Immanuel Can wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:00 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:34 am
I have already justify how to ground a secular moral imperative or maxim, i.e.
- No human being shall kill another human being.
So then...this is your logic:
There is no God, (Premise 1, Atheism, by definition)
Conclusion: Therefore, no human being shall kill another human being. (exact restatement of your claim).
Well, what's "Premise 2"? What line of thought gets you from Atheism to the claim that it is therefore not permissible to kill another human being? I can't even think of what a sensible or plausible "Premise 2" would be there. But maybe you can...
The justification is no ordinary human [except the mentally ill or necessary euthanasia in terminal cases] on earth would voluntarily agree to be killed.
Okay, so now you've created another problem. You need to prove that "volunteering" is an objective value.
Now, let us grant that it may be the case that "no ordinary human" would agree to be killed (I don't think it's true at all, and I really don't think you can. I'm certain all the "right to die" people would side with me in saying so.) But let's just pretend you got that one for free.
From where do you get the axiom, things people don't volunteer for cannot be done
Lots of people doubt that. Children don't "volunteer" for time outs. Criminals don't "volunteer" to be incarcerated. Workers don't "volunteer" -- they expect wages, and have to work anyway, or their families starve. Accident victims don't "volunteer" to be maimed. There are plenty of human situations in which necessity or social requirement, not volunteerism, is the main principle.
In the animal kingdom (which Atheism holds we are members of), lions kill zebras all the time. Not only that, lions kill hyenas, jackals, and other lions. And there is zero moral prohibition on any of that. So how now do you make human being an exception, and say that they are the lone animals for whom "volunteering" is not just a stopper, but a moral/ethical duty to respect?
But again, maybe you know a "Premise 2" that nobody else does. I'll wait and see.
the above maxim will naturally be accepted by all.
Well, no, I can't simply hand you such a claim. It's not. You can see it's not.
But even if it were (let's pretend again), you've created a third
problem now: now you've created a need to prove the axiom, "that which will naturally be accepted is obligatory."
Have you got a "Premise 2" for that one?
In this case, no human being has any rational justification to reject that moral maxim.
Certainly they do.
Let's suppose I want to take advantage of my society. My rationale for this is that I am übermensch
, or one of the strong and courageous of Randian fame, and it suits my purposes to do something for which people will not volunteer...like, say, paying taxes to me, or settling for a portion of the value of their labour while I acquire the surplus value, or making as many women believe they are attracted to me as I can and using that to induce them give me sexual advantages and money. On Atheism, why must I not do any of this?
I can do it. I want to do it. Given my purpose, to advantage myself, I have a rational goal in mind, toward which this is the quickest route. You may say you don't like it; but I do. Tell me, as an Atheist, then, why I ought not to do whatever I want and whatever advantages me, regardless of whether or not anybody "volunteers." What care I for "volunteering"? What does Atheism add that would make me respect "volunteers," and not take my advantages?
And here, Darwin and Spencer and Sumner and Galton all jump into the discussion. If I am one of the "strong" in this animal society, and I am persuaded by you NOT to seize my natural survival advantages, I am harming the race. The strong must survive, and the weak and stupid must die, or the race will fail to evolve. Nietzsche adds, "Yes: and why should the übermensch be held back by the stupid moral qualms of the sheep?"
Here, the most highly-regarded Atheists all assemble and frown down on you. "Volunteer? What nonsense," they say. Even Richard Dawkins chimes in:
“The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
In other words, the overwhelming opinion of Atheists who are regarded highly by Atheists
-- who are cited repeatedly, celebrated and valorized for their Atheistic wisdom -- are ranged against your view. They all ask, "How do you
derive morality from Atheism?"
And your answer will not work. Even on this forum, I have had Atheists repeatedly assert to me that Atheism contains no moral claims whatsoever. But now, you tell me you're a different kind of Atheist, and you DO have an ability to ground a moral claim.
And you wonder if I doubt you?
- * To facilitate survival and preservation of the species, DNA wise ALL humans are embedded with a program in their brain to kill whatever living things for food and nutrients. This kill or be killed program is active in the majority and dormant in some.
The majority must have the ability to kill animals, fishes and whatever edible living things for food in addition to killing in the case of self-defense.
The problem is this program is morally blind and some will kill without any moral sense.
This is why humanity must work on the inhibitor programs to modulate this terrible 'necessary' impulse to optimize the well being of all humans.
Wait a minute: did you not notice your own chosen quotation completely destroys your argument? You've just admitted, by quoting the above, that nature is "morally blind and some will kill without any moral sense." But then you want to say, "That's why we must inhibit nature," and "That's why we must deny our programming"?
But there's no possibility of this, under Atheism. There's nothing BUT nature. There's nothing BUT the program. In fact, it would be totally bizarre to think any creature, itself a product of nothing but nature and programming, even COULD resist that.
If we take Atheism seriously, then the upshot is your argument that any obligatory morality can exist is dead. And it's not dead by the hands of the Theists, but by the great "saints" of Atheism, and by the internal logic of the Atheist supposition.
It needs no other critic to pronounce its requiem.