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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Atheism And Moral Progress

    It is hard to see what an atheist would mean by moral progress. Would she mean that what agrees with her ethical point of view is progress? Or that more of us agree with each other? I suppose the atheist could look at increasing peace and prosperity as moral progress, but again that would still revert to that which agrees with her ethical point of view (that increasing peace and prosperity is actually a moral good). So it seems that without a universal moral standard to aim at, or move towards, that there is no moral progress, merely moral change.
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    That's the way I see it. Hitler would have seen moral progress as cleansing of the master race and he would be just as correct as the people who today tout the integration of all mankind as moral progress.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    That's the way I see it. Hitler would have seen moral progress as cleansing of the master race and he would be just as correct as the people who today tout the integration of all mankind as moral progress.
    Correct.
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    It is hard to see what an atheist would mean by moral progress. Would she mean that what agrees with her ethical point of view is progress? Or that more of us agree with each other? I suppose the atheist could look at increasing peace and prosperity as moral progress, but again that would still revert to that which agrees with her ethical point of view (that increasing peace and prosperity is actually a moral good). So it seems that without a universal moral standard to aim at, or move towards, that there is no moral progress, merely moral change.
    How would you describe morality in the first place seer, I don't mean by that, what is it's source, but what is morality itself?

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    How would you describe morality in the first place seer, I don't mean by that, what is it's source, but what is morality itself?
    I will use the classic definition: a doctrine or system of conduct.
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    I will use the classic definition: a doctrine or system of conduct.
    And do you think that the doctrine, or system of conduct, is meaningless, that it serves no human purpose?

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    And do you think that the doctrine, or system of conduct, is meaningless, that it serves no human purpose?
    No, I think all ethics are reduced to personal or collective opinion, therefore there is no objective moral progress. Only moral change.
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    No, I think all ethics are reduced to personal or collective opinion, therefore there is no objective moral progress. Only moral change.
    So you don't think that morality, your objective standard perspective of morality, has any relevence to the good fortune of human beings or human society?

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    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    No, I think all ethics are reduced to personal or collective opinion, therefore there is no objective moral progress. Only moral change.
    Do you believe that "objective moral progress" can exist? Please Give some specific examples.
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

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    tWebber Starlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    It is hard to see what an atheist would mean by moral progress.
    Here's a few possible definitions an atheist might use if they were speaking about 'moral progress':

    1. Whenever two people have a discussion about morality and as a result at least one of those people thinks about their view and changes it as a result, that is 'moral progress'. If history is the sum of all human actions then any cumulative effect across history of people talking/writing/discussing their ideas about morality and influencing each other and updating their views as a result of though, is 'moral progress'.

    2. Any historical survey of moral changes throughout history which attempts to identify some themes or draws any general conclusions from it about why changes were made.

    3. Any ongoing attempt to draw out abstract or generalized moral ideas from concrete ones, or to unpack moral intuitions. e.g. to go from "my gut/intuitions/conscience tells me that to pick up that knife and stab that person over there would be morally wrong" to the abstract thoughts of "intending harm to others is a moral wrong" or "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". So moral progress in this sense is any move from a concrete situational list of rules toward the abstract principles that underlie it.

    4. An approach that combines all three of those, that draws on psychological insights, historical insights, philosophical insights, political insights, and cross-cultural insights to attempt to come to an understanding of what humans have thought about morality and why and how that has changed over time and what can be said about the directions of those changes.

    5. Viewing your own moral view as the objective truth of morality (which most people, both atheists and theists tend to do) and viewing the past as a gradual movement toward those. e.g. "the abolition of slavery made moral progress, because we know slavery was wrong".

    So it seems that without a universal moral standard to aim at
    It's pretty pathetic for you to be repeating this sort of thing when you're well aware that plenty of atheists, perhaps the majority, view themselves as having objective morals. You don't have to personally agree their morality meets your criteria of objectivity, but it just acknowledging basic facts to acknowledge that those atheists themselves believe they have objective moral standards. So when you start asking questions like "well if they don't believe in objective morality how can they believe in moral progress" you just look like a moron for denying they believe in objective morality. Just because you don't think they should believe in it, doesn't mean they don't believe in it.

  12. Amen Charles amen'd this post.

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