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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Science proves beyond all reasonable doubt there is no God, what does that do to evil?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26821points) June 30th, 2016

If science were able to prove beyond all doubt God does not exist, how does that change evil or how would evil even exist? Could one say ISIS was evil because they do something that was oppose to the person or group making the claim? How valid is their accusation when someone can say what they are doing is evil? Is evil a popularity game where those with greater numbers get to say what or who is evil? How great a number do you need and how do you know if you have achieved it? Will there be a global council on evil, and if there was just because they say something evil it is just their demarcation based off their peculiarities, so how is that truly valid for what is evil?

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92 Answers

XOIIO's avatar

People would still choose to ignore facts and logic.

MrGrimm888's avatar

First off. Science doesn’t have to prove there is no god any more than it has to disprove Bigfoot. Both would have to prove that ‘they’ exist.
Secondly. Evil is a concept. It isn’t tangible, and is subjective in it’s use. Some may call something or someone evil. To other people it may not be that big of a deal. America felt it needed to deploy two nuclear bombs once. To the Japanese, this was surely an act of evil. To most Americans, Japan was evil, and that was thought to be one of the only ways to stop them. As with most concepts, it is all in the eye of the beholder.

Setanta's avatar

Evil is certainly a subjective concept. At the same time, one can make a case that certain acts or policies are evil, and when that case is put, act upon it. Japan as a concept of a nation was not evil. The ruling military junta could be described as evil in terms of the utility of their actions. The Japanese military took actions which served no useful, non-militaristic purposes, and, beyond a certain point, which was quickly reached in their wars, was harmful as much to the people of Japan as it was to the people of China and several European colonial empires. Arguing that those empires were, in and of themselves evil does not justify the great harm done to their indigenous populations by the Japanese military—and such an argument would be a tu quoque fallacy.

ISIS does no earthly good to the people who are unfortunate enough to fall into their control. Its entire purpose is the aggrandizement of the ISIS leadership and the establishment of a theocratic dictatorship—the Caliphate. So I assert that actions and policies can, and sometimes must be judged based on their “dysutility,” and German National Socialism and Italian and Spanish faxcism are all examples of this.

God arguments are meaningless as they are always baed on an undemonstrated premise that there is a deity which is the source of all moral good.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Evil is simply a matter of perspective.

dabbler's avatar

Science/logic can’t prove a negative, and science would not pretend to have any mastery over such a domain of knowledge where the scientific method can’t be applied.

Also, I think we’d need some definitons of God and evil to go further with implications if there is no God.

cazzie's avatar

Food and evil has and always be. They are and always remain independent of man me religious doctrine. Because religion builds belief around those concepts has no factor on their existence. Religion can go away, change, be lost to the ages and good and evil remain. Mankind has always has concepts of good and evil long before god was invented.

ragingloli's avatar

Then you would have to think about what is evil and actually take responsibility for your decisions.
Not that this would ever happen, though.
The proof could be 1000% certain, and you would still reject it.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^ Yeah, Everything bad I’ve ever done is the fault of someone else.

When my college friends stole that phone booth it was because someone held a gun on us or used mind control…

Seek's avatar

Moral values exist outside religious doctrine, and always have.

Don’t believe me? Find someone of a religion you dislike, and take their baby from them and smash the baby’s head against a pile of sharp rocks.

Does the idea of that seem displeasing to you? Because according to the book of Psalms you should be thrilled at the opportunity.

If you find something that the Bible says to be pleasing, displeasing, you’re already applying an outside moral value to your life.

The spectrum (not the dichotomy) of good and evil exist outside of religion. QED.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

There is a god.

Science will eventually prove that god is us.

“We are god.

For only we can create the idea of his existence in our holy brains…”

Domingo, by Yello.

ibstubro's avatar

Science has never proved anything beyond a reasonable doubt.

Adolph Hitler or Donald Trump for that matter can declare the Earth flat, and make it so.

Science is just another form of ever evolving faith.

Mariah's avatar

One can simply ask how current atheists choose a moral system.

Deciding whether something is evil: Does it harm people without their consent? Is there a benefit to the action that outweighs the harm it is doing to people? Yes, these questions can get messy and there aren’t always absolute answers! That’s true of any moral code, though.

cazzie's avatar

@ibstubro Science is not faith. The Earth is not flat and that is provable. I apologise for my last post, I was on a bumpy bus with my phone.

cazzie's avatar

How fucked up do you have to be to need a council on good and evil or some ancient book written by goat herders to tell you right from wrong, good from evil? How poorly raised or what horrors would someone be exposed to that their own measures of value get so mixed up? It is wrong if it hurts you or someone else. ISIS is killing and torturing people. Evil. Assholes that spread bullets at nightclubs and kill people are evil. Assholes that blow up medical facilities and kill doctors are evil. Social values and morays are reflected in what becomes acceptable. Evil leaders lead societies astray and it has often been historically within contexts of a god or gods (and I include the Christian one here too). Good and Evil. They are eternal and the social constructs, like religion, simply go in to refine them to reflect their own views on socially constructed values (like killing or excluding Jewish people or Kurdish people, or Native Americans etc). Evil is still evil, regardless of what the man in the funny collar is spewing in front of the fancy alter.

LostInParadise's avatar

I will answer your question with a question, specifically the Euthypro dilemma of Plato.

Does God do things because they are right, or are God’s acts right simply because God does them?
Either choice gets you in trouble, which is what makes it a dilemma.

If there is an external standard of right which God acts on then God has no choice but to do the right thing. God is not free and is reduced to being an automaton.

If, on the other hand, God makes up the standards of right and wrong then there is no way of judging the rightness or wrongness of God’s acts and they are purely arbitrary.

Either answer leads to the conclusion that the concept of God provides no moral guidance. There is either a standard apart from God or what God says is right is purely arbitrary.

My personal feeling regarding morality is that the best we can do is come up with general guidelines, but there will always be exceptions to whatever general standard we come up with.

From the little that I have read about it, I am drawn to the philosophy of W D Ross

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Science is not faith. It is an evolving body of objective information and the means to acquire that information. When we design circuits and bridges we don’t rely on hope or feelings.

LostInParadise's avatar

For a really good discussion of this topic I recommend this debate between the philosopher Shelly Kagan and the Christian apologist William Lane Craig.

Craig has engaged in a number of similar debates and is usually triumphant, primarily because his opponents are ill prepared and tend to think they can argue extemporaneously. In the debate with Kagan, Craig meets his match. I personally think that Kagan did better and I also think that he held back out of professional courtesy.

Seek's avatar

Craig “wins” because he engages in what I disaffectionately call “spaghetti arguments”.

He throws all the shit he can at the wall and when his opponent is left breathless and out of time pointing out the flaws in each argument, he can point to one minor thing that was left out of the rebuttal and say “SEE HE DIDN’T HAVE AN ARGUMENT FOR THAT ONE SO I WIN”.

kritiper's avatar

God, or the lack of any God, has nothing to do with evil. Evil is not an essence like some would believe a god is. It is not a thinking, reasoning concept. If there is no “God,” then there is likewise no devil or Satan that might spawn evil.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Secondly. Evil is a concept. It isn’t tangible, and is subjective in it’s use. Some may call something or someone evil. To other people it may not be that big of a deal. America felt it needed to deploy two nuclear bombs once. To the Japanese, this was surely an act of evil. To most Americans, Japan was evil, and that was thought to be one of the only ways to stop them. As with most concepts, it is all in the eye of the beholder.
@ARE_you_kidding_me Evil is simply a matter of perspective.
By that standard all the Popes, Mother Teresa, Bonhoeffer, Shindler, Martin Luther, and many others are no better or worse than Stalin, Pol Pot, Pinochet, Hitler and the Son of Sam, etc.

@Setanta ISIS does no earthly good to the people who are unfortunate enough to fall into their control.
So evil in general would be quantified by if the actions of said person or people helped other in a certain way? Who gets to choose that certain way and what makes their decision on what helpful act not evil? Again, we go back to de facto mob rule and who has the larger mob with bigger numbers get to dictate?

@dabbler Also, I think we’d need some definitons of God and evil to go further with implications if there is no God.
Without God there is no way I can describe evil to you or set any parameters. It would be like trying to tell you dry from wet when water, or any other liquid exist.

@Seek Moral values exist outside religious doctrine, and always have.
That would be another question, but it has no footing here, because what some think is moral could be seen as evil to others, but then, how can they say that if evil doesn’t truly exist less in the whim of men?

@SecondHandStoke “We are god.
That might be a very true default position if there is no other sentient being except man, and if so I guess man can decide what evil is, bit with so many gods, which one is right in their presumption of evil?

@Mariah One can simply ask how current atheists choose a moral system.
Again, a moral system would be irrelevant to there being evil or not.

Deciding whether something is evil: Does it harm people without their consent? Is there a benefit to the action that outweighs the harm it is doing to people?
Since some people want to try and reduce evil to actions that were positive or negative to another who chooses that? Even Hitler had done actions that to some were beneficial, either to them personally or to the nation of Germany at the time, even if short-lived.

@cazzie How fucked up do you have to be to need a council on good and evil or some ancient book written by goat herders to tell you right from wrong, good from evil?
Who is the ultimate authority on your acceptance of good and evil, plumbers, and pageant queens? Whoever you follow, what makes them more right than another with a different opinion?

@LostInParadise Does God do things because they are right, or are God’s acts right simply because God does them?
Either choice gets you in trouble, which is what makes it a dilemma._*
There is no dilemma really. If you had a compassionate nature, and you decided not to punish a child for breaking a vase, your decision based off compassion for you would be right and your actions which is a byproduct of your nature would be right because your nature was.

@kritiper If there is no “God,” then there is likewise no devil or Satan that might spawn evil.
Then there would be nothing at all evil, just beneficial or advantageous to the person or a group. What ISIS is doing would not be evil but a strategy, likewise, if you thought protection your nation was to slaughter all the males of your enemy who was considered capable of making war, it would not be evil even if it meant murdering young men down to the age of 14.

MrGrimm888's avatar

HC, none of the people you listed are ‘better or worse.’ To an atheist (like me) they are all equal in the end. ‘Deserve’ has nothing to do with anything. Good things don’t always happen to good people. Bad things don’t always happen to bad people. If you murder a million people ,or free a million, you still will die. And everyone you knew and loved will die. It doesn’t matter if you’re ‘good’ or ‘evil’ , you are mortal…Those who followed Hitler didn’t see him as evil. Like I said about Japan in WW2. So yes it IS a concept, that depends on who you ask.

May I ask, what did you hope to hear from this question? Did you have a preconceived notion? You seemed to kinda lash out there. If you’re frustrated, maybe we can help if we know what you want.

IMO, there is no god, no good, or evil. Simply actions or words that can be interpreted by an observer. And the interpreter’s opinions and beliefs will shape their interpretation. Everyone sees through a slightly different prism.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ May I ask, what did you hope to hear from this question?
Something different than the predictable, and there has been a few that were not.

Did you have a preconceived notion?
Never thought of one, however I knew going in some would try to mate works or action to who or what is evil. If I had any aim or goal was to understand how people quantify evil without God (the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) setting the standard. To see how can it be set if there is no sovereign entity setting the benchmark.

You seemed to kinda lash out there. If you’re frustrated, maybe we can help if we know what you want.
Lashing out? Nah that would come from frustration of not knowing whose house I am in and the line of thinking I would encounter. Some have surely missed the question because they somehow think it is a morals question, and that is a whole different kettle of fish.

Setanta's avatar

It is obvious nonsense to suggest that the actions of an organization such as ISIS, which is murderous and serves no purposes other than the self-interest of a ruling coterie are just a matter of preference, and that poor, misunderstood ISIS is the victim of a mob prejudice. Jesus wept, why do so many people see internet discussions just a matter of rhetorical tricks? The rhetoric needs to be better than that, in any case.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Well. You want to know that if ‘God’ never told us what is right or wrong, how would we know? I feel that people made up all the ‘gods’ and their messages. So some people had a notion of what should be right and wrong. Before they invented their religion, or diety. So, people quantify evil without a god. Why? Not sure. I feel bad when I do, or think of doing certain things. But sometimes I think I just hear my Mother talking. She has the biggest heart of anyone I know. She instilled in me a love that will always be there. Life has tried to rob me of it countless times but it’s still hangin in there.
I suppose that a barometer for what is good or evil is instinctive in humans. It makes sense evolutionarily that we wouldn’t just rob, rape and kill each other. Although there’s plenty of that.

Hopefully I have given the answer to the correct question.

I think people made up the stories of Abraham etc. So I think that the concept of good and evil was already there. Pre dating all religions. I believe that right and wrong can be determined without religious tales or morals. That people are capable of moral behavior without a carrot or stick .

I would say that religion ,in mankind’s beginning, helped to set a moral framework , and ‘rules ’ that benefited society .
People needed to behave, and they needed a reason to do good and not bad. But I think most had a understanding of what was right or wrong. That surely was /is part of the reason people joined religions in the first place. They have an innate concept of morality, and hearing a preacher or whomever saying that ‘god’ likes things done in similar ways to what feels right must resonate within them. Helping to form a person’s bond with their religion.

Seek's avatar

what some think is moral could be seen as evil to others, but then, how can they say that if evil doesn’t truly exist less in the whim of men?

What does this mean in English?

flutherother's avatar

Science can co-exist with God, why not? Science hasn’t the ability to prove that God doesn’t exist. This sort of question isn’t resolved through science though some, both religious and atheist, think it is.

Science can tell us nothing about evil nor can it make evil go away. We will always have some kind of science and some kind of morality coexisting in society and within ourselves.

Mariah's avatar

Can you please explain how determining good vs evil is different from a moral system? I am confused by your statement that my answer was irrelevant. Maybe I can provide what you’re looking for better if you explain.

kritiper's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central So you’re saying that there would be no evil if there was no Satan. That’s BS. Evil is in the hearts and minds of men sans any external, invisible, imagined, separate guiding force. Your evil could be someone else’s holy guiding force, in their mind. A concept, as previously noted above. So it all has to do with one’s POV and/or religious belief.
Evil is what one makes it and makes of it. And that applies to you as well, so believe what you want.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Setanta It is obvious nonsense to suggest that the actions of an organization such as ISIS, which is murderous and serves no purposes other than the self-interest of a ruling coterie are just a matter of preference, and that poor, misunderstood ISIS is the victim of a mob prejudice.
In short, ISIS in ways are victims of mob opinion, but then again, they do the same to other people, so it basically cancels itself out. Some industrialist who uses and abuses his workers for no other reason than greed, would he/she be better than ISIS? Many people have done actions that were self-serving and not seen as evil, while some were.

@MrGrimm888 So some people had a notion of what should be right and wrong. Before they invented their religion, or diety.
We come back to which right or wrong is correct? If people who have no concept of a deity, or belief in any religion backed by a deity thinks giving someone shivering in the cold a blanket is good, but killing of mentally disabled people to keep them from being a drain on society is wrong or evil, what makes them more right than the person thinking the other way other than their own opinion?

I feel bad when I do, or think of doing certain things.
Would you think such if you were raised in any society on this planet? What you feel is bad or how it makes you feel was in part wired into you by the society you were raised in. Again, I point out the illustration of the US in the 30s and 40s, one could go out on Friday lynch a Black man or two and still feel good about themselves if not more so because they were in some way protecting their society and way of life. As a social construct, they would not truly be evil because as much as anyone would try to say they were evil for their murder of other humans, they would see themselves as righteous because the humans they murdered were a threat and needed to go.

I suppose that a barometer for what is good or evil is instinctive in humans.
If that were the case, why would you have to lock everything you own up to avoid theft, or have cops keep the peace? People would be inclined to do that without the threat of losing liberty if they did not. Criminals and dishonest people would be a very scant minority to the point anyone burglarizing his neighbor would stick out like a fly in the mayonnaise. Wars would be as rare as meteor strikes. If it is innately written on human DNA, then quite a few people have simply chosen to ignore it and choose bad, and some of those who have not acted on it only avoided it because laws etc. made it detrimental to do so; laws which should not be needed at all because being inherently good, one would not think of it in the 1st place..

So I think that the concept of good and evil was already there. Pre dating all religions.
If the concept of good and evil was always here, who’s for of good and evil was it and what makes it more correct than those of different application?

That people are capable of moral behavior without a carrot or stick
Morality is a set of rules and such, but no determination of what is good or evil.

@Seek What does this mean in English?
Morals have no standing of what is evil or what is not. As an illustration, in the Middle East in some places it is moral to terminate a female for dishonoring the family name. Outside the Middle East it would be seen as immoral. Here it is moral to many to boink anyone one pleases so long as both parties agree and use condoms, outside the US in some places, that is immoral. Neither is right because there is no sovereign entity that has complete authority to determine which is evil or not. Hence, one person’s moral is another person’s evil; which is a byproduct of conduct based off good and evil criteria.

@flutherother Science hasn’t the ability to prove that God doesn’t exist.
A true fact many like to ignore. Even if science feels no need to attempt to show God doesn’t exist because He truly doesn’t exist, still doesn’t mean that is correct. People might not believe that if man could channel 100% if the energy in his mind he could read thoughts doesn’t mean it could not be done, if ever someone was able to unlock the ability to do so, they might.

@Mariah Can you please explain how determining good vs evil is different from a moral system? I am confused by your statement that my answer was irrelevant
As said above, morals are just sets of rules or degrees to follow in a given society. What morals group “A” has might be seen as evil to group “C”, and both “A”, and “C” could be seen as evil to group “D”. With no way to determine whose belief system is right, morals are irrelevant to determining evil or good. Evil is not like gravity, something that works the same in every situation no matter how you agree with it or not. As a social construct and nothing more, it is as arbitrary as how hot is hot? Some would say 81 deg. Is hot, other would say not until 95 deg. So who is correct?

@kritiper Your evil could be someone else’s holy guiding force, in their mind. A concept, as previously noted above.
Then it is not BS because there is no real evil as it is just the whim of what action someone wants to apply it to, there is no standard.

MrGrimm888's avatar

HC, I said a sense of right and wrong was innate. I DID NOT SAY that they are inherently good. Yes, they simply choose to do bad things anyway. Yes, they sometimes only follow rules because of legal ramifications….
I heard recently that a member of ISIS sawed off a toddler’s head in front of the mother and made her wash her hands in its blood, while praising Alah. If you want to call this behavior ‘evil’ , I would agree. But you don’t have to have been raised religious to think that. Yes, me feeling bad about certain things is learned behavior, but I already conceded that point. Not doing bad things and trying to do good things was a base for morality. Acts of terrorism, or war are in a moral vaccum. Most religions share basic ideas on morality ie shouldn’t steal, murder etc. It’s the other differences or interpretations of these differences that make some actions good to one , bad to another. Who was the first to write it down as scriptue? Was that person ‘right or wrong ’ ? I don’t know. All I do know, is that ALL concepts originated in the mind of a human person.
If we aren’t debating whether evil is a concept, or if morality is subjectively determined by many variables, then I’m totally lost as to what we are debating.
I’m afraid I have failed you, and the forum. I tried…

MrGrimm888's avatar

In addition. Science doesn’t have the ability to prove god doesn’t exist? That’s not how science works. You don’t just make up things ( like a vampire) and say, well no one can prove it isn’t real. More accurately, theists, or god has to prove to science that God is real. They’d have to say this is my evidence of why there is a God. Science’s use is to use facts to challenge the plausibility , and /or authenticity of the evidence. Only then, with real facts, real evidence, and a hypothesis can the scientific process begin. But since there is ZERO evidence of a god, there is nothing for science to examine.

Setanta's avatar

I really regret venturing into this “discussion.” At least now I know that it’s pointless to respond to questions by Hypocrisy Central.

LostInParadise's avatar

The Bible accepts slavery, condemns homosexuality, forbids charging interest on borrowed money and treats women as property. Apparently, we have moved beyond God’s concept of morality.

Seek's avatar

@Setanta – you learned much sooner than I. At this point, though, it’s an entertainment addiction. Haha.

flutherother's avatar

Science aside I’m not convinced God has any concept of morality either. It may be entirely up to us.

Setanta's avatar

@Seek

I’ve been on-line long enough now that it has become an instinct.

Mariah's avatar

I don’t get why you think moral systems are subjective and vary between societies, but that the definition of evil can’t.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Acts of terrorism, or war are in a moral vaccum.
That would be an interesting discussion another time.

All I do know, is that ALL concepts originated in the mind of a human person.
Well, some I think are universal and one doesn’t have to formulate it in the mind hard such as fear, especially if one’s health or life is at hand.

If we aren’t debating whether evil is a concept, or if morality is subjectively determined by many variables, then I’m totally lost as to what we are debating.
I am not focusing on morality because morality rides the back of good vs evil. In a world that is just the world, evil is just a concept because no one can define it, at least in any all-inclusive way, because as a concept, it is as you say, just a product of what one chooses to believe, kind of like how people see pornography or what is sexy. I think you have some very valid points, myself.

@Setanta I really regret venturing into this “discussion.” At least now I know that it’s pointless to respond to questions by Hypocrisy Central.
Because I make you stretch to qualify what you may have said? If you shoot some spaghetti on the wall and not all of it sticks, and I point it out you are going to get sore? You allude to ISIS being a murdering horde that serves no purpose but self-interest. I was merely pointing out that is not a strong criteria for others have brutalized people for self-interest, maybe not to actual all out murder, but if a person places his workers in an unsafe factory where disaster is waiting and when it does many lives are lost, served no purpose but their own at other human’s expense. You disagree that ISIS could be the victim of mob rule, if 100 people were in a room and 87 people decide something, let’s say that all people suffering dwarfism should be made to sit in kiddie chairs at restaurants, even if they had no way to enforce it the little people would be victims of mob opinion because the majority group made a determination of them. If you want someone to agree collectively that ISIS is evil you have to 1st come up with official evil and have it named so by someone, group or not, who has more authority than anyone else. If I do not see you in a thread again, you have free will, I would push on, shame, at least you added a different voice other than the usual soapboxing that goes on.

@Mariah I don’t get why you think moral systems are subjective and vary between societies, but that the definition of evil can’t.
I am saying in a world that is just this world there is no evil, it is as arbitrary as the morals that would serve as a barometer. Morals are sets of rules to define how good and evil would be used, but if there is no evil really, then morality is like having icing when there is no cake. No one has yet said how evil, true evil, would be quantified, who has ultimate authority to set the standard for evil and what gives that group or person the authoritative voice over all others?

cazzie's avatar

HC doesn’t ask questions to get answers. He asks questions so he can practice preaching his narrow view of the world.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ HC doesn’t ask questions to get answers. He asks questions so he can practice preaching his narrow view of the world.
If that is your theory, and it is your unproven theory, then why do you keep dropping on them? I would suppose not to answer the question, but to soapbox your belief in self-indulgence and hedonism. In any case, that comment has nothing to do with the question so while trying to make an observation unproven, you have proven mine.

LostInParadise's avatar

HC, Do you have money in a bank account? If so, how do you justify it, since the Bible says that it is evil to receive interest?

cazzie's avatar

Entertainment value.

cazzie's avatar

HC, do you think ‘Evil’ is like some entity that lives among us like some super-natural force? If that’s the case, you are insisting on arguing about semantics.

How do YOU define ‘Evil’ in the context of your question? Just so we know we are all understanding your question clearly.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ HC, do you think ‘Evil’ is like some entity that lives among us like some super-natural force?
No, I know what it is and where it originated, but you and some others cannot come up to that plateau or even fathom it is there, so I have to come down to the canyon.

How do YOU define ‘Evil’ in the context of your question?
In the context of this question, where the world is just the world no more, no less, evil is just personal imagined acceptance of circumstances of a person or group of people. You can’t simply say like temperature, it is at freezing level or boiling level.

kritiper's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central You make it sound as though it is a real tangible thing, almost something one could touch. A noun rather than an adjective. Whatever plateau evil might exist on or in is, I believe, of your own imagined construct, undefinable except by yourself.
Welcome to the canyon!

cazzie's avatar

He believes in the supernatural beginning of evil from the bible. His condescending attitude to everyone here, how we can’t possibly understand ‘the truth’ so he has to talk down in the deep canyon of our sad pathetic understanding is tiring. He’s fundy-troll.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@kritiper You make it sound as though it is a real tangible thing, almost something one could touch.
If you got that impression, then let me clear that up, I do not believe it is something tangible that you can hold, weigh, see or hear. I do believe it is an actual process.

Whatever plateau evil might exist on or in is, I believe, of your own imagined construct, undefinable except by yourself.
I do not define what is evil by my own whim for there are things I would not see as evil which are evil, so it is not determined for me by me or my imagination. This question is not based on what I may know or feel about it though.

@cazzie His condescending attitude to everyone here, how we can’t possibly understand ‘the truth’ so he has to talk down in the deep canyon of our sad pathetic understanding is tiring.
Condescending….interesting, I guess I could be boorish as some are and not try to even speak to you at your level and just flat out say you are wrong or delusional not to see the truth. Am I to speak to someone of something they don’t know or straight out refuse to accept? To speak to them in terms or parameters they will accept is condescending, I guess that is how it is going to be seen because I can’t speak in terms I would with someone open to believe the possibility of the truth.

If you feel I am talking down to you or trying to do so, then you must have a hankering for it rather than avoiding it or my threads altogether. ~~

cazzie's avatar

I’m not writing for your benefit, HC. I’m explaining to the new members.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ I’m not writing for your benefit, HC. I’m explaining to the new members.
I am not posting to entertain some, I am posting to give those new and old who are tired of stumbling in the dark a light to finally see by.

But if you think new members cannot fend for themselves…...well…I guess that would not be condescending…. ~~

cazzie's avatar

I’m just holding the light of science and reason higher.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Not saying that I’m the biggest fan of HC’s rhetoric every time, but he/she is right. Thanks for sticking up for new members cazzie, but I would hope we new members can swim in the deep end with aplomb. I personally enjoy a heated debate. As I have stated in other threads, talking to a bunch of people who share the same view of things is boring. It is our differences that are intriguing. I often get accused of being on the same side of some of the more abrasive flutherites. Because I try to understand what they are after rather than berating them because I don’t agree with their perspective. HC, by the way, I don’t think is ‘trying ’ to be condescending. Or at least at first. HC seems to need a ‘fix’ of some sort from this question. My repeated attempts to try to give my best answer are not patronizing. I genuinely wish to understand HC , and what he/she is after. I would agree that HC may come off as being on a high horse, but perhaps by naming him/herself ‘hipocracy central,’ this flutherite is more capable of introspective thought and humor than we give HC credit for.
Peace n love

Seek's avatar

this flutherite is more capable of introspective thought and humor than we give HC credit for.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If he is trolling or joking, he’s playing the long game. It’s been eleven years so far.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Seek.Always a pleasure… You’re telling me you’ve been debating HC for 11 yrs? Wow…. I can render my own personal opinion of HC but thanks. Perhaps though, if I log 11 yrs on fluther I’ll be singing a different tune….

Seek's avatar

I wouldn’t say I’ve been debating him that long. When I met him on Answerbag I was 19, and still an evangelical Christian. I’ve changed. He hasn’t.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Ah…Makes sense now.

kritiper's avatar

Ah, HC, like Icarus, methinks thou hast flown too close to the sun and have lost sight of the shadows which would give thee depth of perception. Alas, poor soul, thou art lost!

MrGrimm888's avatar

Kritiper, we are all lost….

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Seek I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If he is trolling or joking, he’s playing the long game. It’s been eleven years so far.
I certainly do not troll, I will challenge someone on their belief and see how down for it they really are, or if they will back pedal and compromise on their own beliefs when it doesn’t fit the package they want to keep it in. If it is an insignificant jokey question it will be known for I will announce it is fluff time.

When I met him on Answerbag I was 19, and still an evangelical Christian. I’ve changed. He hasn’t.
When you found prime abalone why go back to Vienna sausage? I have no need to change for the worse or back to it.

@MrGrimm888 You’re telling me you’ve been debating HC for 11 yrs?
She failed to say it is 98.9% her initiation to something I said she doesn’t agree with. What she believes I don’t agree with I hardly find the bother to debate it, I just let it be.

Perhaps though, if I log 11 yrs on fluther I’ll be singing a different tune….
If I were to be here another 11 years (I’d be a damned fool to do so) I think we would have a very good discourse so long as you remained respectful and engaging as you have so far; one of the brighter sparks in this place in a long while.

I could be here another two years, two months or fed up and gone tomorrow.

By the way, I am not in the business of beating down new Flutheronians, so you need no protection from me. ~~

As I have stated in other threads, talking to a bunch of people who share the same view of things is boring. It is our differences that are intriguing.
Isn’t that part of what makes a debate what it is, to explore the avenues and civilly and respectfully weight the logic or evidence? To have tons of nothing questions would be like AB was at one time where people would ask stupid questions of no value like ”Do my farts stink worse than yours?”, etc. This place is not that bad….yet.

I often get accused of being on the same side of some of the more abrasive flutherites.
It was said: ”In the basement bars, in the backs of cars, be cool or be cast out”, Neptune’s suburbs have harsh rules.

My repeated attempts to try to give my best answer are not patronizing. I genuinely wish to understand HC , and what he/she is after.
I have never seen it as that, a debate works off the back and forth whittling away at the chaff each time to get to the nugget of truth, some see it as being condescending to dare challenged them to further refine their logic, or if you show chinks in the armor of their logic.

@kritiper Ah, HC, like Icarus, methinks thou hast flown too close to the sun and have lost sight of the shadows which would give thee depth of perception. Alas, poor soul, thou art lost!
Umph…could male an illustration on how it might be for you, but it may be taken as disrespectful so I will just say whatever, bygones…..

kritiper's avatar

The question is kinda weird. “Science proves beyond all doubt there is no God, what does that do to evil?” What does the lack of a “god” have to do with the existence of evil? How can the two be connected? It’s like saying ‘the sky is blue so why is grass green?’ Nonsensical. Illogical. Does not compute.
@Hypocrisy_Central You have flown into the sun and your brain is fried.

MrGrimm888's avatar

The wing’s wax melted, not brain frying….

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@kritiper _ What does the lack of a “god” have to do with the existence of evil? How can the two be connected?_
At the risk of pissing some off, at it usually seems to do, the lack of “god” (whichever created one anyone wants to speak of) has no bearing on evil. God does (not that you or others want to believe it), He set the standard much like parents set household behavior for their kids. The children know what is and isn’t going to fly because they have someone of authority who set the rules. If there is no God, it is like a house ran by the kids, if one thinks he should have cake for breakfast but the others don’t, they just don’t but the one who does is not wrong. Same of one of the girls feels bedtime is at 2am in the morning but her siblings feel 11:30 is max, neither is right or wrong because no one has sovereign authority to set any standard.

If anything smells toasty it would be closer to your side than mine. ~~

MrGrimm888's avatar

WOW….....

MrGrimm888's avatar

HC’s motives are revealed. I wondered how long he/she could hold it in….

MrGrimm888's avatar

And you called ‘God’ a he….

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@MrGrimm888 And you called ‘God’ a he….
Not that it has weight to the question, but why would I not call Him by what He refers to Himself in the writings He inspired man to write? Would you call Bruce Jenner by the name he wanted to recreate himself as, or still call him Bruce who he always was? If you would call him a she and he is just a mere man, why would I not call someone far greater what He wishes to be called?

Like you, I try to gain a glimmer of understanding of those across the aisle. They refuse to step to my side of the aisle so I try and step to theirs. I want to know how they quantify evil and how the method they choose is valid with no one is sovereign, omnipotent or as the autonomy to set any standard.

MrGrimm888's avatar

We faithless people manage to have a moral compass without a God. Without consequences of a Hell. Without the reward of heaven. Some atheists are probably bad people. I just haven’t met many.
Regardless of your firm grip on thinking God must have given us our morality, it was an evolutionary concept. Advantages of a framework of acceptable behavior in society are numerous.
Perhaps a better question would be. With the existence of God. Why do religious people who ‘know better ’ thanks to God, do evil things? If God hates evil so much, and ‘he?’ is Bruce Jenner, and Bruce is SO powerful, why is sexual abuse such a regular thing in churches? Bruce’s catholic church couldn’t have been worse if Michael Jackson ran them. You surely wouldn’t object to the reality that church going religious people are usually the ones with the morality deficiency. Most murderers , rapists, and thieves check their Cross necklace at the jail when being booked. Religion is one if the worst parts of humanity. It is solely responsible for most of the worst problems in history. (Skeptics of that statement will point to people’s ‘interpretation’ of religious beliefs that is the problem. That’s a piss poor excuse.)
If God is the basis for, and king of morality, why do religious people do bad things? Shouldn’t he strike them down? Or does he look on like some sadistic spectator when a child is raped in a cathedral? ‘He’ sounds like a sick asshole to me…
With all due respect HC…
Peace n love

MrGrimm888's avatar

I would like to apologize HC. I’m afraid I cannot reciprocate in trying to see your side. I find the idea of a diety implausible. I’m sorry if any of my recent rhetoric is/was offensive. I hope we can still share open debate on other subjects.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Regardless of your firm grip on thinking God must have given us our morality, it was an evolutionary concept. Advantages of a framework of acceptable behavior in society are numerous.
Well, that is where I am coming from, if it was some evolutionary method, concept, or accident, whose? Which society had it right and who is to say they did not? Did the Mongols have it correct, and if not what give those who say they weren’t the authority to do so? Did the Vikings have it right, maybe the Mayans or some other Native American tribe? What framework used in North America may not be the same used in Asia or the Middle East so whose is right when everyone sets their own standard that is the base of the question.

Perhaps a better question would be. With the existence of God. Why do religious people who ‘know better ’ thanks to God, do evil things?
When someone post that in a question thread I would be glad to answer, even knowing full well they will not accept the answer, so I doubt they will ask such a question for an answer they don’t want to contemplate…but..

I would like to apologize HC. I’m afraid I cannot reciprocate in trying to see your side.
If you thought I was trying to get you to see my side, fear not, I am trying to see the side of those without God as to how they believe their slant on evil is more correct than what another would see as evil; have not really gotten an answer that departs from there is no evil for those without God, save their own whim on what they think, which is nothing but what they think because no one has yet said what all-encompassing group, people, government, etc. who is omnipotent to name it as any particular act.

cazzie's avatar

Circular logic here boggles the mind. No god, no book written by god. All stories in said book then recognised for what they were; fairy tales written by men a long long time ago and not true at all.

MrGrimm888's avatar

HC, I don’t know. That’s why atheists are different from theists. I have the humility to say that I don’t know. I still fear my mortality, and the unknown that comes with it. To better answer your question within your question, which is “who has the ‘right’ religion?” What if all theists are wrong? Most ‘believers ’ think they are right . But coincidentally, everyone who believes in a different religion is wrong. I think (with all due respect ) you’re ALL wrong. That doesn’t mean that the universe and our lives are without meaning. There is still value in ‘doing the right thing.’ Even if there is no benefit. Religious people get hung up on ‘why’ atheists would do the ‘right thing’ with no pro or con other than their own conscious. I would wonder, why not? Your thinking implies that people need a ‘reason’ to be ‘moral.’ And a deterrent NOT to be ‘evil.’ Otherwise people would act however they feel…But that’s not how an atheist mind operates.
If you can’t understand why someone would act morally without a reward or punishment, then that’s sad.
That being said, morality is defined/prioritized by the situation at hand. Not a constantly adhered to type of behavior. I would never hurt/kill/injure another person without what I view as just cause . But if someone say, hurt or threatened to hurt me or one of my loved ones, I would have little moral objection in turning my cheek on morality and focusing on stopping the threat. By any means.
In addition, I don’t feel my ‘slant on evil is more correct than others.’ I’ve spent enough time interacting with you , that I doubt we would differ on what is considered ‘evil.’ But to think we could only come to the shared conclusion is because of our similarities in faith is incorrect. Is it so inconceivable that we both find things like what ISIS does ‘evil’ because it is repulsive to us naturally? Not ‘instilled’ in us by a diety?

Seek's avatar

Those of us without a “god” simply recognize what you refuse to, Hypo, and that is that we already have a moral compass without the Bible’s help.

The reason we know this is that people who believe in the Bible and believe that God is their moral compass, already use extra-Biblical moral reasoning to avoid doing things morally proscribed in the Scripture.

Every time a Christian divorced their cheating wife instead of bludgeoning them with a rock in the city square, they have used secular morals to inform their opinion of evil.

And I maintain a firm argument that, like Weinberg is quoted saying, you can easily get good people to do good things – with or without faith – but to get good people to do evil, that takes religion.

You can get a good person to do a lot of bad things if they’re afraid of hellfire and damnation.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Indeed Seek. Fear is the ultimate motivation for recruiting and manipulating religious people. They fear the unknown so much they blindly follow concepts that are obviously the product of either flawed thinking, or false evidence. 2,000 years was a long time ago. Even a smart person from that time period would be ignorant to most current scientific data. It would seem unwise to take writings from that time period as anything other than entertainment. Yet many adhere to thinking that is older than recorded history.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@MrGrimm888 I still fear my mortality, and the unknown that comes with it.
Why? You will not know you are dead if you are correct in what happens after one’s heart stops. You might have a notion it is coming but in the actual instant of death, you would never know it, any more than if you fell asleep, the only reason you know you were sleeping is that you woke up, if you never woke up, you would never know what happened, in a world that is just the world.

To better answer your question within your question, which is “who has the ‘right’ religion?” What if all theists are wrong? Most ‘believers ’ think they are right
If those who believe were wrong, no one would ever know it, I surely will not, I will not even know I was dead. How do I know it is right for me? People talk about having a “gut feeling” either about someone who is involved with them, or someone they love, or a situation that something is not right. Some all it intuition, ask them to scientifically deduce it and they can’t. When one have spiritual discernment it is like intuition on steroids, and then some.

That doesn’t mean that the universe and our lives are without meaning.
In a world that is just the world, I have asked that, and gotten no real answers. No one can say what purpose man has or for the universe to exist if it were just some random fluke that brought it all here. If there is a reason, please share, I want to know.

Religious people get hung up on ‘why’ atheists would do the ‘right thing’ with no pro or con other than their own conscious.
I don’t.

If you can’t understand why someone would act morally without a reward or punishment, then that’s sad.
Everyone gets hung up on morality, where in a world that is just the world it is standard with no foundation. Morality is just opinion on how actions are applied to good and evil, as they see it. With no base foundation evil doesn’t exist so nothing is evil and morality is hollow. If I were in the Middle east it might be moral for me to kill a daughter who shamed the family name, in the West that would be seen as evil, so who is right, those of the West or those living in that culture in the Middle East?

I’ve spent enough time interacting with you , that I doubt we would differ on what is considered ‘evil.’ But to think we could only come to the shared conclusion is because of our similarities in faith is incorrect. Is it so inconceivable that we both find things like what ISIS does ‘evil’ because it is repulsive to us naturally?
If we see an act of ISIS as evil it would appear to come from different criteria in part. If things that is evil, or coined that by the west and maybe others, were ingrained, why are they (ISIS) able to so easily carry them out? It would almost be like they came from a different evolutionary tract that has them on a different brain wave. They do what they do because I believe they do not see anything morally wrong with it. With no standard, if I were to take that position, I could not say they were immoral any more than anyone else.

@Seek Those of us without a “god” simply recognize what you refuse to, Hypo, and that is that we already have a moral compass without the Bible’s help.
Yet, you cannot say unequivocally why your brand of morality is better, superior, or more correct than another’s As superior as you may think yours is, someone can point to it and say it is immoral to them, and who can say they were wrong. .

Every time a Christian divorced their cheating wife instead of bludgeoning them with a rock in the city square, they have used secular morals to inform their opinion of evil.
They do not do those things because they are told by Christ to obey the laws of the land and the law of the land doesn’t allow that. Furthermore, we are not under the Law anymore but Grace. Not that there are some who in their heart entertain harming a cheating spouse same as those without God. But if they acted on it, that act of vengeance might have long-lasting consequences.

Seek's avatar

If the only reason you don’t murder people is that the local law tells you not to, you’re an immoral person. And I fervently hope you and your ilk stay far away from me and my loved ones.

MrGrimm888's avatar

HC, I don’t really know anyone who has been or wants to be an ISIS member. I will have to bow out of that part of our discussion. I guess I assume they were brainwashed. Also, many of those young men,I’m told, have never really interacted with females. The reward of 72 virgins is probably a sweet motivation to a horny , sex deprived, angry young man.

I find it relevant that their culture has been one of waring tribes of nomadic people. Perhaps over generations they lost some of their ‘innate morals.’ Not a separate evolutionary path. But a majorly different culture. They probably saw people stoned to death, women burnt with acid, and kids getting their hands chopped off while growing up. That would seem sufficient to desensitize them to what is ‘right.’
As for ‘who is right?’ I’m just going to say western culture. I know that oversimplifies what you’re trying to get at, but I just don’t agree with their perspectives on women, and their strict religious guidelines.
Also , it is said that most members of ISIS are on drugs (some stuff I never heard of. ) Many people on hardcore drugs are morally blinded ,partly at least by the effects.

As far as morality being hollow if there is no god, I don’t understand. You seem to indicate that unless we were put here, and programed for a specific purpose, by God, we have no purpose. I can’t understand that logic.Why can’t we just be here? Does it offend you in some way that you and I aren’t special. We have the same value to the universe as a cockroach, or a rock. You have a gut feeling that you are correct about your chosen religion. Maybe that gut feeling is just gas….

To address your mortality question, I have an innate fear of death, just like my innate morality.
I have to mention though, that my morality came after brain development. I can remember pulling the legs off an insect when I was like 7. A teacher saw it and scolded me. She told me I had no right to hurt it, and she was right. I was too young and ignorant to understand that I was hurting it. Once I understood that, I was regretful. As I grew up, and started understanding the world around me, my morality was shaped. I suppose that the ‘innate’ morality I speak of is not the correct way to phrase it.
I feel, that morality is an eventuality to a person considered full grown, physically and mentally. It is innate in that once you understand the complexity of situations where moral decision-making is required, you ‘know’ what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ Personality differences then factor in to your decision to act morally, or not.
If I see an insect now, I understand that it is a life, that deserves respect. I then can decide based on my personal beliefs to either squash the bug, leave it alone, or if it’s in my house, take it outside.
I suppose I’m saying that morality, or being moral in a given situation requires information. Without information, one can’t act morally, or immoraly, because they don’t understand the ramifications of what actions they might take. If God simply ‘instilled ’ morality in people, we would be moral since birth. I clearly wasn’t when I was hurting the insect. Morality developed in people. Much like sexual actions. When a child, I had little concept of ‘what to do.’ I knew I liked seeing girls naked when I was like 4, just didn’t know why, or what to do with a vagina (in fact vaginas were a great mystery to me at first.) Over time I developed behavior that helped me have sex, and even be good at it (so they say anyway.) I think I always would have developed morality, just like sexual knowledge. Humans need a long runway. But once they’re flying they pick up most things naturally. Surely personal experiences would affect the details of one’s morality. But the basics, like not killing are supposed to naturally develop. Evolution has made it a trait we all share because morality is useful for a healthy society to function. It is drilled out of the heads of people like the ones who join ISIS .And indeed, there are some, who are just mentally ill. And some, who seem to be bad people from the beginning.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@MrGrimm888 First off let me assure you that I am not trying to just bust your chops for nothing. I have gleaned some interesting things to contemplate and you have validated other things I had thought of. I can rally appreciate that so far you have at least stuck to the material or the construct of the question in your debate; which is far better than some have done.

Perhaps over generations they lost some of their ‘innate morals.’ Not a separate evolutionary path.
That brings up all sorts of tangents, if it is innately a part of someone, how can it be lost over generations? If one applied that to other areas some would get huffy also.

I’m just going to say western culture. I know that oversimplifies what you’re trying to get at, but I just don’t agree with their perspectives on women, and their strict religious guidelines.
That in itself brings us back to what I have said a while back, you choose your “right” and “wrong” and the morality that rides off it because you choose that which you use. In the case with most, what western culture finds tolerable or acceptable simply because that is that they choose.

As far as morality being hollow if there is no god, I don’t understand.
Let’s look at it this way, if the city you live in tomorrow they removed all the speed limit signs and done away with speed limits on every street and roadway, would there be speeding? Someone could blow pass a school even with children present at 70 mph, some might say they were speeding, but that same person might blow through a construction ”cone zone” at 60 mph and not believe they were speeding. With no autonomous, sovereign body to set the standard on how fast you can drive where and when, someone saying another is speeding is hollow, it doesn’t mean anything because it is only their opinion, which another don’t have to agree with. Same if the limits on driving under the influence were done away with, what would be drunk driving? Some would say they can drive just fine with a blood alcohol level of .12, someone else would say only when you cannot operate your vehicle and keep it on the road. Someone who had 5 doubles of hard whisky no one could say was drunk or impaired because there would be no standard to apply to who should drink and how much they should have in their system.

You seem to indicate that unless we were put here, and programed for a specific purpose, by God, we have no purpose. I can’t understand that logic.Why can’t we just be here?
If we are ”just here” that would indicate no purpose, what purpose would there be for man to be here? If man was not on this planet the cosmos would roll right along. Man contributes nothing to the universe. It would be like walking in a valley and coming upon a huge bolder, why is it there? If no one put it there for some decoration, to mark some territory, to anchor something to it, etc. what purpose does it serve? It may have some purpose to animals but to humans it would just be there without a definable reason; and being there for some animal maybe would still give that bolder more purpose than man being here just because.

Does it offend you in some way that you and I aren’t special.
It seems to offend people to think they were created by a Divine entity, especially if they have some requirement to live up to. I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I have nothing to be offended over.

You have a gut feeling that you are correct about your chosen religion. Maybe that gut feeling is just gas…
I think not, but I believe that could be said about a lot of things people believe that has no smoking gun.

It is innate in that once you understand the complexity of situations where moral decision-making is required, you ‘know’ what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ Personality differences then factor in to your decision to act morally, or not.
The ”right” and the ”wrong” is just a construct or thought one wishes to believe where there is no foundation to build it on like what is good or what is evil. In the hood someone snitches on you, the right thing to do is harm them if not kill them, that is their ”right”, it is not the ”right” of others, but how can the others tell them they are wrong? Someone who may not kill a snitch would kill an unborn child for reason other than the health of the mother is compromised and believe that is ”right”, the end product is a life is snuffed out. A life is snuffed out in the womb or snuffed out at the liquor with no foundation other than what individuals, you truly cannot say one is more right or wrong than the pother/

If God simply ‘instilled ’ morality in people, we would be moral since birth.
I could explain that but since you cannot fathom any concept of God, the answer would not resonate….so…..

But the basics, like not killing are supposed to naturally develop. But the basics, like not killing are supposed to naturally develop.
I will just say I beg to differ….

It is drilled out of the heads of people like the ones who join ISIS .And indeed, there are some, who are just mentally ill. And some, who seem to be bad people from the beginning.
Again, opens up other tangents, if this so-called innate ”goodness” can be drilled or brainwashed out of someone, it can also be said they have the default position and the ”goodness” had to be drilled into man. Also what of the people who decide to do what is deemed wrong or criminal in their societies? Who brainwashed them into being criminals? If they are simply mental because they their wiring for ”goodness” hasn’t or cannot ever kick in, being rotten from the start and down to the core, what to do with them, lock them away forever, euthanize them?

I have to mention though, that my morality came after brain development. I can remember pulling the legs off an insect when I was like 7. A teacher saw it and scolded me. She told me I had no right to hurt it, and she was right. I was too young and ignorant to understand that I was hurting it. Once I understood that, I was regretful. As I grew up, and started understanding the world around me, my morality was shaped. I suppose that the ‘innate’ morality I speak of is not the correct way to phrase it.
Yet, you cannot possibly fathom that your teacher is my Spirit, whom I was able to hear because he made it clear how I could hear Him by the words He inspired men to write. I sup[pose if the teacher knew only Icelandic and in her displeasure did not realize you spoke English, then her warnings would have been for naught, which would be the same if I did not seek to understand the Spirit and the way He communicates with me tell me the true wrong and right.

When a child, I had little concept of ‘what to do.’ I knew I liked seeing girls naked when I was like 4, just didn’t know why, or what to do with a vagina (in fact vaginas were a great mystery to me at first.) Over time I developed behavior that helped me have sex, and even be good at it (so they say anyway.) I think I always would have developed morality, just like sexual knowledge.
If you would have acquired morality (again, the one you were exposed to and accepted) naturally as you did sexuality dawning flame retardant suit those who are outside their sexuality because they choose to forsake what nature endowed them with to go another way, could have just as easily been derailed in some way of the morality they believe. If it was as innate as you say, then even if they did not understand it, they would still have a sense of it.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Ok HC, I see you have ,as usual, made some valid points, sprinkled with some things I don’t understand. I’ll address what I can.

Losing morals over generations. Seems feasible to me. Some cultures change over time. Those who have now lived through the strictly enforced guidelines of Islam (enforced more strickly in some places than others), would have you and your children’s children seeing immoral behavior frequently. Potentially replacing the morals that their culture adhered to before the arrival of islam. Islam, like Christianity was spread by the tip of a sword…
Your reply to my lack of understanding of why morality is hollow without a God , to me had more to do with enforcement of what is deemed legal, legality of course ,loosely is constructed on a framework of morality. Of course people would drive however they wanted if there were no signs/laws or police to enforce them. ‘God’ does not have the ability to enforce any of ‘His’ laws or code of conduct or whatever. No more than Santa Claus will really bring you coal instead of presents if you’re bad.
A speeding ticket is exactly the motivation for most not to speed. In addition I feel morality is not normally a determining factor in one’s decision to speed. Speeding is a way to get somewhere faster. Not like a decision weather or not to say, rob someone or not. I guess you could say morality plays a role in deciding to drive drunk.
But if everyone could drive fast and drunk all the time millions would die, and evolution would kick in. Only safer drivers would survive to have offspring. The offspring would drive safe too, because the trait would be passed down. Eventually.

If innate moralitycan be drilled out, it could have been drilled in.
No…Just because someone likes peanuts, doesn’t mean God made them like peanuts. Morality as you point out is elastic and subjective . If your God is the one who drilled it in. Why wouldn’t everyone have the exact same moral code. Or religion for that matter. If God doesn’t like religions other than ‘his,’ why are there so many?
As far as why people do bad things. Many different answers. Some simply lack the knowledge to fully understand the morality of certain situations.
What to do with ‘born bad’ people? Perhaps a good question, but not relevant in this thread.
I don’t understand your teacher spirit ramble.And you lost me with the flame retardant suit, sexuality thing too. Sorry.

Your comments on people snitch killing because it’s the right thing to do simply point out that you don’t know much about the ‘hood.’ It’s not the ‘right’ thing to kill a snitch. People do it to protect themselves from prosecution /imprisonment, or to protect their own people or business. Your understanding of the ‘hood’ seems to implicate that you are a white male, who gets his knowledge of such places from CSI or something. But it is humorous. Some gangs have bylaws, if you will, that have guidelines for dealing with snitches. So they have a loosely defined code of morals I suppose. But those are set up ,again, by men. For the survival of the gang. These rules are to keep/expand territory, keep members out of jail, keep control of their territories (killing snitches, in relation to gangs , is an intimidation strategy. ) OJ killing the witness to him killing Nicole was just a man desperately seeking to avoid getting caught.

Finally, I don’t choose to believe that the western view is rightbecause it’s what ‘I’ choose. My morality is far different ( I didn’t say better) than most, even amongst western beliefs. Please don’t lump me in with westerners. I don’t share many of their beliefs, or morals. I’m an alien on my own planet. I don’t belong here, but that also is irrelevant to this thread….

Thank you for not attempting ‘make’ me understand a concept of God. That is a refreshing change from most religious people… I respect your beliefs and your journey. I just don’t agree with some of it.

Back to the original question. If God is proven not to exist, what does that do to evil?
Nothing…No change. It might change how some people act. If you only act morally because you fear the vengeance of a deity, and now there definitely isn’t one, then you might do lots of things that previously were against your moral code, which was only bound by your belief in god. So some people’s actions would change, but not the concept of morality.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Some cultures change over time. Those who have now lived through the strictly enforced guidelines of Islam (enforced more strickly in some places than others), would have you and your children’s children seeing immoral behavior frequently.
If it is something innate, then passing of generations would not change it, it would be in the DNA. Even if someone could override their DNA it would not be passed down to the next generation as if it were freckles or blonde hair. The second you keep going back the default standard of morality which has no foundation, you say ”immoral” by matching it against morals you believe, that no one can prove to be better, because someone can say what you believe is immoral and what would not make them correct?

‘God’ does not have the ability to enforce any of ‘His’ laws or code of conduct or whatever.
He does, but because people misinterpret free will, they believe that because He doesn’t smoke them on the spot like a Christmas ham the moment they break a commandment that He is powerless. The reason people are not zapped on sight is that He desires mercy and grace more than punishing people for using free will incorrectly.

A speeding ticket is exactly the motivation for most not to speed.
A speeding ticket would be punishment, but at least one other poster seem to believe the threat of punishment is not what makes people ”do good”. If there was no punishment or consequence to stealing from someone or raping a woman, etc. then there has to be some self-benefiting motivation; something in it as a reward for not doing it.

The offspring would drive safe too, because the trait would be passed down. Eventually.
I don’t know if I would call it a trait, it would be more a learned value system, they would not speed and drink because they would be told not to and shown the down sided by those who did not drink, drive and speed.

No…Just because someone likes peanuts, doesn’t mean God made them like peanuts. Morality as you point out is elastic and subjective . If your God is the one who drilled it in. Why wouldn’t everyone have the exact same moral code.
They like peanut, cashews, walnuts, etc. because of personal taste, there need be no standard for which taste best or is better. The reason why we as mankind doesn’t have the same exact standard for morality is that we are not carbon copies if the same, we have individuality and by that, we all use our free will he has given us the way we choose to use it.

If God doesn’t like religions other than ‘his,’ why are there so many?
We are back to free will. He could have made everyone like robots, but He wanted man to choose of his own free will. Do you think any parent or boss would like it better if their children and employees followed the rules because they respected them and believed in management of parent’s wisdom to implement it, or they had no respect for it beyond the fact they are forced to follow by threat of punishment? God wants you to have faith in Him because you choose to, not because you were programed to, that would not be faith.

I don’t understand your teacher spirit ramble.
Simplifies it would be like this:
• You found enjoyment plucking legs off live insects.
• Teacher sees you and scolds you, pointing out what it does to the insect.
• In the future you cease that activity because you have empathy of the insect and wish them no harm.
• Not plucking legs off live insects becomes part of your personal morality or concept of evil.
Over to my side.
• I have an interest of knowing God.
• Certain acts are sin, and against God.
• The Spirit by way of the Bible scolds me and shows me to be in error.
• In the future I avoid doing those acts and thus being against God.
• The standard of sin God mandates becomes the standard of morality I live by.
You had a teacher point out to you something negative in your actions. I don’t have any teacher, I have the Spirit of God to do that.

Your comments on people snitch killing because it’s the right thing to do simply point out that you don’t know much about the ‘hood.’ It’s not the ‘right’ thing to kill a snitch. People do it to protect themselves from prosecution /imprisonment, or to protect their own people or business.
To those who would kill a person for snitching it is the right thing to do, even if imminent arrest is not on the horizon.

Your understanding of the ‘hood’ seems to implicate that you are a white male, who gets his knowledge of such places from CSI or something
You know what they say about ”ass-u-ming”, I am a African American male who grew up in the “hood”, did you grow up there?

Finally, I don’t choose to believe that the western view is rightbecause it’s what ‘I’ choose.
Then what does? You mentioned earlier about some nations acting immoral, if the west doesn’t have the best or better morality how can it be moral while someone else’s actions immoral? Where is the standard set and under what authority is it set when who is setting it is not fully omnipotent, sovereign or autonomous?

MrGrimm888's avatar

HC, sup… Let’s begin.
I kind of want to find closure with this discussion, but I will try and respond to your response 1st.

I moved around alot as a child. Some places better than others. Some places I didn’t speak the language. For some time I lived (when still with my parents ) in a middle class neighborhood I suppose. Since I have moved out though, my financial situation has dictated that I live in ‘low income ’ communities . Again, some better than others. And have spent many years working in a little place called North Charleston. When I worked there once, as a security guard at a high crime hotel it was given the rank of the 12th most dangerous city in America (not by population, but by percentage or something, don’t remember ). The articles were in ,I think, The Post And Courier (local newspaper. ) I worked that job (under paid 7.50/hr, unarmed, and by myself ) for 3 yrs. In that time I can’t begin to explain the grey nature of the ‘hood.’
Once, I lived in a neighborhood where large heards of young people would walk through the area carrying pistols in hand. My next door neighbor was murdered. I once saw a young man robbed by like 30 people. I always remember because some guy kept screeming, ‘get that ni@@as shoes!’ They took everything but his tightie whities (underwear) Our house was burglarized 3 times when I lived there. Sometimes you came home and stuff had just been stolen, it became routine. When I was 7, a 12 year old black kid beat the shit out of me for no reason in a bathroom at school.Broke my nose. The principal beat me with a paddle for my role in the’fight.’ It was common for me to be beaten randomly, or to not be allowed by the kids to get off the bus at my stop. I usually had to walk a long way, depending on how the crowd on the bus felt on a given day. The black bus driver was fully aware, and never once came to the only white kids aid. They routinely stole from me and berated me when not kicking my white ass. I feel I could have been a racist easy, but I didn’t think they were mean to me because they were black.
Most people were products of their surroundings. I think.
Now 36…And feeling it….

And I dont agree that ‘snitch’ killing is always the right thing to the killer.

I think you’re telling me that the teacher thing situation is that your interpretation of whatever version of the Bible you read is your teacher. Fair enough. I wouldn’t live MY life by one book, but that’s your right. Good luck with that….

Your ‘free will’ addition was unclear to me. As far as morality, or choice of nut. I don’t mean to be offensive, but it seems like you may have invented, through your interpretation of your readings ,lots of ways to ‘justify’ the lack of logic in some of these comments. Again, with all due respect.
As far as morality not being passed down through DNA. Why not? Physical traits are clearly not the only traits that are innate. It’s clinically proven that things like bipolar disorder are /can be hereditary.Babies know how to hold their breath etc. Why not morality, or a loose framework.
Most importantly. ‘What does’ give me the belief that western cultural morality is the ‘right’ one? Who decides?
Well , personally ,I don’t have a clear way of articulating my motivation. Western morality just seems like the ‘lesser, of two evils’ to me. Who gets to decide is the easiest question yet. The wealthy people.They are the ones who ultimately pull the strings in ALL countries’ governments. So ,their will is that of the people . Or the people in that country will be imprisoned, or put to death.

I wish I had a better answer about my motivation for my own morality. But I know for a fact I didn’t get it from a book written by men from 2000 years ago, edited by the wealthy , for the advantage of the wealthy, and translated so many times it has by some (at least the king James one) been discredited by people of its own faith.

Lastly, as far as assumptions go. If you are indeed a black male, then you are correct. I feel like an ass. Deservedly so…But you seem suprisingly unable to empathize with those whom you grew up around in the ‘hood.’ I never blamed the people, just our environment.
Peace n love.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@MrGrimm888 They routinely stole from me and berated me when not kicking my white ass. I feel I could have been a racist easy, but I didn’t think they were mean to me because they were black.
I apologize (five dollars short and three weeks late) for how shabbily those boorish Black kids treated you. I guess I could have been as well off how the white teachers and such treated me growing up, or how many times I was DWBed. I would have to attribute it to frustration they were feeling because of their situation they placed a white face on, and they could not get to the white faces they felt were opposing them, and you were the only entity on the ”white side” they could retaliate with or get even by.

As far as morality not being passed down through DNA. Why not? Physical traits are clearly not the only traits that are innate.
I guess I would have to say to me I cannot see it as innate because there is no ”morality gene”. If everything were based solely off DNA there would be no gay people, less you count some malfunctioning DNA. You knew at 4yr old you liked seeing naked girls, it was innate, even when you did not know why, you knew. If it were simply all about passing DNA, then how would two heterosexual people pass gayness to a child, that would either have to conclude a ”gay gene” or a regular gene gone awry.

It’s clinically proven that things like bipolar disorder are /can be hereditary.Babies know how to hold their breath etc.
For one, I am not sure the diagnosis of bipolar is all they think, I don’t recall many people much less kids having it when I was growing up. For the sake of argument, if it is, it would be more of something physical to point to, lack of this enzyme, to much of that protein, etc.

Who gets to decide is the easiest question yet. The wealthy people.
Apparently they are not autonomous or sovereign enough of the Republicans would have axed a lot of social programs I am sure they feel are unnecessary and enabling the poor to be lazy slackers. Even the wealthy cannot have things exactly their way.

But I know for a fact I didn’t get it from a book written by men from 2000 years ago,…]
To you it is some old book written by men and doctored further by wealthy and/or powerful people for whatever reason. To me it is the words of God as His Spirit inspired man to write. If one has no faith in that, then it is just a book. As far as translation, you have things you know, if you wrote a manuscript on growing up, ”Growing up white in the hood”, for example, but let’s say you hand wrote it. Then you gave it to me to type up because maybe I was better at it. If I took stuff out because I thought it would make the Black bullies look too villainous, or I omitted whole passages because I thought they were too boring and dry, and added other stuff because I felt what you wrote needed more clarification and you knew all of this, you would not let it go to print because it would be MY rendition of hat you wrote and not YOUR original rendition. If you a mere man would not allow your story to be manipulated if you have knowledge and ability not to have it printed like that, God being fully sovereign, autonomous, and omnipotent could not control His subject matter? The parts of the Bible and the core message is the same no matter what translation it is if it is off the original manuscript; if you add stuff and take a way as the Watchtower Bible and tract Society has done, that is a different story.

It may not seem like ot to you, but we agree on more than we do not, it is the path to getting there is where we differ.

But I would totally have you over for a BBQ (not many here I would as freely) and believe it would be a hoot.

MrGrimm888's avatar

HC, sadly you are correct again. We have similar views on some things. Both arriving from different routes, plotted through similar terrain.
We will of course never agree in theological discussion, but I will nonetheless attempt to see things through your prism, if debate benefits…
BBQ is probably something we would both enjoy. In the Carolinas we like it sweet and spicy, with a mustard base.
Sucks to be a pig down here. I have a friend that cooks a whole pig every Panther’s game just about. Head and all, on the cooker….
Be well sir.
Peace n love.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Oh yeah.HC, Please don’t apologize for the kids’ behavior. It isn’t your falt, anymore than mine that black people were enslaved here.
It is what it is…..........

MrGrimm888's avatar

“The only ‘good’ is knowledge, and the only ‘evil’ is ignorance.”
Socrates, I think…. Final thoughts…....

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ Some say ignorance is bliss. However, I can only use Socrates as an authority if he or anyone else can prove he was immutably good that there was no chance at all, zero, that he could be evil or even have an evil thought.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Everyone has evil thoughts right? In traffic, I have amazingly evil thoughts.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Everyone has evil thoughts right?
Yes, everyone on this planet less one, had evil thoughts. Anyone who ever had an evil thought is disqualified to denote good or evil. Socrates is not immutable in his thinking of good and evil, I am sure from the time of his youth he had varying ideas, and he is neither sovereign to have his opinion of evil the highest above all others.

cazzie's avatar

If there is no god, @Hypocrisy_Central , the basis for your above comment is not based in fact, but the fiction written by men in a book that confused and defrauded men and women for centuries.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ If there is no god,…] […but the fiction written by men in a book that confused and defrauded men and women for centuries.
There is no god, those are the made up entities that have confused and bamboozled men and women for centuries. There have been many works of writing by people over the years and people accept and believe the person said to be the author indeed wrote it and they are their words, even historical accounts, and even if only one copy exist and there are none other to match it with to corroborate the statements. There are more copies and original text of the bible over centuries to prove by scientific methods, as people so love to use, the Book is no fraud, or manufactured by some conspiracy. But to those who cannot have faith in testing the Book, will never be able to and thus fall into the mistake of believing the sovereign God (the real one) of the universe cannot control His context, message, or writings.

cazzie's avatar

You are refuting your own initial context of your question. Science proves beyond all reasonable doubt there is no God, what does that do to evil? So, if you don’t even accept your own premise set in the question, there is no discussion to be had with you. This is the ‘Gay Animals don’t exist’ question all over again. I’m out.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ You are refuting your own initial context of your question.
OK, let’s resign your aforementioned comment is true and the scriptures were some elaborate conspiracy, that would mean me and women were defrauded for centuries that there is evil that doesn’t exist; I can roll with that.

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