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People who doubt “evolution” are more likely to be racist?

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So academic elite types claim in a recent study:

A disbelief in human evolution was associated with higher levels of prejudice, racist attitudes and support of discriminatory behavior against Blacks, immigrants and the LGBTQ community in the U.S., according to University of Massachusetts Amherst research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Similarly, across the globe — in 19 Eastern European countries, 25 Muslim countries and in Israel — low belief in evolution was linked to higher biases within a person’s group, prejudicial attitudes toward people in different groups and less support for conflict resolution…

“People who perceive themselves as more similar to animals are also people who tend to have more pro-social or positive attitudes toward outgroup members or people from stigmatized and marginalized backgrounds,” Syropoulos explains. “In this investigation, we were interested in examining whether belief in evolution would also act in a similar way, because it would reinforce this belief that we are more similar to animals.”

University of Massachusetts Amherst, “Disbelief in human evolution linked to greater prejudice and racism” at ScienceDaily (April 4, 2022)

The paper requires a fee or subscription.

A friend who has read the paper kindly writes to say,

I think this study is a prime example of the temptation to make the correlation equals causation fallacy. What this paper is measuring has nothing to do with evolution or belief in it. It is measuring parochial attitudes among people in insulated groups who don’t have much contact with the outside world. These people tend to be prejudiced against other races and also have little contact with evolution so they are skeptical. It just shows that isolation breeds prejudice against the other.

The principle that isolation breeds prejudice against the “other” is a truism. And you could find evidence supporting this truism from very different groups. If you surveyed attitudes of ivory tower types you’d find similar prejudice against conservative religious groups, you’d find similar discriminatory attitudes. Why? Because those evolutionary secular academic types who accept human evolution have very little contact with conservative religious people.

So what’s interesting isn’t the finding of this paper. What’s interesting is why they chose to study isolated people who happen to be religious and defined prejudice as attitudes towards certain privileged groups in society (eg LGBTQ). Why not study prejudice of secular types who accept human evolution towards religious consevatives? You’d find analogous prejudices. But the researchers weren’t interested in studying that…because they are evolutionary secularists with an agenda to make religious conservatives look bad.

Come to think of it, if you are here anyway, you may also wish to read: E. O. Wilson and racism: The smoking gun is found. Some have dismissed the findings but others say they fit a pattern. From Schulson’s story: “I don’t really care that Wilson had racist ideas, because I know pretty much all of the people that I dealt with, when I was coming up through the science system, had racist ideas,” said [evolutionary biologist Joseph] Graves, who in 1988 became the first Black American to receive a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology. “Wilson was just one of many.” Oh.

And remember, Wilson was supposed to be the second Darwin. Funny no one talks about that now.

Comments
Silver Asiatic: The root of that question: Is it immoral to deliberately deprive a needy person of the help they may need to live better — that is something that applies universally, and yes that would be an objective moral norm. We should not deliberately harm those who are in need of care. A good example, thank you. I appreciate that, JVL but I want to try to stay close to the topic of this blog – which is ID. I can’t use this place to promote my own religion. It’s like joining the wine-connoisseur’s club and wanting to argue about who has the best football team. Both are good topics but they have their own special places for that. Okay, nicely put. Yes, I fully agree that we should listen to each other and I am glad you stress the importance of that. If we don’t understand an opposing argument, we should ask questions for clarification. If we know something is wrong, we should try to correct it. If there are matters where we lack knowledge, we should study and learn and ask from people who know more than we do. All quite reasonable and clear. Thanks.JVL
April 19, 2022
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JVL
My comments were about the morality of the passages quoted not their source.
But the source of the moral norms is extremely important. Moral norms come with authority. Do they bind the person to a responsibility in some way? If morals are subjective, as the atheist view would have it, then that's a very weak authority. I would not be required to follow the moral norms created by another person, unless that person forced me to do it somehow. Even then, there would be little real requirement. If, however, I knew that the moral norms came from God, then that's an infinitely higher authority. So, what God directed me to do would come with a greater responsibility and meaning.
So how do you decide which are specific and which are universal?
There are some ways to sort them out. First, we could determine of the moral situation was attached to specific, changeable aspects. Is the norm something that could apply to people in any time period and any cultural situation? If so, then it's probably a universal norm. If the moral directive is specific to a particular kind of government or a social situation that only exists in one place and time - then it's not universal. Is it part of the universal moral law to say that it is immoral to park in a handicapped zone when you are not handicapped? No, that wouldn't be part of the objective moral law because it references cars and parking regulations - those are time-bound and arbitrary. The root of that question: Is it immoral to deliberately deprive a needy person of the help they may need to live better -- that is something that applies universally, and yes that would be an objective moral norm. We should not deliberately harm those who are in need of care.
I see modern society having trouble dealing with certain moral issues partially because they are complicated and partially because there are widely divergent views on those issues.
I agree.
I’m interested in finding a way through the morass and disagreement; a way forward. I think that means everyone listening to everyone else AND everyone being clear and explicit in what they believe and thinks is essential.
Well, you're beginning with some moral demands on people and I believe you will encounter opposition right from the start. Very many people do not want to be clear about their moral positions and others do not want to listen. So, it's important to give reasons why you think people should or even must do those things - and your reasons have to be convincing. If you merely say, "You should do it because I, JVL, have said you should do it" - people will not see that as a good reason. Again, morality is a function of authority.
Is there some point when you will be specific as to how you view some of the moral issues I have highlighted?
Yes, if I could see a good reason to do that, but as it stands now - this blog is not a place for me to promote my own religious and moral ideas. I offer a little of that for some personal insight, but something like the objective moral law is more relevant to ID.
Personally, I’d like to accommodate your views as much as possible but you seem determined to avoid specifying them.
I appreciate that, JVL but I want to try to stay close to the topic of this blog - which is ID. I can't use this place to promote my own religion. It's like joining the wine-connoisseur's club and wanting to argue about who has the best football team. Both are good topics but they have their own special places for that.
Perhaps we should be even more general: how would you propose a multi-cultural, multi-faith society like the US proceed when considering issues like same-sex marriage or abortion or trans rights? Meaning what procedures and legal pathways should be followed. A decision will have to be reached for all those at some point, how do you think it should be arrived at?
Right now it is a conflict which is increasing and may even result in more violence. I don't think that is a good thing. But your question remains, how do we reconcile competing worldviews? As I see it, we have to try to be open to the truth about things and then engage in honest discussion so we have a chance to find the actual truth of the matter. If we think we know the truth, we need to try to convince people, until unless we are proven wrong. Yes, I fully agree that we should listen to each other and I am glad you stress the importance of that. If we don't understand an opposing argument, we should ask questions for clarification. If we know something is wrong, we should try to correct it. If there are matters where we lack knowledge, we should study and learn and ask from people who know more than we do.Silver Asiatic
April 18, 2022
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Silver Asiatic: We’ve been talking about the objective moral law. That topic is independent of what the Bible says or what the Koran or any religious text says. The objective moral law points to a source for that law which cannot be from individual humans or even a group of humans. We are all subject to it. Our conscience hurts us when we break the moral law. This is relevant for atheists and Christians and Muslims – and everyone. So, we can discuss that. However, jumping over to God’s revelation through the Bible is a wildly different subject. Okay. I think. I mean I am happy supposing that what is revealed and discussed in the Bible may not be the same as the core objective moral standard. Every passage in the Bible is “difficult/embarrassing” in a discussion with a person who denies that God even exists. A prophet prays to God. Why is he praying to an imaginary being? The psalm praises the goodness of God. Why praise something that does not exist? A miracle occurred. Why is the Bible expecting us to believe a lie and delusion? God tells the people to worship in a special day, once a week. Why would people follow a command from an imaginary being? My comments were about the morality of the passages quoted not their source. So, yes – there’s very little in the Bible you can discuss if you don’t believe God exists. All you have to do is ask those questions I posed. For the atheist, God is some kind of imaginary concept. It’s like asking “What would Alice in Wonderland do if she came to London tomorrow? What restaurant would she visit?” She’s an imaginary character. We can’t talk about what she would do since she lives only in the book. We could imagine some things, but with God, we are talking about the supreme Being who is real, living and active today. The Bible will make no sense at all unless you start with that. You seem to be distancing yourself and your discussion from the issues raised in the passages I referenced. I'm not sure why you are doing that or why you cannot address those moral statements. But I'll keep listening. Some of those commands are basics of the objective moral law: Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness. Those are universal. We don’t need the Bible to tell us those are wrong. People in all cultures and religions, and even atheists know those things are wrong (atheists think they have created the moral laws themselves though, and that is incorrect). However, God also made commands specific to the Jewish people, for a specific reason – for the time and place for those people. Those are not universal moral norms. Right, okay. So how do you decide which are specific and which are universal? I see modern society having trouble dealing with certain moral issues partially because they are complicated and partially because there are widely divergent views on those issues. I'm interested in finding a way through the morass and disagreement; a way forward. I think that means everyone listening to everyone else AND everyone being clear and explicit in what they believe and thinks is essential. So I'm asking questions about your beliefs and moral standard. Is there some point when you will be specific as to how you view some of the moral issues I have highlighted? You know you will never get everyone to accept some of your theological axioms so you really should consider how to move forward aside from that requirement. Personally, I'd like to accommodate your views as much as possible but you seem determined to avoid specifying them. Although, you were specific about same-sex marriage as I recall; very specific in fact. And that was helpful, to me, meaning that I got a better appreciation for your own personal view. Perhaps we should be even more general: how would you propose a multi-cultural, multi-faith society like the US proceed when considering issues like same-sex marriage or abortion or trans rights? Meaning what procedures and legal pathways should be followed. A decision will have to be reached for all those at some point, how do you think it should be arrived at?JVL
April 18, 2022
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AS
IF you really want to learn about the Bible and how it relates to Christianity, there are plenty of resources out there, that someone can point you to.
True. As we know also, the Christians on this blog would have different ideas of the best sources for that - so it's complex. But I noticed also that JVL took time to watch a video about evidence for the resurrection and he praised it for helping his understanding (it was not just an attack on belief in the resurrection). So, I believe JVL is sincerely looking at evidence and personally evaluating it. Sometimes he comes across as attacking - maybe he's just frustrated at times. But I think it will be worth our time to listen to what he is saying, and be patient - do our best to avoid trading nasty-for-nasty. In my experience with him - I think JVL is quite different from the atheists I have seen so often over 15 years of debate. He actually takes in the points and lets them simmer inside. He's not going to just change everything - that takes time for all of us. But if we can help him with good answers, I think its worth it.Silver Asiatic
April 18, 2022
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JVL
Are the references a fair representation of those Biblical passages? If yes then why can’t they be used as discussion points?
We've been talking about the objective moral law. That topic is independent of what the Bible says or what the Koran or any religious text says. The objective moral law points to a source for that law which cannot be from individual humans or even a group of humans. We are all subject to it. Our conscience hurts us when we break the moral law. This is relevant for atheists and Christians and Muslims - and everyone. So, we can discuss that. However, jumping over to God's revelation through the Bible is a wildly different subject.
So, you won’t discuss difficult/embarrassing Biblical passages unless the questioner first professes respect for the idea that God exists?
Every passage in the Bible is "difficult/embarrassing" in a discussion with a person who denies that God even exists. A prophet prays to God. Why is he praying to an imaginary being? The psalm praises the goodness of God. Why praise something that does not exist? A miracle occurred. Why is the Bible expecting us to believe a lie and delusion? God tells the people to worship in a special day, once a week. Why would people follow a command from an imaginary being? So, yes - there's very little in the Bible you can discuss if you don't believe God exists. All you have to do is ask those questions I posed. For the atheist, God is some kind of imaginary concept. It's like asking "What would Alice in Wonderland do if she came to London tomorrow? What restaurant would she visit?" She's an imaginary character. We can't talk about what she would do since she lives only in the book. We could imagine some things, but with God, we are talking about the supreme Being who is real, living and active today. The Bible will make no sense at all unless you start with that.
I don’t understand why you can’t discuss applications of your moral standard without that? What difference would that make?
The difference is that God has revealed Himself over time and has issued commands. Some of those commands are basics of the objective moral law: Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness. Those are universal. We don't need the Bible to tell us those are wrong. People in all cultures and religions, and even atheists know those things are wrong (atheists think they have created the moral laws themselves though, and that is incorrect). However, God also made commands specific to the Jewish people, for a specific reason - for the time and place for those people. Those are not universal moral norms. God also revealed Himself in the person of Jesus, as humanity matured and developed in the moral code that was given to the Jews. God made the world so human beings can learn and improve, generation to generation. So, the guidance God gives us can also be adjusted somewhat - certain norms are appropriate for a time, for a reason. Those would not be part of the objective moral norms, but what we would consider "disciplinary laws" meant for a group of people. For example, as the Israelites were in the desert, God gave them the command that they had to only collect as much manna as they needed for one day. That was a specific "disciplinary norm" for that group of people in that place and time.Silver Asiatic
April 18, 2022
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AS & JVL, the patent hostility speaks for itself, JVL, especially when we also see your reaction to timing and oh you can let the insinuations stand . . . with invited inference that Christians have no good answers. Which, you could easily learn to be false by going to those in the right fora with panels of experts. If I were to attempt an outline answer here, it would just reward toxic distraction, throw a rhetorical stink bomb and see they have to scramble to explain their misogynistic, bronze age tribal war god. Meanwhile the real issue and its balance on the merits will be conveniently forgotten. That is priority and we turn to what you wish to avoid. Even, this much, is already distractive and has a chilling effect: oh you ignoramuses, stupid, insane or wicked Christofascist oppressive theocrats -- we know the misanthropic cultural marxist tactics all too well and they are now pervasive -- better shut up or we will pounce on you. Okay, it is cognitive dissonance, confession by projection time. Mirror principle. All that you have managed to do is show that you want to distract toxically as you have no good answer on merits to central but unwelcome issues on the table. So, why, what does this reflect that triggers patent cognitive dissonance relieved by projection to the other? Meanwhile, also, by implicitly appealing to duties to fairness, justice etc you imply the branch on which we all sit nature of first duties and values of reason. That is, you actually imply their self evident, pervasive, first principles character. Which is a positive achievement, we see axioms of moral government of rational responsible freedom that anchor both ethics and government and law as founded on objective, knowable first duties. So, why the toxic tactics and evasion of accountability? Fundamentally, many find the idea of intelligible, pervasive, self evident first duties unacceptable. They do not fit their favoured crooked yardsticks. So, the better path is to recognise that what is straight, accurate and upright cannot ever conform to the crooked, so we had better calibrate our yardsticks against what is naturally straight and upright. That brings us to plumb line self evident first principles, here, the first duties. So, it would be advisable to attend to these rather than resist them. AS, You are correct in your summary. However, if there is insistence on clinging to crooked yardsticks, then there is no basis for positive, responsible resolution. This is the implicit misanthropy and invitation to nihilism in what we are seeing. In the end, it comes down to going over a cliff and then having a broken backed, stalemate of mutual exhaustion, trench warfare fight. That is a road to ruin. KFkairosfocus
April 18, 2022
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"I don’t think I am being hostile!" JVL, The fact that you are not a Christian, yet you are throwing around Bible quotes in a gotcha game that has nothing to do with the OP, and is intended to make Christians look bad, is an indication of your hostility. IF you really want to learn about the Bible and how it relates to Christianity, there are plenty of resources out there, that someone can point you to. Meanwhile, there's ID, which is the interest of this site. You are free to comment as you like, but seriously, this shtick wore out long before you got here. Andrewasauber
April 18, 2022
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Kairosfocus: you compounded the problem, by willfully choosing to pose a toxic, tangential distraction in a context where you have (among others) been directed to other fora where you could get a seriously informed answer from panels of relevant experts. First of all, no one is forcing you to reply or acknowledge my posts; if you just ignored them then they would draw a lot less attention. Secondly, I'm sorry you think asking questions about confusing and divisive Biblical passages is toxic. I think, as a society, we have to learn how to listen to each other, find out what others think and why and find ways to come to some kind of workable solution. To that end I would like to understand better the objective moral standard you operate from. I'm happy to discuss other issues, like same-sex marriage, but you refuse to engage in those topics. If I can't even ask you about passages from The Bible and you won't engage with lots of other relevant and current issues then there's not much point me trying to figure out what your objective moral standard is. You would have been far better advised to have refrained yourself in regard to what looks a lot like visceral hostility to the Christian faith, its adherents and possibly to God [notice, not to “The Judaeo-Christian ‘[g]od’ “], on this weekend. The most solemn one in the Christian Calendar, as well you know. I suggest, you reconsider. I don't think I am being hostile! I'm trying to learn something. AND at least one other person was being civil and making an attempt to respond to me. I hope, despite your obvious consternation at my questions, that you're having a lovely and soul restoring Easter. And I do mean that sincerely.JVL
April 18, 2022
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Silver Asiatic: So, how could we say that atheists have no claim to the objective moral order? How could we say that “atheism is amoral” – when all humans have this moral sense? The answer here is that atheism denies the truth that exists. The reason for that, is that the objective moral code must have a source which is not human and not materialist. Physical, material nature cannot create a moral code of right and wrong. Also, human beings cannot create a universal, common moral code for all of humanity. So, atheists deny the origin of the objective moral law. Most of them, the vast majority, deny that the objective moral law exists. Okay, I get where you are coming from. I don't see what that has to do with elucidating a particular moral dilemma based on the objective moral code. I'm just asking for your view/opinion. In the case I cited to him, it appeared to me that he took a list of controversial Bible quotes off of an anti-Christian attack-site and that will make good dialogue difficult to achieve. Are the references a fair representation of those Biblical passages? If yes then why can't they be used as discussion points? I suspect you don't agree with some of the passages so how do you consider then with regard to the moral standard? The Bible requires, at least, a respect for the idea that God exists. That’s the first premise. So, you won't discuss difficult/embarrassing Biblical passages unless the questioner first professes respect for the idea that God exists? I don't understand why you can't discuss applications of your moral standard without that? What difference would that make?JVL
April 18, 2022
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F/N: Let us refocus, the natural law argument that has stirred such reactions. Not, because it is fallacious but because it is just a tad close to the truth:
We may readily identify at least seven branch- on- which- we- all- sit (so, inescapable, pervasive), first principle . . . first duties of reason: "Inescapable," as they are so antecedent to reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to their legitimate authority; inescapable, so first truths of reason, i.e. they are self-evidently true and binding. Namely, Ciceronian first duties,
1st - to truth, 2nd - to right reason, 3rd - to prudence [including warrant], 4th - to sound conscience, 5th - to neighbour; so also, 6th - to fairness and 7th - to justice [ . . .] xth - etc.
Likewise, we observe again, that the objector to such duties cannot but appeal to them to give their objections rhetorical traction (i.e. s/he must imply or acknowledge what we are, morally governed, duty-bound creatures to gain any persuasive effect). While also those who try to prove such cannot but appeal to the said principles too. So, these principles are a branch on which we all must sit, including objectors and those who imagine they are to be proved and try. That is, these are manifestly first principles of rational, responsible, honest, conscience guided liberty and so too a built-in framework of law; yes, core natural law of human nature. Reason, inescapably, is morally governed. Of course, there is a linked but not equivalent pattern: bounded, error-prone rationality often tied to ill will and stubbornness or even closed mindedness; that’s why the study of right reason has a sub-study on fallacies and errors. That we sometimes seek to evade duties or may make inadvertent errors does not overthrow such first duties of reason, which instead help us to detect and correct errors, as well as to expose our follies. Perhaps, a negative form will help to clarify, for cause we find to be at best hopelessly error-riddled, those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious and/or irrational, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [i.e. sociopathy and/or highly machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are utterly dangerous, destructive,or even ruthlessly, demonically lawless. Such built-in . . . thus, universal . . . law, then, is not invented by parliaments, kings or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such; they are recognised, often implicitly as an indelible part of our evident nature. Hence, "natural law," coeval with our humanity, famously phrased in terms of "self-evident . . . rights . . . endowed by our Creator" in the US Declaration of Independence, 1776. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice, the pivot of law. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature. Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right. Likewise, Aristotle long since anticipated Pilate's cynical "what is truth?": truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not. [Metaphysics, 1011b, C4 BC.] Simple in concept, but hard to establish on the ground; hence -- in key part -- the duties to right reason, prudence, fairness etc. Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law. The first duties, also, are a framework for understanding and articulating the corpus of built-in law of our morally governed nature, antecedent to civil laws and manifest our roots in the Supreme Law-giver, the inherently good, utterly wise and just creator-God, the necessary (so, eternal), maximally great being at the root of reality.
Let the objectors answer on the merits including grounding the credibility of rationality, thus too how we can address moral government including of our rationality. Meanwhile, of course, JVL, too, is another objector managing to implicitly appeal to first duties he would overturn. KFkairosfocus
April 18, 2022
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F/N: Let me go to some of the points as reported from the NYT Op Ed, it being early Easter Monday.
God, it seems, paints with a wide brush. He paints with a roller. In Egypt, said our rabbi, he even killed first-born cattle. He killed cows. If he were mortal, the God of Jews, Christians and Muslims would be dragged to The Hague. And yet we praise him. We emulate him. We implore our children to be like him. Perhaps now, as missiles rain down and the dead are discovered in mass graves, is a good time to stop emulating this hateful God. Perhaps we can stop extolling his brutality. Perhaps now is a good time to teach our children to pass over God — to be as unlike him as possible. … Killing gods is an idea I can get behind.
The attitude here speaks for itself in piled up fallacies of caricature and denigration, failing to even cursorily reckon with living memory context. Over the past little more than a century radical secularist and atheistical regimes erected the all time worst tyrannies and murdered over 100 million of those in their power. Meanwhile today, carrying out the rulings of courts and the like we slaughter a million of our living posterity in the womb every week. So, my comment is, confession by projection to the despised other. That's where we need to start: duty to neighbour. Including to our neighbour Upstairs. KFkairosfocus
April 17, 2022
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JVL, it is obvious that you have missed the point, tin ear style. Similar to how NYT thought it appropriate to publish this on this weekend. There is an underlying attitude reflected in behaviour like that which reflects what has to be a subtext of hostile, sneering contempt.* The attitude of Dawkins et al: those who differ from us the brites, could only do so because they are ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. I call that hostility backed prejudice and frankly self-blind pride leading to a dangerous situation. Morally struggling, is our common lot, yes. It includes that we are often ill willed and stubborn. Meanwhile, finite and fallible are we. You would have been far better advised to have refrained yourself in regard to what looks a lot like visceral hostility to the Christian faith, its adherents and possibly to God [notice, not to "The Judaeo-Christian '[g]od' "], on this weekend. The most solemn one in the Christian Calendar, as well you know. I suggest, you reconsider. KF * PS, you compounded the problem, by willfully choosing to pose a toxic, tangential distraction in a context where you have (among others) been directed to other fora where you could get a seriously informed answer from panels of relevant experts.kairosfocus
April 17, 2022
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Seversky
Granted that may not always be sufficient to prevent offense being taken but giving offense does not appear to be his purpose.
I think you're right in general. He tries to be respectful. In the case I cited to him, it appeared to me that he took a list of controversial Bible quotes off of an anti-Christian attack-site and that will make good dialogue difficult to achieve. The Bible requires, at least, a respect for the idea that God exists. That's the first premise. "Ok, for the sake of argument, God exists, He is the all powerful, Father and Creator of the universe and life and of mankind, and therefore deserves respect and has the authority and right to mandate certain conditions for life (laws and expectations) and every creature owes its life to Him. He is the moral judge at the end of time of all people." That's where the Bible-argument has to start. Lacking that, the Bible will have no meaning since it starts on that point and does not seek to prove it.Silver Asiatic
April 17, 2022
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JVL
Secondly, I find it extremely odd that I have been told over and over and over again that atheists do not have a solid ground for claiming a moral standard and then to have Silver Asiatic say that we all are tapped into a common, objective, moral standard. That confuses me because I am hearing different things from different people. I have been told over and over and over again that atheists have NO claim to an objective moral standard. So which is it? How can I decide who has got the right tact?
You could be told that all human life was and is created by God. So, that includes all atheists. However, atheists have NO claim to having been created by God. So, which is it? Are we all created by God or not? How could we say we're all created by God but then say atheism has no claim to say that we're created by God? You see the parallel. We say, "all humans are tapped into a common, objective moral standard. It comes from our rational nature towards truth and good and away from falsehood and evil. When we violate the objective norms, we know that in our conscience. This is universal. So, how could we say that atheists have no claim to the objective moral order? How could we say that "atheism is amoral" - when all humans have this moral sense? The answer here is that atheism denies the truth that exists. The reason for that, is that the objective moral code must have a source which is not human and not materialist. Physical, material nature cannot create a moral code of right and wrong. Also, human beings cannot create a universal, common moral code for all of humanity. So, atheists deny the origin of the objective moral law. Most of them, the vast majority, deny that the objective moral law exists. However, one could be an atheist, perhaps, and accept that an objective moral law exists. It has to have some source though, that is rational and built on justice (good versus evil). It would seem that God is the only candidate for the source for that objective morality but maybe there is another. What does not work is the idea that "we each make up our own moral code". So, subjective morals based on one's opinion does not match what we know from reality. The subjective code is most common with atheism. For materialists, it is the belief that morality evolved somehow from mutations, or just that we have moral opinions. That kind of atheist morality has: 1. A lawgiver (the self) 2. An actor with or against the law (the self) 3. A prosecutor when acts are against the law (the self) 4. A defense attorney to give reasons why the law was broken (the self) 5. A counsel to change or amend the law (the self) 6. A judge in all trials of violation of the law (the self) 7. The sentencing judge to hand out punishments if needed (the self) That's a very big problem. The same guy who made his moral law, breaks it. Then he has to defend himself against himself and the law. He had good reasons to break the law, or he did not have good reasons -- or maybe the law itself is unjust. Then he judges himself and is free to change his own moral law. Then he can assign a punishment or not. That cannot work as a system of morality because the law is created and changed, observed and broken by the same person.Silver Asiatic
April 17, 2022
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I have not seen anything posted here by JVL that I would consider disrespectful, My impression is that he takes great care in the way he composes his posts to avoid giving any semblance of offense. Granted that may not always be sufficient to prevent offense being taken but giving offense does not appear to be his purpose.Seversky
April 17, 2022
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Since Kairosfocus has continued to debate issues similar to what was brought up in this thread despite his request to have respect for the Easter holiday I think it's fair for me to offer some comments: Firstly, I listened to a very interesting and enlightening podcast episode: Crucifixion on the The Rest is History podcast. The central presenter/host was Tom Holland, author of the book Dominion, an exploration into the influence of Christianity in western civilisation. I found his discussion of crucifixions in general and Christ's in particular quite interesting especially when he gave support for its historical authenticity. I would highly recommend that particular episode of that lovely podcast. And, I will say, it changed my view significantly. Secondly, I find it extremely odd that I have been told over and over and over again that atheists do not have a solid ground for claiming a moral standard and then to have Silver Asiatic say that we all are tapped into a common, objective, moral standard. That confuses me because I am hearing different things from different people. I have been told over and over and over again that atheists have NO claim to an objective moral standard. So which is it? How can I decide who has got the right tact? Then when I query parts of the holy scripture as held by some who claim an objective and consistent moral standard I get told off and accused of being disrespectful. Why? What is wrong with asking questions? Surely that is part of learning and understanding scripture and what it means to have faith? It that might be my path to understanding then why close it off? I understand that it might take a long time to actually come to understand some of the more subtle points of Christian theocracy. What I don't get is criticism for asking questions or wanting some clarity. Surely if God gave use the power of reason then we should be able to exercise that in regard to statements made in the Bible. I would think. If bringing up passages from Leviticus is rude or insulting then please tell me why that is so. They are in the Bible. Surely they can be discussed.JVL
April 17, 2022
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Vivid, you are right, yet again would be objectors appeal to the very first duties they would overturn. And ironically, that branch on which we all sit pattern is precisely a sign that we deal here with pervasive first principles that cannot be evaded, so are self evidently true and objective, knowable first moral truths. For months this pattern has persisted here at UD. I am led back to the point that if one makes a crooked yardstick his standard for straight, upright, accurate, he will reject what is genuinely such for failing to conform to his favoured brand of crookedness. Even to the point of dismissing a naturally straight and upright plumb line. KFkairosfocus
April 15, 2022
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JH, do you understand being a reasonable neighbour? It seems not. Let me give you two examples. A few minutes ago, I returned from a service where I visited to give a friend who was to speak support. One of our Hindu grocers also came as a visitor with family, and participated as he could. Similarly, a few weeks back another shop keeper was behind his counter dealing with an incense ceremony. We paused, standing until he finished and was ready for us. Going to Acts, when the silver smiths fomented a riot at Ephesus, it was the pagan priests, who had become friends with Paul, who reached out to him. I hope the message gets through. KF PS: Notice, what is happening. The issue on the table is philosophical, knowability of first moral principles. There are repeated distractions and attempts to drag in the false notion that this is an oppressive religious imposition. Now, reaching the pitch of trying to toss in Internet Atheist style objections on a site where that is not appropriate, where said objectors have been directed to where there are panels of experts willing to address such matters, and where jt is obvious that today and this weekend happen to be the most solemn days of the Christian calendar. The actions speak, louder than words, and not to the credit of those indulging such. It is clear there is no serious answer on the merits to the issue that there indeed are first duties and that objectors find themselves appealing to them as they try to overturn them.kairosfocus
April 15, 2022
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SA: The request from the moderator is to be respectful of the Holy Scriptures on this Good Friday. I echo that request.
But nobody has explained how JVL has been disrespectful of the scriptures. All he has done was point out several verses that are no longer followed by the majority of Christians. All in the context of a discussion on the nature and origin of moral values. Besides, UD is not a site about religion.JHolo
April 15, 2022
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Vivid Well, I hope she will reconsider and return to the discussion.Silver Asiatic
April 15, 2022
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JHolo The request from the moderator is to be respectful of the Holy Scriptures on this Good Friday. I echo that request.Silver Asiatic
April 15, 2022
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SA: We often see that big list of Bible quotes tossed into the conversation in a manner that is ridiculing to the faith of people.
I agree that I have seen people use Bible quotes with the clear intent of ridiculing the religion and those that follow it. But I don’t see this in JVL’s use of biblical quotes.JHolo
April 15, 2022
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KF: Kairosfocus: frankly, your behaviour is disrespectful to a holy day, and you must know it is inappropriate to UD. That speaks, tellingly and now clearly irretrievably
I’m sorry if I missed anything, but how is JVL being disrespectful? He is just pointing out the fact that Christians, or any faith for that matter, don’t agree on what the objective moral values are. For example, some Christian and Jewish denominations support same sex marriage and others don’t.JHolo
April 15, 2022
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SA “If you can’t even pay attention to what I write, and distort the meaning of a common word, then further discussion is hopeless” In other words you have a duty to truth and you are not being truthful when you perpetuate falsehoods. Believe how people act not what they say. Vividvividbleau
April 15, 2022
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JVL
I have not called anyone’s faith into question nor have I ridiculed such.
We often see that big list of Bible quotes tossed into the conversation in a manner that is ridiculing to the faith of people. You were asking questions but I think you probably extracted that list from an anti-Christian site versus having read the Bible yourself and noted areas where you saw a concern. The way to study and discuss theology is to work through the knowledge, as you would with any subject of interest.Silver Asiatic
April 15, 2022
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KF Thank you, We should be respectful of the Holy Scripture and resist anything of ridicule against God. I notice even in my secular culture here that people acknowledged the Holy day in some ways, and that is a very good thing.Silver Asiatic
April 15, 2022
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JVL
But you keep saying that atheists cannot have an objective moral standard.
We have to keep working on this for clarity. The objective moral standard is universal - all humans have access to it from their rational nature and moral conscience. Believer or atheist or any religion at all or none - we have built into human beings the objective moral law. So, we all have it. It's like the principles of Logic. Those are inherent in our rational nature. Every human has those principles and uses them, even if they don't know what they are. Logic is universal and objective. It's not a subjective value that people make up with their own opinion. So, every atheist has within, the objective moral norms. That's what makes the atheist feel guilty when he goes against conscience. But what we're arguing is that atheism, as a system, does not recognize this. So, people say that they just make up their own moral opinions. But that is like saying that they make up their own system of rationality.
If you’re just saying that the objective moral standard is the stuff we all agree upon then what’s to stop that from changing from time to time and place to place?
No, it's not just what we all agree on. It's an objective morality that is part of human nature - it cannot change.
For example: it seems to have been widely accepted during the pre-Christian era that it was acceptable and expected that you could completely wipe out all the inhabitants of a city you were at war with.
You could never do that without a justifying reason. That action was always therefore limited by reason. If it was subjective, then no reason would be needed.
Such things are documented in The Bible. Does that mean that the things we ‘know’ have changed?
The objective moral norm is the same, unchanging. You cannot commit war on someone with no justification for it. In the Christian era, "the just war theory" of morality came about. This also can even be questioned now that humans can use nuclear weapons and destroy entire cities. But previous moral norms on how to engage war morally all stemmed from the objective moral norms on justice and the good of society.
So how does your belief help sort things out better? How do you progress things further? This is why I keep asking you about particular situations so that you can give an example of how you can propose a better, more consistent and less contentious approach.
That's an admirable interest. Contention and division among people can be very damaging. But those disputes start at the root, not at the surface. The root of the problem is what we're hoping to solve here with ID. If people realize that they have been designed and are not just the product of blind chance, they can discover that there is a purpose to life. Atheism says there is no purpose or meaning. When you're dead you're entirely gone - so it doesn't really matter. There doesn't seem to be any way to work with that mindset. So, the approach is to help people improve their worldview. Nihilism just says that nothing matters really. Good or bad doesn't make a difference. Nobody can propose a less contentious approach when trying to reconcile a world without God, without meaning and without objective morals - with the world of God. That's a serious conflict that has to be battled out. There's no real compromise between the two, although people should do you as you encouraged - and listen to each other and try to understand.Silver Asiatic
April 15, 2022
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Kairosfocus: frankly, your behaviour is disrespectful to a holy day, and you must know it is inappropriate to UD. That speaks, tellingly and now clearly irretrievably Why do you keep responding then? I'm happy to wait.JVL
April 15, 2022
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JVL, frankly, your behaviour is disrespectful to a holy day, and you must know it is inappropriate to UD. That speaks, tellingly and now clearly irretrievably. KFkairosfocus
April 15, 2022
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Kairosfocus: JVL, more accurately, adherents of evolutionary materialism cannot have in their worldviews an ontological source adequate to bridge the is ought gap. I didn't say it could. I've been asking for examples of applications of an objective moral standard to particular social issues. I already had to notify you on the significance of today, you also know full well that there are other fora better suited to address what you seem to have hoped to toss in as disruptive. You are not obligated to reply. I'm happy to wait until you have time. I'm am not being disruptive; I am trying to understand how an objective moral stand would or could affect current social issues.JVL
April 15, 2022
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