Harbal wrote: ↑Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:51 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: ↑Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:25 pm
And yet, if "in compliance with their conscience" means "automatically morally good,"
I'm not making any claims about the quality of the morality that stems from the conscience, but neither would I accept that anything claimed to be the will of God is automatically morally creditworthy.
What code or moral facts sheet would you refer to in order to establish what, about God, was "creditworthy" or not? Where would you get such a thing?
there's no difference between the claim that self-esteem makes people conscientious, and the claim that it makes them good.
I am citing self-esteem, or the attainment of it, as an incentive. It could well be an incentive to do something bad, but, in the case that I am making, it's the incentive to follow the conscience. You said an atheist had no reason to act in accordance with his conscience, I am putting forward self-esteem as the reason.
No, I said no such thing. Nor would I.
Atheists can be very conscientious, or not. But how do we establish that what their consciences are telling them is "good," if "good" and "conscientious" are not identical? And we have established that they are not necessarily so. I doubt it would be much consolation to the victims of a genocide, embezzlement or rape if their oppressor said, "Well, I felt they deserved it, so I did it in good conscience?"
I am neither saying that self-esteem, per se, is a good nor a bad thing or that it can tell us anything about a person's moral standards.
Okay, I agree. But then, why mention it? It's not telling us anything about the moral situation, apparently.
But if the implication is that conscientiousness is not associated with good,
I'm sorry, IC, I don't know where this particular implication that you have identified has actually come from.
I wasn't saying you would make it. I only wanted to indicate what would happen, or what would follow logically, IF someone went that way.
It might be a bad conscience that they are motivated to follow.
That is true, this is just a fact of life that we have to accept, just as we have to accept that there will always be those who do bad things in the name of God.
Why would we accept
evil? It may be that some kind of evil will always be around; but this is surely no argument for ignoring the evil that we can identify and address, no?
But yes, people do bad stuff "in the name of God." Right you are. Just like, if I were cunning, I could get into your bank account by doing it "in your name." That's not to say I'd have any right to do it, or that if you caught me I wouldn't be just as culpable as the scoundrel who robbed you at gunpoint.
There isn't much to say about someone who does evil "in the name of God," except that he isn't acting in the name of God.
for we know that high-self-esteem people are often very bad. And their consciences may be too.
Well, actually, I don't know that high-self-esteem people are often very bad, I'll have to take your word for that and trust you, I'm sure your conscience wouldn't let you say it if it weren't true. However, it doesn't alter the fact that there are those with a good conscience who will feel obliged to adhere to it out of their need to maintain their sense of self-esteem.
Maybe. But they're never a worry. The worry is those who have a good conscience but don't obey it, or those who have a bad conscience that needs correcting. If everyone was good all the time, we wouldn't even have fields like Ethics or Moral Philosophy. We would never need them.
I suppose we could argue that conscience never misleads. But I don't think that's an easy claim to sustain. There seem to be plenty of people who feel very self-certain about very wrong or bad attitudes and behaviours.
Yes and there are people who are very certain that God wants them to do things that you and I would consider abominable.
That word "abominable" is a very strong moral pejorative. And while I agree you are right to use it (in the case, say, of jihadis or conquistadors), I can't see where an Atheist or agnostic would find the legitimative basis to show it was warranted.
After all, in an Atheist world, "abominable" is just a synonym for "not my preference, but not intrinsically or objectively bad". But I doubt you want to say that the abuses occasioned under God's name are all limited to being merely "not my preference." I think you want to assert them as very, very bad...with the implication, as well, that there would be something morally deficient about anyone who failed to understand them as such.
And I agree. But how would you justify that word?