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Old 15th November 2012, 09:20 AM   #201
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by "arbitrary;" good and evil are very clearly dictated by the nature of the universe in which we live.
.
That "good" and "evil" are what occurs naturally.
Whiskers on kittens, sunsets, solving a conundrum, breaking a leg, cancer...
It's the manufactured "evil" that pisses everyone off.
Worship my invisible sky daddy or die kind of thing. Crazy people with wild ideas like that are the curse of this world.
The natural problems, these can have work arounds... like the total elimination of smallpox, and the close to total elimination of polio, stalled by crazy people yelling crazy things!
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Old 15th November 2012, 09:22 AM   #202
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
The problem is the next part, where you say the rules are independent of you and objective, despite you having made the rules and retaining the unilateral ability to change them at any time (and have done so several times in the past), which is pretty much the opposite of both of those terms.

I don't think it's circular reasoning, because circular reasoning is an actual (but fallacious) argument.

You're saying black is white.

[ETA] Oh, and declaring yourself above the rules as part of the rules, can't forget that. God would be a monster if judged on the same basis as us mortals, but he's God, the rules say he gets the benefit of the doubt, and also that doubting is itself against the rules.
.
And basketball rules won't work all that well in curling, or speed-walking.
Stepping off a high place with nothing beneath but lots of air, gravity rules all.
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Old 15th November 2012, 09:53 AM   #203
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
The problem is the next part, where you say the rules are independent of you and objective, despite you having made the rules and retaining the unilateral ability to change them at any time (and have done so several times in the past), which is pretty much the opposite of both of those terms.
Again, no, the rules haven't changed. The fundamental morality of the universe is the same today as it has always been -- good and evil haven't changed.

But one of the unchanging rules is "obey God." So the morality of particular actions as being in accordance with or contrary to God's commands can change. This doesn't change the underlying rules; just one particular referent of them.

After all, you wouldn't consider the rule "love everyone" to be changing just because people are constantly being born and dying and therefore the particular people you are to love changes. Similarly, the rule "protect your family" doesn't change just because under one set of circumstances that means stay in a town and in another set of circumstances that means leave the town. Neither does the rule "obey God" change just because God's instructions are different for different people.

The fundamental principles of morality are hardwired into the universe, objective, and unchanging. Their particular application may depend on particular circumstances.
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Old 15th November 2012, 09:55 AM   #204
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
Again, no, the rules haven't changed. The fundamental morality of the universe is the same today as it has always been -- good and evil haven't changed.

But one of the unchanging rules is "obey God." So the morality of particular actions as being in accordance with or contrary to God's commands can change. This doesn't change the underlying rules; just one particular referent of them.

After all, you wouldn't consider the rule "love everyone" to be changing just because people are constantly being born and dying and therefore the particular people you are to love changes. Similarly, the rule "protect your family" doesn't change just because under one set of circumstances that means stay in a town and in another set of circumstances that means leave the town. Neither does the rule "obey God" change just because God's instructions are different for different people.
Ah, so they're subjective then.

Quote:
The fundamental principles of morality are hardwired into the universe, objective, and unchanging. Their particular application may depend on particular circumstances.
Can you give objective examples of universal good and evil?
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Old 15th November 2012, 09:58 AM   #205
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Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
Ah, so they're subjective then.
No, "different for different people" does not mean "subjective." Are orders issued to soliders in the US army subjective? Is your SAT score subjective? How about your blood pressure?

Something can be specific to you or apply selectively to you and not others and still be entirely objective.
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Old 15th November 2012, 10:02 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
Can you give objective examples of universal good and evil?
Obey God.

Refrain from malice.

Treat all others as having the same value that you have (that is, do not dehumanize anyone).

Pursue love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
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Old 15th November 2012, 10:03 AM   #207
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
No, "different for different people" does not mean "subjective." Are orders issued to soliders in the US army subjective? Is your SAT score subjective? How about your blood pressure?

Something can be specific to you or apply selectively to you and not others and still be entirely objective.
I thought we were talking about morals, not rules created by humans, SAT scores nor blood pressure.

A pity you subjectively edited my post so you didn't answer the question about the objective and universal examples of good and evil.
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Old 15th November 2012, 10:06 AM   #208
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Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
I thought we were talking about morals, not rules created by humans, SAT scores nor blood pressure.
We are. And?

Quote:
A pity you subjectively edited my post so you didn't answer the question about the objective and universal examples of good and evil.
No, I objectively edited your post. Nobody's personal perceptions have any bearing on whether I edited your post or not -- the fact that I did so is an objective fact.
I'm starting to wonder if we have the same understanding as to what "subjective" and "objective" mean.
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Old 15th November 2012, 10:07 AM   #209
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
Obey God.
Which one or which ones and why would that be objectively moral or good?

Quote:
Refrain from malice.
That one I can agree with but I don't see how it is objective.

Quote:
Treat all others as having the same value that you have (that is, do not dehumanize anyone).
But others don't have the same value as I have. Obviously, that one isn't universal.

Quote:
Pursue love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
That one is pretty much unfalsifiable by using the verb "Pursue".

Do you have any objective or universal ones?
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Old 15th November 2012, 10:09 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
We are. And?
I don't see the connection between the unrelated things that you brought in to compare to morals.
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Old 15th November 2012, 10:20 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
I don't see the connection between the unrelated things that you brought in to compare to morals.
I think you do, considering it's the topic sentence of the paragraph where I introduced them. I recommend you go back and look again. Also pay attention to the post I was responding to and your basis for the claim I was refuting.
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Old 15th November 2012, 10:26 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
I think you do, considering it's the topic sentence of the paragraph where I introduced them. I recommend you go back and look again. Also pay attention to the post I was responding to and your basis for the claim I was refuting.
So nothing in the universe is subjective then.

Is not bowing to the east five times a day objectively bad and immoral?
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Old 15th November 2012, 10:58 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
Obey God.

Refrain from malice.

Treat all others as having the same value that you have (that is, do not dehumanize anyone).

Pursue love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
The obey God sets up an interesting paradox. It makes it possible for two people to act against one another, each doing good and each obeying God. This is the difference between subjective and objective and why it causes trouble.

On the one hand, since God is the author of morality, he is not subject to morality in any fundamental way. He is the defining feature. On the other hand, since each of us acts within a context and varied relationship to God, we can hold different goals and moral objectives. It is quite like the basketball analogy with each team on God's side, but still there is a game to play, a winner and a loser.

I may say, for example, that God's dictates to my people say I must convert others and harm them in defense of our covenant. Those other people, in a mirror fashion, say and believe the same thing. God gets the trump card, since all must obey Him to remain moral. Everyone is playing the game and everyone is doing good from their own perspective. Yet somehow, each also sees evil in the other. What a fine game it is too, better than the sport of kings.

I would also like to point out that the discussion isn't just about right and wrong or good and evil. It's also about ranking, so that one thing is "more good" than another and the same for evil. This is important as well, since quite often we take the path of doing less evil or more good. As the ranking differs, so does the outcome.

When rankings are considered, we get conundrums like: Is murder more evil than infidelity or am I justified in killing someone to prevent the greater evil? I would say that most moral choices are of this type and not simply a black/white choosing between right and wrong.
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Old 15th November 2012, 11:02 AM   #214
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And not having a fist-length beard,... One hasta wonder about an all-powerful being that is insulted by such trivia.
Kinda makes one think it's just a cult thing, those requirements please the leader of the cult, and the more lethal members of that cult.
I recall seeing a woodcut of the execution of Thomas Birkenhead for heresy.. with a note that the two guys hanging on gallows behind him had been executed for eating meat on a Friday.
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Old 15th November 2012, 11:27 AM   #215
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by "arbitrary;" good and evil are very clearly dictated by the nature of the universe in which we live.

But they aren't. For example, the whole concept of a "New Convenant" suggests that the rules did change at some point. What was evil is now good, simply because of Jesus' actions, otherwise Christians would avoid bacon.
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Old 15th November 2012, 11:54 AM   #216
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
I think all of your responses are addressed by my basketball analogy. The argument isn't circular at all, any more than it's circular for me to create the rules to a new game and then also claim I follow those rules when playing the game.
Well no, not really.

For a start your basketball example does not show how good and evil are hardwired into the universe. Nor does it address my question as to what physical mechanism within the universe thus causes good and evil.

A basket in basketball is worth 2 points. But the game could still work if it was 4, 10 or 15. The rules are arbitrary and defined by the 'creator'. Equally there is nothing about the court, or players, or ref or rules-writer that hardwires the rules into the game. The rules can change and the game will be the same.

So no, your analogy doesn't seem to work at all.
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Old 15th November 2012, 12:08 PM   #217
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
Obey God.

Refrain from malice.

Treat all others as having the same value that you have (that is, do not dehumanize anyone).

Pursue love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Absolutely none of these things are objectively good.

Not even close.
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Old 15th November 2012, 12:15 PM   #218
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
The universe isn't conscious, and so doesn't "care" about anything. But things in the universe exist objectively. Red and blue exist objectively. So do good and evil.
How do we discover these universal rules of good and evil?
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Old 15th November 2012, 12:59 PM   #219
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Originally Posted by Hokulele View Post
But they aren't. For example, the whole concept of a "New Convenant" suggests that the rules did change at some point. What was evil is now good, simply because of Jesus' actions, otherwise Christians would avoid bacon.
As I pointed out earlier, the unchanging moral principle is "obey God." The holiness code and other ceremonial and lifestyle specifics have changed, while the fundamental moral principles have not.
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Old 15th November 2012, 01:07 PM   #220
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
As I pointed out earlier, the unchanging moral principle is "obey God." The holiness code and other ceremonial and lifestyle specifics have changed, while the fundamental moral principles have not.
What about cultures which believe in more than one god? How do they objectively determine which of their god's moral code is correct? What about people who don't believe in any god(s) at all? Where does their objective moral code come from?
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Old 15th November 2012, 01:21 PM   #221
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
As I pointed out earlier, the unchanging moral principle is "obey God."
I tried until I was about 12, when I realised that a requirement to stone to death everyone wearing poly-cotton clothes (Leviticus 19:19) was more than a little unreasonable. Mind you, if I'd had a sister anywhere as annoying as my brothers, then god's permission to sell her into slavery (Exodus 21:7) might have counterbalanced the poly-cotton thing.

Mike

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Old 15th November 2012, 02:16 PM   #222
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
When we quit formulating castles in the air and began experimenting in the real world, philosophy ended and science started.
Nommed

And now back to why an imaginary, unproven, improbable construct has any bearing on how we should behave.

And the answer is:- 'There is no reason!'
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Old 15th November 2012, 03:57 PM   #223
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
I tried until I was about 12, when I realised that a requirement to stone to death everyone wearing poly-cotton clothes (Leviticus 19:19) was more than a little unreasonable. Mind you, if I'd had a sister anywhere as annoying as my brothers, then god's permission to sell her into slavery (Exodus 21:7) might have counterbalanced the poly-cotton thing.
And the justification that these were meant for other people or have been overridden by the New Testament doesn't change the fact that these things were once considered "good" by God.

Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
One last idea -- God is not the standard for good by fiat; He is incidentally the standard for good in that His properties line up exactly with what is good.
I simply can't see how a creature whose properties line up with good, could have endorsed such things in any time or place, or done such things as drown newborn babies because he didn't like the adults who happened to be around them.
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Old 15th November 2012, 04:01 PM   #224
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
If you're unaware that plenty of Christians (particularly Restorationists like me) have read through the Bible and kept their faith, I'd recommend you meet a few more people. Although I can see how self-selection bias might be at work here - you meet enough deconverts who have read the Bible and you start to assume the all who have read the Bible are deconverts. It's a common mistake.
I am SO SORRY. I meant "read the Bible" without filters installed by the propagandists that programmed you. My bad.
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Old 15th November 2012, 05:52 PM   #225
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
As I pointed out earlier, the unchanging moral principle is "obey God." The holiness code and other ceremonial and lifestyle specifics have changed, while the fundamental moral principles have not.
Fine, now where do I find out what god says so I can obey it?
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Old 15th November 2012, 05:54 PM   #226
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Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
Nommed

And now back to why an imaginary, unproven, improbable construct has any bearing on how we should behave.

And the answer is:- 'There is no reason!'
:
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Old 15th November 2012, 06:07 PM   #227
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
Obey God.
Which one?

YHWH?
Garuda Bird?
Loviatar?
Coyote?
Atahualpa?

Sorry, but "Obey God" begs the question of which one.
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Old 15th November 2012, 06:22 PM   #228
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Avalon's quirk is in thinking that meaning and abstract concepts can just exist like some force. As if meaning and concept can literally be created as a tangible thing, rather than just an idea.

This allows for a being that can not only create everything, but that allows for a being to also automatically be the goodest thing that can possibly be good that can attribute the things that it values as "the most important thing in the universe".

The idea that importance is a real force or thing that isn't just something a mind attributes to something is one of the more crazy aspects of this thinking to me.
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Old 15th November 2012, 06:28 PM   #229
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The trick seems to be in thinking that concepts can be the same thing as behaviors or states.
As if good or bad is no different than hot or cold when all is said and done.

To me, implying that there is something good or bad about the universe is like claiming there is a smell to happiness or a color to laughter.
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Old 15th November 2012, 09:09 PM   #230
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Originally Posted by Halfcentaur View Post
Avalon's quirk is in thinking that meaning and abstract concepts can just exist like some force. As if meaning and concept can literally be created as a tangible thing, rather than just an idea.

This allows for a being that can not only create everything, but that allows for a being to also automatically be the goodest thing that can possibly be good that can attribute the things that it values as "the most important thing in the universe".

The idea that importance is a real force or thing that isn't just something a mind attributes to something is one of the more crazy aspects of this thinking to me.
This seems to be his denomination:

Christian primitivism, the primitive Christian movement, or restorationism is the belief that Christianity should be restored along the lines of what is known about the apostolic early church, which restorationists see as the search for a more pure and more ancient form of the religion.[1]:635[2]:217[3] Fundamentally, "this vision seeks to correct faults or deficiencies [in the church] by appealing to the primitive church as a normative model."[1]:635 The term "restorationism" is sometimes used more specifically as a synonym for the American Restoration Movement.[2]:225-226 The term is also used by more recent groups, describing their goal to re-establish Christianity in its original form, such as some anti-denominational Charismatic Restorationists, which arose in the 1970s in the United Kingdom[4][5] and elsewhere. In comparable terms, earlier primitivist movements, including the Hussites,[6]:13 Anabaptists,[6]:125-135 Landmarkists[6]:69-71 and the Puritans,[6]:50-55 have been described as examples of restorationism, as have many seventh-day Sabbatarians.
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Old 15th November 2012, 09:15 PM   #231
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Wasn't the early church like a self-destructive hippie commune? Members were selling everything they owned and trying to just coast until the apocalypse. It didn't adopt a sustainable business model until the Romans got hold of it.

Or is "the early church as we imagine it to be" implied in the primitivist charter?

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Old 15th November 2012, 10:51 PM   #232
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
Obey God.
No. I know with every fiber of my being that there is no god, hence obeying a god, regardless of what version is meaningless.
If this were hardwired in the universe I'd know I was rebelling, but I don't have that feeling, nor have I ever have that.

Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
Refrain from malice.

Define malice. The spanish inquisition served god with all their heart and were stamping out malice as they percieved it, yet most consider them sadistic torturers even contemporaries. Who is right?

Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
Treat all others as having the same value that you have (that is, do not dehumanize anyone).

So, by that standpoint I'd have to treat you as someone who condones abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage and who would like to have all religious exemptions in the law (like tax breaks and allowance for special schools) removed. Somehow I doubt you'd feel happy if I did that. And I won't as I know your values and mine differ immensely

Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
Pursue love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
And if I don't? Not to mention that each of these things can be interpreted as broadly as human imagination comes up with. I think it's kindness to allow people to end their own lives, should I persue that even though your god's commands say that is murder that deserves punishment?

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Old 16th November 2012, 04:43 AM   #233
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
I tried until I was about 12, when I realised that a requirement to stone to death everyone wearing poly-cotton clothes (Leviticus 19:19) was more than a little unreasonable.
Where does Leviticus list stoning as the punishment for wearing mixed garments?
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Old 16th November 2012, 04:46 AM   #234
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
I am SO SORRY. I meant "read the Bible" without filters installed by the propagandists that programmed you. My bad.
So anyone who reads the Bible and doesn't deconvert isn't a true Scotsman... I mean, Bible-reader?
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Old 16th November 2012, 04:52 AM   #235
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"Having the same value," being just as valuable. Not "sharing the same values."

Unless you're saying that you dehumanize anyone who doesn't agree with all of your political positions, in which case you are acting immorally.
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Old 16th November 2012, 05:57 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
"Having the same value," being just as valuable. Not "sharing the same values."

Unless you're saying that you dehumanize anyone who doesn't agree with all of your political positions, in which case you are acting immorally.
Based on what?
I find it immoral to dehumanize others, and appearantly so do you.
But hundreds of generations of christians, muslims, jews and other religions had (and have) absolutely no problem doing so and calling it moral. So clearly there is no hardcode in the universe that prevents us from doing so or even punishes us for breaking that so called law.
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Old 16th November 2012, 06:06 AM   #237
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
So anyone who reads the Bible and doesn't deconvert isn't a true Scotsman... I mean, Bible-reader?
The hard part is thinking about what one reads. Without that effort you'll stay a believer. If you make the effort, and you're rational, there's no chance you'd stay a believer. Not without huge amounts of denial, that is.
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Old 16th November 2012, 06:24 AM   #238
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Originally Posted by Merton View Post
True, one needn't know philosophy of science to do science, but you sure as hell get a lot more done! Also, a lot of the philosophy of science is so prevalent, at least within the scientific community, that people take it as a given, ignorant of the fact that it is actually philosophy.


I think you are playing with words there. Whether you know it or not.

Although there may be all sorts of fringe areas in which people like to describe their subject as “science”, on forums like this, when we discuss fundamental scientific issues such as evolution, GR, QM etc., what we are talking about are the fundamental core scientific areas of Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology.

However, if you read any of the millions of papers produced in those core sciences every year, and look at what are invariably very extensive lists of references in every paper, you will be hard pressed to find even one reference to any work from any of the well known classical philosophers. That sort of academic philosophy is quite irrelevant and of no use at all to the way we now understand things through science.



Originally Posted by Merton View Post
No, I'm not saying that everyone is a philosopher; however, it is the philosopher who has determined what constitutes knowledge... even what constitutes science. Without this knowledge, we may be wasting precious time on fringe science or pseudoscience, or we may incorrectly identify data as evidence when it conveys no knowledge whatsoever.


I don't think any of the above is true.

Before the advent of science, philosophers and theologians may have believed they were "determining what constitutes knowledge". But since those very ancient times, since about the time of Galileo circa.1500-1600 onwards, science has unquestionably shown that philosophy of that historic sort is quite useless when it comes to actually discovering or explaining any real physically existing events or processes in this universe.

It may be of some interest to those who wish to spend their time arguing about contradictions and inconsistencies in the semantic use of language. But as a way of ever discovering, explaining & understanding anything in this physical universe, afaik philosophy of that sort has been, and continues to be, 100% ineffective.
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Old 16th November 2012, 06:31 AM   #239
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
Where does Leviticus list stoning as the punishment for wearing mixed garments?
Is death ever listed as a punishment in the Bible?
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Old 16th November 2012, 09:07 AM   #240
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Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
Is death ever listed as a punishment in the Bible?
Only for Isaac.
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