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Whose Authority?

4 Jul

It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”

Benjamin Franklin


Knowledge and Existence

24 May

I’m not absolutely sure of anything, and [there are] many things I don’t know anything about, but I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose which is the way it really is as far as I can tell possibly. It doesn’t frighten me.
– Richard Feynman

Word of the Day – Eudemonia

11 Apr

I really like the second definition.

eudemonia \yoo-di-MOH-nee-uh\, noun:

1. Happiness; well-being.
2. Aristotelianism. Happiness as the result of an active life governed by reason.

Freedom of Thought

24 Mar

When the pope entered Mexico yesterday, he made it clear that “the church is always on the side of freedom of thought and of religion”.

Except of course that if you choose the wrong one you’ve got an eternity of fire-based torture to look forward to…

What About All The Suffering?

15 Mar

Debate on this perennial question can go on; thankfully Epicurus managed to boil it down to this beautifully succinct set of rhetorical questions:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
– Epicurus

Who Came First?

11 Mar
If triangles had gods their gods would have three sides.

– The Hitch

A Discussion On Morals

9 Mar
11th Jaunary 2012
A Facebook Thread
  • SR Absolute morals come from religion? Pur-lease: “Assuming that you have taken the Bible as your moral code, it isn’t especially important what moral authority your assuming but that you have assumed one, then by what method have you verified that it is the correct one. The terrorists of 9/11 had just as much reason to believe there moral authority as you have to believe yours. It may seem that total moral authority grants you the right to assume the one you’ve selected is the correct one, but the truth of the matter is, your applying your own moral intuitions to select a moral code that you then claim comes from an absolute. While at this point it may be tempting to claim that God has led you to accepting the Bible I would remind you that he has been rather less personal in his methods with most people (especially the Muslims it would seem). I will repeat the point because it bears repeating; The act of selecting the Bible as an absolute moral authority is an act of personal moral intuition that itself could not have come from an absolute because the selection varies. If more proof of this is necessary then I suggest you take a good hard at some of the morals in the Bible and ask yourself if you believe in all of its tenets. If yes then you’re a person most of us would like to avoid, if no then by what moral authority have you rejected them. In reality we have no method of absolute moral authority and must instead rely on our own moral intuitions and the realization that certain moral norms are necessary in order to maintain a functioning society. In fact very powerful moral codes can be constructed simply by acknowledging that the purpose of morals is not to please a (mildly) benevolent dictator, but to reduce suffering as much as possible.”
  • MS and MH like this.
  • DG Si, where did this come from?

    11 January at 18:37 · Like
  • SR Comment on a Christopher Hitchens video.

    11 January at 18:39 · Like
  • DG Small step from here to terrorist sympathizer. Be careful Si.

    12 January at 11:12 · Like
  • SR Irony I must presume.

    12 January at 11:52 · Like
  • JT The act of selecting the Bible as an absolute moral authority is an act of personal moral intuition that itself could not have come from an absolute because the selection varies. That’s because we have the choice. You also have the choice, and have chosen to reject the message.

    13 January at 20:50 · Like
  • SR The problem is, only a sith deals in absolutes.

    13 January at 22:51 · Like
  • SR I think my seed fell along the path.It’s a shame that some people have missed the point of my post. Neither apostasy nor even terrorism (?!) are the issue. The point is that the frequent claim of believers that morals can only be derived from religion is fallacious. That somehow morals as derived from a religious text are absolute whereas any study of anthropology will show moral relativism to be a more realistic viewpoint. And the corollary that society would somehow descend into anarchy as a result of secularism is asinine.I would surmise that we have evolved as social animals and so working together necessitates an agreed system of rules by which we must interact, albeit a rule-set that varies depending on the group. In fact neuroscience points towards the existence of a bit in the brain that is primarily concerned with fairness. As such I would reverse the flow here, i.e. morals come from humans and hence feed into religion; a source that bodes well for society.He who has ears…

    18 January at 18:43 · Like · 1
  • DCL Well I definitely get the point dude! As soon as you mentioned the Sith you know I was happy ;-).

    18 January at 19:36 · Like
  • SR Or as the emperor Palpatine put it: Good is a point of view

    19 January at 20:25 · Like
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