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30 August, 2011

Morals? Follow Up

I started posting on the comment section of the article to see if I could get a response and to my surprise I did. Here's what I said followed by the rabbi and so on ( It is important that I give you the definition of morals he kept referring to- “Morality is the custom of one’s country and the current feeling of one’s peers. Cannibalism is moral in a cannibalistic country.” (Samuel Butler) )
Now let me just see if I’ve got this correct. It seems that the rabbi could just as easily rationalize pedophilia as I could being an atheist (regardless of the fact that he could very easily rationalize is it by saying that rape and sexual abuse are quite blatantly sanctioned in his holy book) The difference being he can rationalize it but doesn’t do it because he’s got his celestial babysitter and I can rationalize it and don’t do it because through empathy, morals, and values I know that it’s wrong. Now please someone correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t the fact that I don’t do it to kiss ass to my imaginary master so that I won’t be sent to hell make me….inescapably more moral than the rabbi?
  1. 1:48 am
    How come you “know its wrong” yet Peter Singer and Joel Marks, two prominent atheistic philosophers don’t know it’s wrong? What is the source for your values, besides your own personal preferences? What would stop you from molesting children if you had the same physical desires as a pedophile?
    Please define “morality.” It would be helpful if you gave a definition. It seems clear to me that in an atheistic world, the definition proposed by Samuel Butler that was quoted in the article, is spot-on.

    1. 2:02 am
      I think I can stomach that definition rabbi. Cannibals don’t really often get very far as far as advancing their society. To me and I’m sure many atheists, morals have evolved sociobiologically starting with simple things that helped a species survive and grow through empathy we realized that what hurt us probably hurt others thus the golden rule was born which I believe most moral code is constructed on. By saying more moral than you I was implying that i’m a better person if that helps. and I don’t KNOW it’s wrong that was irresponsible of me to say I’m simply fairly sure its not too pleasant for that person again through empathy (which they have proven is a chemical process in the brain so don’t go off about empathy) I can infer that it wouldn’t really serve anyones best interest to engage in such behavior. while, again, you say that the only reason you don’t do this is because you’re heavenly babysitter is watching you. that seems completely immoral by the standard i’ve just explained. REPLY
    1. 2:16 am
      And you’ve sort of toppled you’re own argument I don’t do it because it’s disgusting. asking what if i had the sexual desires of a pedophile does nothing for you’re argument. It’s obviously not atheism thats allowing him to be a pedophile he’s just that way. it doesn’t matter what dogma or non dogma he prescribes to he’s still going to question why its wrong whether he has a holy book telling him it’s wrong or laws of the majority telling him its wrong. come on rabi REPLY
    1. 2:27 am
      I’ll end with saying this rabbi because to be honest I probably won’t come back to the article. The morality argument has been done, always badly as i think you’ve proved here today once again, and always explainable by atheists. You’ve taken these men out of context as so many theists do. I’m unimpressed, disappointed, and frankly infuriated that you’ve brought this back up AND in a way that says that because I don’t believe in God I can molest a child. If your religion were proved wrong as well as there was proved to be no god tomorrow you wouldn’t go out and molest a child I’d like to give you and your people more credit than that. and to suggest that is the case is insulting to me as an atheist and should be to you as a human being. I expect more rabbi I really do. 
    1. Shnig,
      Again, you have avoided confronting the real issue. While I take you at your word that you find peodophilia disgusting, it is for only one of two reasons:
      a. there is nothing inherently wrong with it, but you have been conditioned by your society to feel that way

      b. you believe that there is something inherently and intrinsically wrong with pedophilia which means that without being aware of it you believe there is some higher source for moral values.
      You have conveniently ignored the fact that all major atheistic philosphers (I mentioned specifically Joel Marks and Peter Singer) understand that atheism inescapably implies amorality. It has become glaringly obvious that none of the atheists commenting on this article have the courage or integrity to directly confront what Marks and Singer have to say.
      Without any reasoned argument to back it up, you claim I take them out of context. Joel Marks says he does not believe there is anything that is moral or immoral, INCLUDING CHILD MOLESTING.
      Please explain how I took that out of context.

      • 12:13 pm
        You insist to believe that it’s wrong I must believe in god rabbi as a higher power and that i have not addressed many things in your argument. to suggest that we all have some innate moral compass set there by god is quite convenient for you isn’t it? it is however unfalsifiable because, again, conveniently for you I can’t take this compass away, and therefore a non explanation as far as i, science, and MANY major atheistic philosophers and scientists are concerned (notice i did not make the awful mistake you did of saying ALL major atheistic philosophers because i’m POSITIVE that not ALL of them agree with the line of thought suggested by marks) and if it is inherent in us how do you explain pedophiles? slipped past god in the compass assembly line? to turn your accusation around on you, you’ve answered NONE of my statements regarding what you would do if there was definitively no god to babysit you while i have answered everything you’ve brought to me rabbi. We as a society have conversed, and arrived at the morals that say pedophile is wrong. It is not just seen this way in jewish societies, but in christian, muslim, hindu, buddhist, and so on. If you claim that at least the last three are entirely untrue as your religion suggests that means that they’ve come to these conclusions ON THEIR OWN without your god telling them what to do. I think rape is an excellent easy to understand example of my point. It’s sanctioned by your bible but we as a society have arrived at the conclusion that it is wrong. There is no consent in rape as there is no consent in pedophilia (Because it suggests someone too young to have developed and matured the ability to consent) So you are able to rape the virgins that you capture however I because I and society have arrived at the conclusion that it is wrong.
        1. do not. I apologize for not finishing the sentence.  

I Also hope, rabbi, that it is now GLARINGLY obvious to you that I have both the courage and integrity (not that it takes much) to confront Marks and Singers claims. I understand their ine of thought but do not agree as you can see glaring you in the face above. again, I do hope that’s glaringly obvious now.    
After this the rabbi did not respond however I reposted the question just in case he had forgotten after he had commented on someone else’s post (He had quite a few enraged posts he was dealing with) I posted after he made this comment:
Peter Singer is a philospher of “Ethics”. The nonchalance with which he discusses the subject makes it implicitly clear where he stands. Perhaps, I will clarify things a bit; I did not mean to say that Singer ADVOCATES bestiality but he certainly approves of it.
“An act that consequently damages or harms another creature” – this sounds good at a superficial level, however, the crippling philosophical flaw is that determining damage or harm to a creature is a subjective judgment – To 150,000,000 Spaniards and Mexicans bullfighting is a wonderful, exciting sport and perfectly acceptable.
As I wrote in my post above, where I put in the entire text of the original draft, roasting human beings for lunch was not considered harming another creature or immoral in the Fiji Islands. It stopped because of Christian/Western influence.
In other words, Wanda, you will determine what is consider “harming another creature” based on your personal preference. What else is there?

1:35 pm
Rabbi you keep bringing up cannibalism as if it helps your argument. Cannibalism was done for the simple fact that they thought they were receiving or doing something for the eaten by eating the body. something that can be chalked up to religion. These societies never got very far until a society that had realized that there is nothing to get from eating the human body came along and explained the mistake. I again put to you what you have not answered bellow. Rape is sanctioned by your holy book and yet we, as a society, have deemed it wrong because there is no consent from the raped. So you can easily rape someone by saying it’s sanctioned and therefore by being the infallible word of god, moral. I as an atheist can not say this and can not do it. We have arrived at morality by constantly discussing and discovering what helps our society and what hurts our society. It’s really quite simple and I don’t know why you refuse to badger me but not answer to any of my statements. REPLY
1:47 pm
*Why you Badger me about definitions that I have hopefully explained to you by now but refuse answering to any of my statements.

The rabbi has still not responded. This shows that if we stand up and speak out against ridiculous arguments that the religious leaders are able to shove down their followers throats we can stop them from doing so. To add more the Rabbi's holy book also condones slavery, and killing a man for working on the sabbath, the pope refuses to budge on the issue of condoms which is killing millions in africa by form of HIV. And the Quran...Goodness need I even start on what by todays societal standards is immoral in the Quran. The fact that we as the majority society deem these things to be immoral despite religion means that yes, indeed we can as a people survive even, dare I say, better without religion. I do admit I fell for the rabbi's fallacies at first when he twisted what marks had said but I would like to tell you that I do now agree with them. The rabbi made it seem like they were just condoning Molestation when in fact they were stating a very evident fundamental truth. NOTHING (including but blatantly obviously not limited to pedophilia) is intrinsically right or intrinsically wrong because there is no innate moral basis. This is quite obvious but these individuals know and have stated that we arrive at our own moral basis in discussions and processes that include  things such as empathy, learning, and science. “Morality is the custom of one’s country and the current feeling of one’s peers. Cannibalism is moral in a cannibalistic country.” (Samuel Butler) 

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