Saturday, April 26, 2008

Morality is a village.

The atheist belief system constitute a new religion - Beliefnet Forums I am a member of a society with well defined moral and ethical standards that are accepted, internalized, and enforced by all members of that society. These moral and ethical standards have been developed to facilitate safe productive living in a global, pluralistic, interdependent society. Although they are a distributed resource, in that there is no single entity or guy in a fancy dress telling us what to do, they are nevertheless strongly maintained by law, custom, and personal interaction. Even a minor transgression will be confronted, by anything from a raised eyebrow, to a lawsuit. The reasonable Gods in this society have adopted these ethical and moral structures and overlaid a gloss of their particular theological tenets.

But when God transgresses these standards, by for example by preaching hatred of minority groups that are respected members of the society, we will and indeed must call the God wrong. And we will be right to do so. A dysfunctional God gets no free pass in a reasonable society simply because someone has faith in Herm. Even a supernatural omnipotent alpha humanoid has to wipe Herm feet when coming in out of the mud, say "thank you for your hospitality" to Herm host, even if that host is a hated minority, and generally comply with the host's moral standards.

Your Christian God the Son would probably fit in quite nicely His Father would be better off staying out there in the supernatural ether which I call Hell.

I am not sure that how we treat each other does not encompass all human interactions. I agree with KW that morality is universal. Nodding to a stranger on the street is a moral interaction. As is giving a person a wide berth on the sidewalk. It is actions like these that define "my society."
[QUOTE] As I have it, moral absolutism and moral relativism are both mistaken arguments [/QUOTE] The problem comes in the definition of "my society" in a diverse, pluralistic community. I spent many years in old Greenwich Village in NYC. Certain people could leave their car parked and running on the curb while they went into the barber shop for a trim or a shave. If a cop came by someone would jump into the car as if to move it to avoid the ticket. Any one who was not a member of that society would have to find a legal parking space, carefully lock and alarm their car to run into the deli next to the barber shop for a bagel. In both societies the morality of parking a car was absolute, although quite relative depending on which society one accepted as their own.

I have to go with KW here. I think the common moral tendencies have nothing at all to do with don't do this or that to another unknown human (which is my argument with the moral sense tests.) The common moral tendencies are of the form do whatever is mandated by the (fairly local) society the individual is a part of.

I think it is no accident that the village or parish is the basic unit of human society. Our monkeysphere is about 150-200 people whose behavior we can affect with the subtle social cues (the raised eyebrow, frown, or quick smile ) to say that behavior is or is not in accordance with the morals of the society. That is, what our common moral tendencies tell us is right. The morality of the village is pretty well solidified by Fulghum's Kindergarten but is malleable with difficulty at any age, but it usually takes God to make a major change in the adults. But to do so the belief in God must be part of the toddler's conditioning. Or, per the Jesuit maxim: "Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man.

Where these groups are local, isolated and stable almost anything can be moral, witch burning, infanticide, child sacrifice, killing everybody in the next village. Whoops, almost forgot, except the virgins.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Faith of Our Fathers - Timothy Egan - Op-Extra Columnist - Opinion - New York Times Blog

Faith of Our Fathers - Timothy Egan - Op-Extra Columnist - Opinion - New York Times Blog When God is dysfunctional, Hesh gets no pass from the society. Child abuse and misogyny is repugnant to all decent people, as is abandoning children to be supported emotionally and financially by the mother and in this case the state. The children and their mothers must be removed from their abusive environment. If the mothers wish to abandon their children to return to the compound they may, but it is they who abandoned their children not the state that took them from the mother.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Is God immoral.

When God trangresses our moral standards, we can and must object. The atheist belief system constitute a new religion - Beliefnet Forums

1.8% of historians think Shrub is a success!

In a poll of 109 historians only 2 said history will be kind to GWB.2008 April - The Board - Editorials - Opinion - New York Times Blog

I love rally

Incoming email:
I totally want to quit my day job and drive rally cars
I hope it is a brief illness and passes quickly
especially as I have to be up early for work.

J'C

Take a lesson on how to do it right, tune one of those Suburus, find a back road in Idaho and go for it. It is no accident that when I go to Sacto I go past Mt. Hamilton. Kinda hard on the tires, I only get 1-2K of that kind of driving on a set, and I am an old fart that drives "stupid in control" It really pisses me off when I lose my lane.

I used to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway to get back and forth to New York from Charlotte instead of wasting time on the freeway. And it was always possible to find a neat blue road parallel to the fwy for part of any trip.

I bet I could find you a fun way to get to work.

incoming:
I used to take my Subie the "fun" way to New Paltz every day
That was entertaining
I could get there MUCH faster than you are supposed to

I also used to take it the "fun" way to Big Pond
One time, Barbara called me to go swim with her and said I'd better hurry because she was getting hot up at the lake and didn't want to wait much longer
I got there in 23 minutes and she tore me a new poop shoot
"I didn;t mean THAT fast, Liz!"
That trip should take 45 minutes...

Subies are great, but now I want one with a roll cage!

J'C

But just a personal preference, I have always driven so that I didn't need the roll cage. The rules of (Blue) Ridge Runner are:
1. Set the timer,
2. Go.
3. Animals, cyclists and pedestrians passed at no more than 25 mph.
4. Parked cars, driveways, and crossroads passed at exactly the speed limit.
5. Overtake tourists at limit +10%.
6. Any violation of 3,4 or 5 costs you 30 minutes at the next ranger station for the safety lecture.
7. End timer, adjust time for the safety lectures,
8. Record your new personal best.
or
9. Pay more attention. You can't woolgather driving fast on public roads. You will kill yourself or somebody else.

Paige Martin for wonderful vocals.

Paige Martin is the vocalist for the Airmen of Note which is this generation of the Glen Miller Air Force big band. They have stayed true to the sound, and Paige makes it wonderful.


Go to iTunes, Search Airmen of Note.

Albums she is on are: Tiempo Latino, Out In Front, Keep 'Em Flying, and A Holiday Note From Home.

A quote from her email footer that I like:


It's not the mistakes that count,
it's what you do after them that counts.
-Thelonious Monk, pianist everyone knows-
Beliefnet Forums > FAITHS & PRACTICES > Discussion, Dialogue and Debate > Discuss Atheism > The atheist belief system constitute a new religion
[quote=TAG-you're it!;453262] That when you say in your heart, that there is no God, you worldview collapses as being arbitrary and subjective. For in a godless universe it makes no objective sense to call actions, any actions, either right or wrong. [/quote] It is the theistic worldview where it makes no objective sense to call actions, any actions, either right or wrong. Take the subject of killing for example. One God says turn the other cheek. Another God says kill all the fags, abortionists and adulterers, not to mention the Canaanites and the native Americans. All Gods say kill all the infidels, and all Gods but one say kill all the Jews.


When you say in your heart that there is no God you have to say with Whitman
…For my enemy is dead--a man divine as myself is dead;
I look where he lies, white-faced and still, in the coffin--I draw near;
I bend down, and touch lightly with my lips the white face in the coffin.
When you say in your heart you have no God you have no labels to judge other humans or mediators for God to tell you what they say to do. You must treat each person as a human divine as yourself and all actions must be evaluated as right or wrong by the objective standards of the society in which you all live. It may be necessary to remove another person from the society, but it must be done as a result of the perpetrator violating the person or the rights of another in the society, based on the objective evaluation of the overt acts of that violation. Even then you must for your own self respect bend down and touch with your lips the white face in the coffin. You have no God to justify your actions or your hatred.