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Switch to Forum Live View A secular definition of "good" and "right" and "bad" and "wrong."
2 years ago  ::  May 29, 2012 - 5:09PM #1
Kwinters
Posts: 21,960

May 29, 2012 -- 3:09PM, Adelphe wrote:


May 29, 2012 -- 2:21PM, Kwinters wrote:


May 29, 2012 -- 1:02PM, Adelphe wrote:


May 29, 2012 -- 12:54PM, Kwinters wrote:


May 29, 2012 -- 12:48PM, mainecaptain wrote:


May 28, 2012 -- 10:15AM, Adelphe wrote:



On the evidence of the Bible, whatever is moral is Yahweh.  Without Yahweh, you couldn't even define the word.  The only reason why you can even attempt to do so, is because of the Imago Dei in you--who, of course, are fallen.



 
That is obviously not true. I am always stunned how Christians defend evil. As long as it is their god doing the evil. Unbelievable.





Also, I disagree that without Yahweh people could not define morality.


Morality, simply defined means: differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and those that are bad (or wrong).


It doesn't say what the basis of that differentiation is, only that differentiation takes place.


On what empirical evidence can Ade defend her assertion that without Yahweh such differentiation cannot exist? 


Let's just take the simple proposition of causing other pain is quite a different thing from causing someone happiness.


What does Yahweh contribute to the observation that causing others pain and seeing a deterioration in my relationship with them is not a good thing and differentiate between that and saying making others happy and seeing my relations with them improve is a good thing?



???




To the latter, God is benevolent. We define "good" by God Himself.


To the former, can you please provide a secular definition of "good" and "right" and "bad" and "wrong"?




By since you cannot say what the nature of God is, you also cannot say what 'good' is.



I just said what God's nature is:  good.  "Why do you call me good?  Only God is good."



And I think when it comes to definitions, you still have to explain how you're using 'deny' and provide an answer as to whether god can break a promise and it be considered moral.




1) to deny
2) to deny someone
2a) to deny one's self
2a1) to disregard his own interests or to prove false to himself
2a2) act entirely unlike himself
3) to deny, abnegate, abjure
4) not to accept, to reject, to refuse something offered


Obviously He cannot both make a promise and deny it.


Now, as this is a discussion (two), please provide a secular definition of "good" and "right" and "bad" and "wrong."


You've affirmed a "differentiation", therefore, it should be a simple matter to define that in which the differentiation exists.






This seemed more appropriate over here so I've started this thread for Ade. 

Enjoy!



 

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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2 years ago  ::  May 29, 2012 - 5:20PM #2
Kwinters
Posts: 21,960

May 29, 2012 -- 5:11PM, Adelphe wrote:


Here are the facts.  On this board we have discussions, dialogues, and debates.  That usually means person A has a position and person B has a different position.  Once again you've got this entirely nutty idea you're in the drivers seat and/or this is some kind of Inquisition and your setting (and frequently then raising) the bar of "evidence" is acceptable discussion, dialogue, and debate.


The Christian argument is "Only God is good."  You've learned how to use a lexicon recently, so use it if you need a definition of "deny" or "good" and quit stalling.


Moreover, if you deny "Only God is good", then you justify that and provide a definition of what you think is good or right and bad or wrong as Person B.  Your position is certainly NOT "off topic."  I don't care if you're Atheist, Buddhist, or Christian.  You deny that so as Person B put your reasoned view forward on the definition of good, right, bad, and wrong.




I've started a thread for you on the Atheism board where debates about secular morality belond. I will copy your full response there.


I am limiting my discussion to the god as presented in the Bible here on the Christianity Debate board where it belongs.


There are now several outstanding questions about assertions you have made about your god to which I have provided follow up.

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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2 years ago  ::  May 29, 2012 - 5:31PM #3
Abner1
Posts: 6,391

IMO, good to evil is a spectrum, and any given act can fall in various parts of the spectrum.  The good extreme is helping someone else with their permission; the evil extreme is harming someone else against their will.  The reason that helping someone else with their permission is better than helping someone else without it is that different people have different ideas of what 'help' involves, so it is quite possible that your idea of help is unwelcome to the person being helped.  It is thus best to get permission before helping if there is time to do so.  In a similar way harming someone else with their permission (as in a sado-masochistic relationship) is not quite as bad as harming them against their will.


My morality is based on empathy - since I empathize with others, I want them to be well and so I often try to help them.  No god is necessary for empathy to exist and be acted on, so this is a purely secular definition of good and evil.  I doubt Adelphe will *agree* with that definition, but her agreement really isn't necessary - the definition exists whether she agrees with it or not, and thus good and evil can clearly be defined without recourse to a god.  I'm quite sure that many other secular definitions of good and evil exist, as I have run into many over the years.  Her claim is clearly false.

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2 years ago  ::  May 29, 2012 - 5:41PM #4
Ken
Posts: 33,859

Good is what pleases us. Bad is what displeases us. That there is a great deal of agreement about what is good and what is bad is attributable to the fact that we all belong to the same species. That there is also a great deal of disagreement is attributable to the fact that we aren't merely clones of one another. Each of us, if only in a small way, tries to promote his own idea of good and bad over differing ideas of good and bad. These ideas of good and bad must fight it out in the marketplace, so to speak, in order to win general approval.

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2 years ago  ::  May 29, 2012 - 6:04PM #5
Kwinters
Posts: 21,960

Here is my contribution


www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6DW0e70DF0



Where does Hitchens get his sense of right and wrong?

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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2 years ago  ::  May 29, 2012 - 6:54PM #6
JCarlin
Posts: 6,690

"Good" and "Right" and "Bad" and "Wrong" are necessarily defined in the context of the referent society.  In a secular society, that which promotes the welfare of members of the secular society is good and that which diminishes the welfare in any way such as restricting their educational needs, their freedom of choice of companions, and ideas of right and wrong is bad.  In behavioral terms, it is generally right to respect all who by their behavior do not forfeit it, including their ideas which may disagree with the norm for a secular society.  It is considered wrong to restrict activities of others that cause no harm to others in the secular society. 


In a secular society there is no absolute authority on behavior,  even legal and political rules are subject to review and modification by a consensus of the society. 

J'Carlin
If the shoe doesn't fit, don't cram your foot in it and complain.
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 02, 2012 - 5:51PM #7
Silverada
Posts: 1,338

May 29, 2012 -- 6:54PM, JCarlin wrote:


"Good" and "Right" and "Bad" and "Wrong" are necessarily defined in the context of the referent society.  In a secular society, that which promotes the welfare of members of the secular society is good and that which diminishes the welfare in any way such as restricting their educational needs, their freedom of choice of companions, and ideas of right and wrong is bad.  In behavioral terms, it is generally right to respect all who by their behavior do not forfeit it, including their ideas which may disagree with the norm for a secular society.  It is considered wrong to restrict activities of others that cause no harm to others in the secular society. 


In a secular society there is no absolute authority on behavior,  even legal and political rules are subject to review and modification by a consensus of the society. 



 


 


I am absolutely agreed with you, and perhaps you have touch a point that concerns to all of us and the quality of life we need and deserve as habitants of Earth, the only place and home we will have and live until  our last breath.  Good and Right, Bad or Wrong should  not be conditioned to be an atheist or a theist, but to be  human and what affect badly our lives as humans is to be considered Bad and Wrong and whatever   contribute to make our lives much better in sense of well being and happyness,  it should  be considered Good an Right, the rest babbling about this subject is pure garbage and shall be thrown to the garbage   where it belongs.  


 


It is true that life as we know it now,  is far apart from being  perfect, but it is not futil to try to enhance humanistic behaviour instead of religious or not religious, that should be left apart,  as a right that concern only  to each individual in particular and not to humanity as a whole.

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 02, 2012 - 10:50PM #8
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,783

May 29, 2012 -- 5:31PM, Abner1 wrote:


IMO, good to evil is a spectrum, and any given act can fall in various parts of the spectrum.  The good extreme is helping someone else with their permission; the evil extreme is harming someone else against their will.  The reason that helping someone else with their permission is better than helping someone else without it is that different people have different ideas of what 'help' involves, so it is quite possible that your idea of help is unwelcome to the person being helped.  It is thus best to get permission before helping if there is time to do so.  In a similar way harming someone else with their permission (as in a sado-masochistic relationship) is not quite as bad as harming them against their will.


My morality is based on empathy - since I empathize with others, I want them to be well and so I often try to help them.  No god is necessary for empathy to exist and be acted on, so this is a purely secular definition of good and evil.  I doubt Adelphe will *agree* with that definition, but her agreement really isn't necessary - the definition exists whether she agrees with it or not, and thus good and evil can clearly be defined without recourse to a god.  I'm quite sure that many other secular definitions of good and evil exist, as I have run into many over the years.  Her claim is clearly false.




I like this.

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 02, 2012 - 11:02PM #9
Blü
Posts: 24,974

We have needs - breathing, eating, drinking, shelter, company, sex, status, protection / defense, freedom from injury, disability, disease, survival of our children &c.  We call the satisfaction of these needs 'good' and their denial 'bad'.


We have genetic moral tendencies (ie common to all cultures) - I can repeat the list if anyone wants - and on top of that we have upbringing, culture, education and life experiences to further mold our moral views.  We call things that agree with our moral views 'good' and those that disagree, 'bad'.


It's possible to satisfy needs in ways that conflict with our moral views, and we differ in our moral views, so judgments of 'good' and 'bad' are situational, and for public purposes either consensual or derived by methods consensually agreed.


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