Round Table on Morality, Theology, and Ethics

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AuthorTopic: Round Table on Morality, Theology, and Ethics
Apprentice
Member # 8073
Profile #0
"Why should we behave ourselves when there are no consequences for our actions?"

How do you like them Apples "Why You Suck" topic?

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Ultimate Supreme Warrior Lord Sovereign Jester of the Super Noobs
Posts: 32 | Registered: Tuesday, February 13 2007 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 5410
Profile #1
For every action there is a reaction. Actions without consequences??? Perhaps you are too limiting in defining consequences.

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"Dikiyoba ... is demon ... drives people mad and ... do all sorts of strange things."

"You Spiderwebbians are mad, mad, mad as March hares."
Posts: 687 | Registered: Wednesday, January 19 2005 08:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #2
1. I don't like Apples at all.
2. There are always consequences, by definition. Are you talking about societal consequences, both negative and positive?

Example: I wave my arms in the air lazily.

Possible Consequences: I'm locked in the looney bin. I've wasted whatever time I spent waving my arms unless the intention was incarceration. I gain the adulation of all the fantasy nerds for my immaculate re-conception of the summoning of the Ur-Noob. An Apple appears in mid-air and I grasp it.

So please, cite an example so we can all start on common ground. This strikes me as a deeply silly discussion and I will gladly add my insanity to it.

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 8073
Profile #3
OK, you got me there. The preceeding was just a cruel joke. I guess what I am really interested in is the topic of belief.

Is the ability to believe in something a blessing or a curse?

Obviously, there is not a bright line answer.

It is a curse to those who waste their lives believing in something that doesn't exist? (e.g. God, gods, or an honest politician)

At the same time it is a blessing in many ways. (We might be crippled without it, in that how could we work for something beyond ourselves without it.)

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Ultimate Supreme Warrior Lord Philosopher Sovereign Jester of the Super Noobs

[ Wednesday, February 21, 2007 12:50: Message edited by: Cylon ]
Posts: 32 | Registered: Tuesday, February 13 2007 08:00
Councilor
Member # 6600
Profile Homepage #4
Originally by Salmon:

quote:
2. There are always consequences, by definition. Are you talking about societal consequences, both negative and positive?
Don't forget the unexpected ones!

*waves back* Dikiyoba can see you! How are you doing?
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Guardian
Member # 5360
Profile #5
It is good for the general unimportant populace to believe in something supernatural, but leaders, scientists, and other important figures should not.

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May the fires of Undeath burn in your soul, and consume it.
Posts: 1636 | Registered: Wednesday, January 5 2005 08:00
Agent
Member # 4574
Profile #6
quote:
Originally written by Death Twisted:

It is good for the general unimportant populace to believe in something supernatural, but leaders, scientists, and other important figures should not.
I disagree that people should believe in a supernatural force. I will make no shield, I am an athiest. So how is it good for the unimportant populace to believe in something supernatural?

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All praise the greatest mod of all time! Long live Master Aran!
Posts: 1186 | Registered: Friday, June 18 2004 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #7
There were some people that believe in predestination, so whatever they do was going to happen and they have no responsibility for their actions. Since there is no free will they shouldn't have to suffer for the consequences of their actions.

For the rest of us we believe in punishing them anyway. You can always tell them, "The punishment was predestined so suck it up."

Now for athiests who believe in no supernatural power. There isn't any way to prove you right or wrong in this world. After you die, well if you are right then it doesn't matter since there isn't anything. If you are wrong well then you'll have to wait and see.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #8
It's easy to have morality without religion. Without religion, the object is to make this life as enjoyable as possible. If we all do what we want, everyone (except for maybe one or two) will suffer. Overall happiness is increased by joining a society and following it's rules.

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Guardian
Member # 5360
Profile #9
Nalyd himself doesn't support religion, but it is extremely useful as propaganda.

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May the fires of Undeath burn in your soul, and consume it.
Posts: 1636 | Registered: Wednesday, January 5 2005 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #10
Belief isn't a bad thing, and the ability to believe is a blessing. It's merely what people choose to believe in that matters.

And as for religion, I've always held that it's more about the ideas than the structure, and people forget that. I mean, I'm an atheist, but I see a lot of worthwhile ideas in most extant religions. It's when people start believing that it's more important to go to church than to actually believe in what you're worshipping that you get problems.

On that note, Happy Ash Wednesday, everyone! :D

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Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.

I hate undead. I really, really, really, really hate undead. With a passion.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Shake Before Using
Member # 75
Profile #11
quote:
Originally written by Randomizer:

There were some people that believe in predestination, so whatever they do was going to happen and they have no responsibility for their actions. Since there is no free will they shouldn't have to suffer for the consequences of their actions.

For the rest of us we believe in punishing them anyway. You can always tell them, "The punishment was predestined so suck it up."

Wouldn't the proper answer to this really still be "it is to prevent you from committing further crimes, and dissuade others from committing crimes"? Even with the point of view that human actions are entirely deterministic, they are still determined by external forces. Therefore, society still has an obligation (the success or failure of attempts at it is predetermined, but the obligation still exists!), under that worldview, to make it so that less people are predestined to do wrong.

Basing any of your philosophy on predeterminism comes across as more or less wanky to me, anyway - every time I've considered it, I've merely come to the conclusion that since we cannot determine what our fates are even if it is true, it's a question - like the question "Do we live in the Matrix?" - that, while I cannot answer it, I don't base any of my personal philosophy on the answer to.
Posts: 3234 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Infiltrator
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Ephesos:
quote:

I mean, I'm an atheist, but I see a lot of worthwhile ideas in most extant religions.

That's funny. I'm an atheist, and I see the exact opposite. Religion is inherently detrimental to both the individual, and the collective.

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VIVE LA TAKERS!
VIVE LA REBELLION!
VIVE LA GHALDRING!
Posts: 522 | Registered: Friday, November 15 2002 08:00
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #13
quote:
Originally written by Waylander:

Ephesos:
quote:

I mean, I'm an atheist, but I see a lot of worthwhile ideas in most extant religions.

That's funny. I'm an atheist, and I see the exact opposite. Religion is inherently detrimental to both the individual, and the collective.

There will always be bloodthirsty fanatics and there will always be people too nice to kill an insect. It doesn't matter what religion they follow, even though some religions make it harder to justify violence than others. Communism and fascism have caused as many deaths as any similarly common religion, so secular philosophies aren't inherently less violent.

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Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Lifecrafter
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I have to agree with Randomizer: even if you believe that you aren't necessarily ultimately in control of your own actions, you are still the one who performs them, and must take responsibility for them.
Personally, I put the "I'm not responsible" response on par with that of the average Nazi.

quote:
Originally written by Waylander:

Religion is inherently detrimental to both the individual, and the collective.
Ooh. You've piqued my curiousity.
Do tell how.

edit: it's amazing how many people can post while you're trying to figure out what to say.

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The Silent Assassin has discovered an invention for alerting an entire neighborhood of his presence outdoors, as well as informing the neighborhood of his desire to be indoors.
I knew we should never have installed that stupid doorbell.

[ Wednesday, February 21, 2007 16:12: Message edited by: Lenar_Labs ]

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-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
? Man, ? Amazing
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Profile #15
Fear of the unknown, and specifically xenophobia, are both powerful motivators.

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #16
Salmon, what was that addressing?

quote:
Originally written by Waylander:

That's funny. I'm an atheist, and I see the exact opposite. Religion is inherently detrimental to both the individual, and the collective.
I agree with Zeviz here... and I think the problem is that you're not looking hard enough at the other side, Waylander. Heck, it's not even really a 'side'... you're looking at the constructs built around a core of what was for the most part a decent set of ideas (for exceptions, see Leviticus et. al.).

Actually, I'm kind of curious. Waylander, how do you define atheism?

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Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.

I hate undead. I really, really, really, really hate undead. With a passion.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
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I personally think that religion is not a good thing. It has led to genocide, murder, racism, terrorists, lack of understanding, and much more. It causes a more black and white vision to things, and leads to ignorance of anything that contradicts their religion. For instance, Christians all think that pagans are people that believe in the devil, but that is only because they believe in someone completely different than Jesus or whoever it is that Christians believe in. Religion leads to ignorance, which in turn leads to worse things.
Posts: 626 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #18
quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

It's easy to have morality without religion. Without religion, the object is to make this life as enjoyable as possible. If we all do what we want, everyone (except for maybe one or two) will suffer. Overall happiness is increased by joining a society and following it's rules.
Explain the leap from religion to society. The two are not the same. Secular society works just fine for me, thanks.

I'm not sure about religion. Certainly religions, both organized and disorganized, have caused a great deal of harm. The thing is, I'm not sure the religions are responsible. People are capable of being good and moral without God, and they're capable of being bad and immoral without them too.

The question for me is whether or not religions focus and enable war, hate, and ignorance more than they enable more positive results and more than the absence of religion does, and I don't know the answer.

—Alorael, who who also notes that it's just as possible to be a fanatical, ignorant atheist who roundly and wrongly despises all religion. All religions have unfortunate fundamentalists, and atheism is no exception. Please do not judge atheism by its worst constituents.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #19
quote:
Originally written by When That Was:

Explain the leap from religion to society. The two are not the same. Secular society works just fine for me, thanks.
I meant secular society. You misunderstood, I think. Religion is not nessesary to enjoy life, but society is. Sure, you can be a hermit, but then you need to worry about survival, something that is not so difficult in a society. Society makes life easier, but it will cost you: you can't just do anything you want. But this is a good thing, because it means other people can't do anything they want. This is my reasoning for atheistic ethics. Or, rather, Hobbes' reasoning.

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Law Bringer
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Profile Homepage #20
I misread your original post. Yes, I more or less agree with Hobbesian society. Living in a state of nature would be no fun, which is why it just so happens that states of nature don't occur very often in nature.

—Alorael, who does wonder sometimes about the evolution of belief. Why is it that humans across the globe have believed in spiritual forces and beings since long before such beliefs could be recorded? What human need does belief fill, and are atheists in trouble for not filling it?
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Councilor
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Profile Homepage #21
Originally by Kyrek:

quote:
For instance, Christians all think that pagans are people that believe in the devil, but that is only because they believe in someone completely different than Jesus or whoever it is that Christians believe in. Religion leads to ignorance, which in turn leads to worse things.
Not true. I am Christian and to me, paganism is that group of basically extinct earth-based religions that people have brought back or closely related to them. (Note that isn't an official definition, just a personal one based on my rather limited understanding.) And dismissal of all religion just because it has led to bad things happening is equally ignorant.

Dikiyoba.
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #22
quote:
Originally written by Ephesos:

Belief isn't a bad thing, and the ability to believe is a blessing. It's merely what people choose to believe in that matters.
This has always struck me as a fairly silly thing to say. How can one choose what one believes? Either one is convinced by the evidence for a particular position or one is not.

quote:
Originally written by Imban:

Even with the point of view that human actions are entirely deterministic, they are still determined by external forces. Therefore, society still has an obligation (the success or failure of attempts at it is predetermined, but the obligation still exists!), under that worldview, to make it so that less people are predestined to do wrong.
The problem with this analysis is that it requires a moral philosophy under which one can have a moral obligation to do the impossible.

quote:
Originally written by Lenar_Labs:

Personally, I put the "I'm not responsible" response on par with that of the average Nazi.
During WWII, at least a third of the German population was made up of "average Nazis", and possibly much more depending on when and how you counted. Is punishing them all a constructive thing to do?

quote:
Originally written by Alorael:

Why is it that humans across the globe have believed in spiritual forces and beings since long before such beliefs could be recorded?
The myths of various different cultures don't really have all that much in common besides the fact that they involve belief in entities and events with no personal way of confirming their existence. Given how many things one has to take other people's word for even in modern society, it isn't all that surprising that such beliefs were and still are held. (Where myths do have aspects in common across cultures, it's usually either because they relate to a relatively common event (such as a flood, or a conflict over leadership) or because the two cultures had contact with each other at some point in the past.)

[ Wednesday, February 21, 2007 17:53: Message edited by: Cryptozoology ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
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Profile #23
quote:
Originally written by Ephesos:

Salmon, what was that addressing?
I just trying to suggest that all this crap about religion causes this, or political scheme causes that are pure ****.

Being a human being causes strife. Being a human being causes pain. Being a human being causes pleasure. Being a human being causes joy. Trying to blame this on artificial constructs obscures the reality, placing blame and giving reward where it doesn't belong. ... That's what I was addressing. It made sense, sort of, except that several other posts intervened.

Who would have thought that a RT topic would recieve this many replies?

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Infiltrator
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Profile #24
There are exceptions, and maybe you are the exception or maybe the people I know are the exception. All I know is that the Christians I know don't understand Paganism. They actually think that pagans are people that sell their souls to the devil or whatever evil people are supposed to do.

Another annoying thing about religion is that people make attempts to convert you. My friend has made many attempts to trick me into reading the bible and it has gotten extremely annoying. I have t deal with religion every day of my life, and I don't like it. Religion clouds peoples minds and make people think that when somebody helps them it is actually god reaching out to them.

Also, the concepts of some religions are incredibly ignorant. For instance, Christianity is basically based around someone sending someone else to suffer a lot of pain for others. That is incredibly mean and unfair. To make someone suffer incredibly for others is extremely unfair and cruel.

Also, how can there be a god when there is so much pain, cruelty and unfairness in the world. Couldn't he/she change things for the better? Think of all the poverty in Africa. The gods of religions haven't done anything about that. What about Hitler and George Bush? "God" hasn't done anything about that.

So called "God" hasn't done very much good.
Posts: 626 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00

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