this makes morality relative for them. No is the answer. Relativism is when you change your position on what you think is right and wrong. For example, a person might say that incest is natural and so must not be condemned. However, when his children indulge in it, he might condemn it. Here he changes his position according to what suits him. Whereas, a theist might believe that lying is bad. And when lies, he fully realizes that what he is doing is a bad thing. That's why he feels guilty about it. And that's why he corrects himself later. His position on the issue never changes, but he just fails to live up to the standard.

CyberLN's picture
In the end, does the source

In the end, does the source of morality matter? If a non-Muslim behaves toward others similarly to how you behave (assuming you both, say, don't make it a practice to purposefully hurt others because you both find it immoral behavior), what does it matter?

Valiya's picture
You are right, the source

You are right, the source doesn't matter as long as you agree on what is morally correct behavior. But when you don't (which is what the case is, and that's the reason we are debating here) then how do you decide what is morally right? Is prostitution morally right or wrong? Is drinking morally right or wrong?

CyberLN's picture
Of course we will disagree on

Of course we will disagree on some items. We will agree on others. We use different measuring sticks to define what is moral. You use rules from a book to define your morals, I use the resulting impact of a behavior.

Let's look at drinking...I'm going to guess you mean alcohol here. And my answer is: it depends.

Prostitution? I figure a person's body belongs to them and they can do whatever they like with it as long as it doesn't encroach on my body.

You can bring up example after example, and as I said earlier, I'm happy to tell you what I think about each and we will agree on some and not on others. Perhaps the biggest difference between us is that if I think a behavior is okay or not okay (one that does not touch your body in any way), I wouldn't dream of making it a rule by which you must abide. Many religious peeps, however, want to do just the opposite.

Valiya's picture
Hi Cyber LN. Thanks for the

Hi Cyber LN. Thanks for the reply.
My fundamental question was “what do atheists base their morality on?” From your post, I gather that you base it on your understanding of each issue at hand.
And you also agree that different people understand things differently. Therefore, there is bound to be differences of opinion on questions of morality. Fine.
My contention is that your understanding of reality will keep changing as knowledge grows. You may say something is okay today, and tomorrow you would change your position. Hence, your morality is fluid, and can’t be relied on. The problem with that kind of morality is that you would never be able to take a firm stance on anything. Say, you are badly tempted to do something, which according to your current understanding is a bad thing – for example drugs. Then you would get around it saying that probably it’s not that bad and with more understanding people’s opinion would change. Basically, you will find it easier to justify your wrongs. Whereas if your position is based on the belief that something is wrong because GOD told you so, it would be hard to get around it.
Coming to your last point about me making my morality a rule book for everyone to follow. You also have your rule books, which you want everyone to follow. But what you differ on are the rules. Let me explain. Say one of your friends one day picks up a gun and decides to kill someone he hates. Would you not stop him? Would you not go and complain to the police and make sure that he doesn’t commit the crime? From your friend’s point of view, it might appear like you are enforcing your rule book on him. Therefore, you have your rule books too. But it’s just that you have a different set of rules, where murder is wrong but prostitution is not. Got my point?
However, let me also add, religion always gives you the choice of either accepting it or rejecting it. If you choose not to follow the rule book of religion, then it simply means that you don’t adhere to that faith. The religion does not force you to accept its rules.

CyberLN's picture
"My contention is that your

"My contention is that your understanding of reality will keep changing as knowledge grows."
As will yours.

"Hence, your morality is fluid"
Absolutely! As I learn, grow, have new experiences, it will and should be fluid! The same is true for you.

"The problem with that kind of morality is that you would never be able to take a firm stance on anything. "
Your assumption is that because something has the potential to change it will and that when held, it is not firm.

"you will find it easier to justify your wrongs."
If I do not think a behavior that does not encroach on the rights or safety of others is wrong, then no justification is required.

"But it’s just that you have a different set of rules, where murder is wrong but prostitution is not."
The piece you keep missing is the notion about where my body stops and someone else's body begins. If I drink a glass of wine, I hurt no one else (and actually, I help those in the wine business by generating income for them). If, however, I drive a vehicle after becoming intoxicated then I am taking their lives into my hands. The former is not immoral, the latter is.

" religion always gives you the choice of either accepting it or rejecting it."
Religion doesn't hold exclusive rights to that, eh?

". The religion does not force you to accept its rules."
On the contrary. There are so very many laws in countries around this planet that are specifically from religion. There are places where not behaving according to those religious laws gets people dead.

Travis Paskiewicz's picture
Valiya you have to understand

Valiya you have to understand that morality, even yours, is in fact an evolving human endeavor. Much of the old testament's laws were in fact rooted in ancient Mesopotamian laws. Specifically, Hammurabi's law, which in myth was given to him by the god Murdoc on stone tablets (sound familiar?) almost 4,000 years before the Hebrew culture arose from the post Mesopotamian land scape. However, if you do your research on the similarities and differences, you realize the jews modifield or dropped laws completely, based on thier developing sense of right and wrong. The Christians did the same thing, compounding on Jewish laws, but modified for a different culture and time. And so our culture does now as well.

Here's an example of how one law gets modified through the ages. Well go with divorce. Old testament there was no such thing as divorce. You were bound for life. If the woman got caught cheating, she was killed. If the man got caught, he had to pay fines and take a second wife.

The new testament, Jesus himself adresses divorce at one point. But essentially a man could divorce his wife if she cheated on him, or was found barren. Small step, but I guess it sure does beat being killed, as the law pertains to women.

Now, in American society, a divorce can be initiated by either the man or the woman for just about any reason. But generally not getting along is fine enough. Now let me ask you a question. In the old testament, a woman could have a marriage arranged by her parents, but was not allowed to divorce her husband under any circumstance, including spousal abuse. In fact the old testament even lays out several general rules pertaining to several "accepted" forms, and prescribes fines on the man for "unacceptable" forms. So, a woman could literally be forced into a marriage, often as young as ten, into abusive relationships. Now is this more or less moral than today's laws, which protect woman until the age of 18, make marriage a choice to be made by both parties, and allow an out incase the people change?

You see... many laws and moral codes are constantly under developement as more information becomes availabe. Now let me adress an issue you brought up. Homosexuality. You claimed that Homosexuality contributed to a list of STD's and anal cancer. However, science has proved most of that wrong already. The earliest cases of HIV in North America were found in heterosexual couples. Homosexuals were never found to have significant variances in STD infections that straight couples. And as far as promiscuity goes, the average heterosexual male is not uncommon to have 2-3 sexual partners annually before marriage. Also, that anal sex is actually pretty common as well in heterosexual couples with some reports finding 30% of couples engage in it on a regular basis. I'm not really sure what shit you were trying to pull, but everything you just tried to pin on homosexuals, affects equally as many heterosexual couples, statistically. And lastly, Homosexuality is not a mental disorder, and phychologists have attested to that for years, despite Christians trying to get every behaviour they dislike labeled as a mental disorder.

Is Homosexuality wrong? No, regardless of whether you think Homosexuality is a nature or nurture behavior, as long as it occurs between two consenting adults, thier sex like is thier busines. Is Gay marriage immoral. Not if it's two consentinel adults. Marriage is now a government recognized legal status, which in my opinion means anyone who wishes to be legally recognized as a couple should be eligible to apply.

Valiya's picture
Thanks for you reply Travis.

Thanks for you reply Travis. It was interesting to read your points. Let me tell you at the very outset that I am not a Christian, and so your takes on Christianity is not very helpful to me. As a Muslim, I am only talking about Islam when i say religion.

Next, your points on homosexuality. If you had read my answer to Jeff, you would get my point. I am not here trying to prove or disprove homosexuality. My contention is only this: if you go by current knowledge, which is changing even as we talk, then your morality will be highly unstable. If anal sex is harmful - then it is immoral to indulge in it, be it homosexual or heterosexual. Except in the case of homosexuals, this is the only possible way they can copulate. However, you agree that anal sex is bad, but you think its okay if homosexuals indulge in it through mutual consent. Will smoking be alright just because the smoker does it willingly? That's the whole question. What is the basis on which you draw your morality from?

Travis Paskiewicz's picture
My basis for morality stems

My basis for morality stems from an intellectual stand point that personal freedoms should be granted freely in all cases where the persons desired course of action does not endanger or infringe upon the same personal freedoms of those nearby. Obviously, every instance needs be addressed on it's own. For example, your smoking scenario. I generally like to expand smoking to drug use in general.

So let's break drug use down by my moral stand point, which in in extremely simple terms, is grant freedom as long as it does not endanger others.

So, should people be allowed to smoke? As a smoker myself, I am all for this personal choice. I am well aware that smoking is dangerous, and the risk involved in smoking.

However, in the Marines we have a process we refer to ORM, or Organized Risk Management. Essentially ORM is a process of recognizing the risks in any course of action, and taking proper precautions to minimize the risks. As an example, we physically train to condition our bodies to the stress of combat. However, such training is inevitable risky on its own. There is always the threat of heat exhaustion, dehydration, and personal injury. But being physically more capable than our opponents in combat has always been the cornerstone of our success. So being fit is more desirable than the risk present in PT. So we decide to engage in training anyways, but minimize the risk by training in cooler parts of the day, having water readily available, and making sure everyone uses proper technique in all excercises.

How does this tie into smoking. Everyone is granted the personal choice to decide what outcomes are worth the risk in any situation. Smoking is pleasurable, as are most drugs. It is up to each person to acquaint themselves with the risk involved.

But why do I believe that people should be free to engage in self destructive acts such as smoking? Because I realize most acts can be self destructive. There is always a small amount of risk involved in any scenario. As an example, two virgins could wait till marriage to engage in sexual activity, just to find out one may have been infected with AIDS from a parent or blood transfusion. You could follow every safety precaution on the road, just to crash due to a manufacturing defect in your break lines. You could chew your food a thousand times to avoid choking, and accidentally inhale it instead and drown. What I'm getting at is everything is risky. You can't ban risky self destroying behavior. Instead it is up to each person to accept the risks involved in thier course of action. Even suicide is a person's rightful choice.

I think religion is very controlling in the essence it strips away personal choice and freedom, and forces adherence to laws that can't be proven to be significantly positive. Such as daily prayer, abstinence, fasting... etc.

Valiya's picture
Once again thanks Travis for

Once again thanks Travis for your response.

Firstly, I think you have confused morality with enforcement of morality. These are two different topics altogether. I may consider homosexuality immoral. But that doesn’t mean I support the penalizing of homosexuals. Having said that let me analyze each of the points you raised in your response.

1. You said: “My basis for morality stems from an intellectual stand point that personal freedoms should be granted freely in all cases.” This is what I meant when I said you have confused between the two. You may be against imposing a ban on smoking due to personal freedom. But if you find your teenage brother trying to experiment with cigarettes, would you not advise him that it is bad? And in doing so are you not actually taking a morally sound position on the issue?

2. Next you said: “So let's break drug use down by my moral stand point, which in extremely simple terms, is grant freedom as long as it does not endanger others.” According to this logic, you are okay with anything as long as it doesn’t affect another person. If life was as simple as you see it to be, then perhaps your logic might be a feasible way to arrive at moral decisions. But certain deeds trigger a chain reaction and its negative effects become evident only when viewed on a macro scale. Take for example smoking itself. Studies tell us that premature deaths due to smoking alone lead to a loss of productivity worth USD 151 billion every year in the US. That’s just one among the many negative statistics of gigantic proportions. Would you support that children get orphaned, national productivity goes down which in turn leads to job losses and poverty etc. Are you only concerned about endangering others on a one-to-one basis? Or do you think we have to consider the overall effect of collective actions too? If you say you are only worried about how your actions affect your immediate reality, then I would like to know what your position on climate change is. Do you think countries should be free to pollute as they like, because it doesn’t directly affect anybody negatively?

3. Next you said: “But why do I believe that people should be free to engage in self destructive acts such as smoking? Because I realize most acts can be self destructive. There is always a small amount of risk involved in any scenario.” There are two responses to this. Firstly, as I pointed out, all risky behaviors are not just self-destructive, but they destroy others too in indirect ways. Secondly, the examples you gave of the virgin sisters and the faulty car are quite ridiculous. You are taking exceptions as the norm. There is always a small percent chance that you could survive if you jump out of an airplane. Will you therefore jump out of an airplane? The examples you gave are similar to that. You have to give importance to what is more probable? If negative outcomes are more probable than the positive, then by common sense you have to avoid doing that thing.

4. Next you said: “I think religion is very controlling in the essence it strips away personal choice and freedom, and forces adherence to laws that can't be proven to be significantly positive. Such as daily prayer, abstinence, fasting...” Well, I think this is wrong too. Let me explain with an example. Say you are studying in a college. According to the college rules, you have to follow certain dress codes. Say you are not allowed to wear jeans for example, or that you are supposed to be in college at a certain time. These rules could be a problem for some students. However, they have a choice to either study in that college or leave it. Nobody is forcing them to study in that college. Would you blame the college of stripping your personal freedom. Of course not. All colleges have some rules. Similarly, a religion gives you certain laws. If you don’t like it, you are free to NOT follow it. In fact that’s what you have chosen to do, as an atheist. So, religion is not clamping down on your personal freedom. It’s ultimately left to your choice.

CyberLN's picture
Valiya, when I read the body

Valiya, when I read the body of your OP, I can substitute the word theist for athiest and the words interpretation of their holy book for the word whim and many would find it quite plausible.

Zaphod's picture
I checked it, Cyber is right.

I checked it, Cyber is right.

CyberLN's picture
The title of your OP contends

The title of your OP contends that atheism creates a moral vacuum. However, you then go on to inquire about that upon which an atheist bases their morality. Sounds like a non sequitur to me.

Valiya's picture
That's a good point Cyber.

That's a good point Cyber. May be I should have given a title like - "Atheism creates a slippery morality" or something like that. Thanks for point it out. Moreover, as arguments unfold debates take a new course... that's quite unavoidable.

CyberLN's picture
Agreed on the unfolding of

Agreed on the unfolding of arguments steering the course of informal debate. It is precisely what makes them so interesting to me.

If, as you contend, atheism creates slippery morality, does not theism do the same? For instance, many theists abide by particular dress codes and believe deviation from those dress codes immoral. However, the dress codes vary from one theistic group to another. Some cover their heads or faces, some do not. From my observations, those dress codes 'slip' quite a bit, yet they all have gods. And many claim the same god. Additionally, dress codes change over time. Dress codes change based on access to resources.

Now, I understand that you hold a specific theism. You, however, have put all atheists in a single 'thought bucket', so I have done the same.

Valiya's picture
Cyber, good points you have

Cyber, good points you have raised.

It's true that i have put all theists in one bucket. But you can tell me which brand you belong to and we will debate the issue on morality on those grounds alone. So, tell me what is your basis for making moral decisions.

As to your question about differences in Islam. There are many things you have to understand here. According to Islam, everything is based on proof. If someone says that women have to cover their faces and he brings me proof from the Quran or the teachings of Prophet, the debate would end there. It's not a complicated issue at all. The person would just have to show me a statement from Islamic sources that says women have to cover their faces. (There is no such thing anywhere in Islamic sources.) Then why do some people do it? That's called excessive piety. They want to get even better than what the prophet has taught. This is not about confusion in interpretation - they are simply not sticking to what has been taught.

Therefore, islamic exegesis is quite simple and straightforward. Moreover, even these differences pertains to minor issues such as the ones you have raised. The major issues such as alcohol, interest, fornication, murder, abortion, treatment of parents, lying and a slew of other moral precepts are wholly agreed on by all Muslim scholars. There is no differences of opinion on these things.

Travis Paskiewicz's picture
Valiya, you bring up some

Valiya, you bring up some valid points. I'll try to refute.

First, I think we may in actuality be in agreeance on the case of Morality versus the Enforcement of Law. But it is like I many times try to explain, there is an interconnectedness between most human endeavors. A cause and effect pattern. Moral codes generally try to manifest as laws sooner or later. For example, Shariah Law is literally a moral code based in the Muslim belief system being implemented as a code of law. In America, as society we must confront such morality, and try to come to a conclusion whether such things should become law. It is one thing to adhere to a moral code yourself, and quite another to attempt to enforce another to abide by it. As a society of cultures unified under the banner of individual freedoms, law should be the bare minimum to protect persons from bodily injury. As an example, I'm not particularly upset that we have religious communities in America whether they be Muslim, Christian, Budhist, Mormon or otherwise. However, every side has a belief structure they expect others to adhere to.

As an example, I'll refer to a case that received relative notoriety a few months ago. I never read too much on the specifics, but generally the case involves a wedding cake bakery that refused bake a cake for a homosexual couple on religious grounds. Generally, like your College dress code example, I'm fine with a privately owned business refusing service for their own conviction. However, somehow it got to the court level, where this couple attempted to sue the bakery for descrimination. That's where I draw the line. If someone wants to forego monetary gains to hold a conviction I'm fine with it. I don't respect it, but it's their choice. I also don't get upset over the welfare of their children as a result. Perhaps being poorer may show that child that tolerance is more enriching than an unfounded religious conviction. Maybe in some parallel universe that cake bakery finds a niché in the market selling cakes to heterosexual couples. I can't really say how everyone is going to act as a result of such decisions.

Which kinda leads into your point of banning self destructive behavior. You say that it only seems self destructive on the micro scale, but in a larger sense such behavior can be destructive on the macro level. The truth is, because there are soo many individuals making individual decisions based on the micro experience, the macro level in the near future is hard to prophesize, and the long run it gets even harder as time and personal opinions change.

As an example, a lackluster alcoholic parent may dissuade a child from deciding to use alchohol at all. A responsible parent consuming alchohol may instill a sense of self restraint. Two scenarios that are complete opposites can lead to a similiar result. By the same token, an alcoholic parent may instill a sense that excessive alchohol use is acceptable. While because of the success of a responsibly consuming parent may instill a sense that excessive use will not effect a person. Again, same two scenarios inspiring a vastly different results. If this scenario played out, perhaps having alcoholic child might inspire a alcoholic parent to quite. Or having a responsible con suing child may inspire non consuming parent to start. And these example influence other examples, so on and so forth. And yet, unless you can predict how each individual will react to the experiences presented to them, you have no clue if a community may be all alchoholics, all responsible consumers, a completely alchohol abstaining, or a mixture all the outcomes. The same can be said of smoking. Perhaps a smokers death influences others to quite or start. Who knows really, it's all based on how people perceive such things. But it's ultimately their choice.

Lmale's picture
Its really quite simple i

Its really quite simple i dont want to be lied to stolen from or killed knowing that i therefore dont do it to other people.
Im an atheist celibate for the last 13 years through choice not to have meaningless sex.
I respect peoples right to believe something but not the something itself if i feel it deserves no respect. So i respect your right to believe in a religion started by a mass murdering barely literate pedophile but i dont respect the religion because its amoral and i will not allow you to force your crap on me or anyone else.
Your high and mighty moral religion assaults and/or kills atheists simply for being atheist and you dare to claim we have no morality. Your religion permits forced pedophilia through marriage against the will of a sentient being. You are a part of it by allowing it all to happen and even supporting it so your responsible for the evils you support.
Fix your morals before lecturing others.

Valiya's picture
You said: “i don’t want to be

You said: “i don’t want to be lied to stolen from or killed knowing that i therefore dont do it to other people.” In that case what is your position on non-vegetarianism. Is it morally right to kill and eat animals? Would you like to be treated in like manner?

You said: “I’m an atheist celibate for the last 13 years through choice not to have meaningless sex.” What led you to the decision that having meaningless sex is bad? Isn’t this a morality you got from religion? Also, free sex is not against your moral paradigm of ‘no harm, no harming’ if I may paraphrase it for you that way. In fact, if you think there is no god, and that this is the only life you have got, then I would say that you are pretty stupid to live a life of abstinence. Enjoy life to the fullest.

The rest of your post was a string of abuses, which I am not going to respond to, because firstly it’s out of topic, secondly, I think when you make accusations the burden of proof is on you. As long as you don’t provide proofs, it doesn’t merit a response.

Lmale's picture
Damn my comment i spent 15

Damn my comment i spent 15 mins writing was wiped out so ill be brief.
Animals are food as long as they are not made to suffer im ok with it and im choosy about who supplies my food. By the way vegetarians kill to live as well plants are living.
I am a romantic i feel sex is part of love its my choice has nothing to do with any religion or any other person.
Muhammad was a pedo :
The news has covered hundreds of child bride stories in every truly civilised country pedophilia is illegal your religion made it ok as long as they are married but the child does not get a choice. There are charities devoted to rescuing the victims of legalised pedophilia in islamic countries.
Muhammad the mass murderer:
Your religious beliefs give you no moral superiority when your religion is a plague on humanity.
Open your eyes.

Valiya's picture


The reason i asked about killing of animals is because you said "Its really quite simple i dont want to be lied to stolen from or killed knowing that i therefore dont do it to other people."

If that's you moral premise, then on what grounds do you kill and eat animals. What makes you think killing an animal is okay, but killing a human is not. For an African cannibal, anybody outside his tribe is food for him. He thinks it's okay to kill and eat humans who don't belong to his tribe. After all, man is also an animal. How can you say that is wrong?

You point on sex: You stated that you don't have meaningless sex as if it was a moral position. But now you say that you don't do it because of your romantic inclinations. Therefore, it's pointless to have stated it in our discussion on morality, because what you do out of your personal inclinations can't be a basis for morality. Some people rape out of personal inclinations.

Lastly, your abuses about the prophet. Look, here we are debating what is the basis to arrive at correct morality. We are discussing this because we don't agree on what is morality. For you drinking alcohol is not immoral, for me it is. SImilarly on a range of other issues. Now say I am debating with a person who thinks death penalty is immoral. Islam allows death penalty. Now, he cannot say that Islam is morally backward because it allows death penalty. That would be like begging the question. He has to show me that Islam's moral basis is weak using external evidence, and I have to do the same against his moral basis. Your Moral Basis is 'Reasoning' and mine is 'Islam.'

Do you agree on this?

Valiya's picture
Hi Travis. Let me first of

Hi Travis. Let me first of all thank you for keeping civility in your answers. There are no personal attacks or bad words in your posts. I really appreciate that.

Coming to your arguments…

You said: “Moral codes try to manifest as laws sooner or later.” That’s right, I agree with you. We all agree that human life cannot be possible without laws. And laws always stem from a moral paradigm, whether you like it or not. Even secular laws have a paradigm. In your case the paradigm seems to be: any activity that does not cause physical harm to another person should lawful.
Even when laws are instituted on this paradigm of atheism, people are bound to have differences of opinion. Not everyone would be able to agree on all the laws. But then as a nation, for you to function, you need to enforce the laws based on your moral paradigm. Therefore, yes, moral codes do manifest as laws, but then no law is exempt from that rule – not religious laws, not secular laws. Now, the reason we are debating here is to find out which of these two paradigms is better.

The rest of your argument was basically trying to show how difficult it is to gauge the overall impact of certain behaviors on the society. At a micro level it manifests in a particular way, and collectively at a macro level it manifests in other ways – and throw into that individual whims and peculiarities, and the equation gets way too complex for us to make any sense of it. This was the overall drift of your argument. That’s precisely my point. In a world of this complex nature, how can you rely on your understanding and rationality to decide what is good and bad for you. This is exactly why I support the need for an external guidance - from the creator of mankind.

That brings me to the paradigm of my morality – Divine guidance. When I draw morality from my scripture, I don’t wait for complex research studies (which at the end don’t make much sense as I pointed out) to decide my course of action. To borrow your example of alcohol – I will not drink even a drop of it, and I will teach my children also the same. Period.

CyberLN's picture
Valiya, you said above that

Valiya, you said above that you will not drink even a drop of alcohol. Is that decision based on a specific instruction from your holy book?

If so, and you use that instruction as your moral measuring stick, do you also think it is appropriate for compliance to that instruction be mandatory for others who do choose to drink drops of alcohol?


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