Discussion with Atheist on morality vs. ethics, 6/9

dan barker, charles darwin, morality, ethics.jpg

Continuing a discussion took place due to my video Atheist defines morality “I want what I want…it’s good because it’s what I want.” See all portions of this discussion here.


Continuing a discussion took place due to my video Atheist defines morality “I want what I want…it’s good because it’s what I want.” See all portions of this discussion here.

While you are at it, see my book Pop-Atheist Bible Expositors starring Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Dan Barker, and Neil deGrasse Tyson and also my book Reasons for Being An Atheist: A Comprehensive Guide.

eddy eldridge
“Dawkins published that statement in The God Delusion and you disagree” I pulled up a PDF and didn’t find any such line in there.
“Now, the fact that you and another Atheist disagree proves that you cannot tell me that you are correcting me since there is no absolute but only personal opinions stated by various Atheists.”
An atheism could say “atheism is painted blue.” Its objectively not. Atheism is, by definition, not a worldview. Its not an opinion one way or the other, its objectively not. And if Dawkins said that, which I’m still skeptical he did, he’d be objectively wrong. Its not my opinion vs his, it would be his guess on the definition vs the actual definition. And I’m sure, being the rational man he is, if this supposed oversight, if he did commit it, was brought up to him, he’d happily correct himself.

you do not bother citing this authoritative textbook”
Mirriam-Webster: a lack of belief or a strong disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods
wkipedia: Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities
Oxford: Disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.
Do you not have google?
“I can show you very many dictionary quotes and citations which affirm that Atheism is the affirmation of God’s non-existence which is a definition away from which many Atheists run.”
Because dictionaries also like to give VERY comprehensive definitions. Such as, in the case of atheism, there are two brands: gnostic and agnostic. The former claims to “know” there is no god, the latter acknowledges they don’t know for certain, but still remain unconvinced. Though one could argue ALL atheists fall into the latter, some identify as the former. Just like gnostic theists claim to know a god exists, while agnostics admit they don’t know, but chose to believe anyway.
Again, one could argue ALL theists fall into the latter, but most identify as the former. I have a friend who is openly the latter. To only give a definition of gnostic atheism is dishonest. I have provided the definition that identifies both brands.
“However, if you say that Dawkins is “just wrong” you are making a mere assertion based on your self-appointed authority.” Really? So I run Webster, Wikipedia and oxford, to name a few? And merely chose that as the definition?
“Atheism, by definition, is a worldview.” Oxford definition of worldview: a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world.
What’s my stance on murder? Or theft? Or abortion? Helping others? Personal goals? Origin of any given thing? Method of seeking the truth? Let’s go back up and look at those definitions of atheism. Yep, just as I thought. They don’t address any of that. Atheism is only one, single position, on only ONE single topic: The lack of belief in a god. ANYTHING else is something else, entirely. You have this idea of what an atheist is and what all atheists inherently believe. But anything beyond that single point IS NOT ATHEISM!
You think atheists all believe we’re just atoms and chemical reactions? Nope. There are atheists out there who believe we’re 100% energy. Other atheisms believe we do have a soul and objective morality, just that there’s no god dictating any of that.
The lack of belief in a god is the one, single trait all atheists share. Because that’s the grand total of what atheism is. No more, no less. If you bring up ANY other belief, that is not atheism. Even if all atheists alive today believed in that other belief, that does not make it atheism. It would still be a completely separate belief.
“What I am asking in where, within your thinking about anything and everything, is there place, room, provision, for you to accept that there really and truly is an actually existing God.” I’m willing to accept that a god exists if it can be proven, if that’s what you’re asking.

dan barker, charles darwin, morality, ethics.jpg

Ken Ammi
Since I already noted that “this is getting unmanageably verbose” then writing a lot more and attempting to cover various subjects at the same time is only making it worse.
As for Dawkins: check chap 9, p. 344 wherein he references “an atheistic world-view” (note the hyphen since if you search for “worldview” you will not find it).
I am not asking if you are willing to accept that a God exists. What I am asking is as it is right now: in what area of your thinking—about anything and everything—do you already accept that God actually does exist?

eddy eldridge
Alright, so he said ” atheistic world-view.” Not sure why, since that doesn’t make any sense. “Secular worldview” would have been more appropriate, but even editors miss stuff like that. Including hyphenating “worldview.” So Dawkins used an inappropriate word. It happens. Like I said, I’m sure if someone was anal enough to point that out to him, he’d amend it.
Funny how you defend this one tiny little quote, down to the word, because… Well, it sticks with your preconceived notion that atheism has some sort of dogmatic tenets every atheist must adhere to, less they be kicked out. Yet you don’t trust him on pretty much any other point he makes in the book.

Ken Ammi
I am unsure why you have so much confidence in Dawkins, after all: he claims to never have claimed to be an Atheist even after having done so. And, by the way, I “defend this one tiny little quote” because you challenged it. So, as it is right now: in what area of your thinking—about anything and everything—do you already accept that God actually does exist?

eddy eldridge
I don’t accept a god exists because I have no evidence one does. I’m actually unsure how you got it in your head that I do think that a god exists, somehow.

Ken Ammi
I am in no way implying that I think you believe that God exists but am seeking to understand you so stick with me on this. Two questions: 1) are you saying that you do not accept that God actually does exist in any area of your thinking whatsoever—about anything and everything? And 2) since you brought up evidence: what would count as evidence that God exists?

eddy eldridge
1. God can’t not exist in my thoughts, entirely, as I am speaking about the alleged entity, right now. But, as I have no proof and God’s exist, I do not believe they do, nor that they are responsible for anything.
In the exact same way that, I’d imagine, you’d sometimes think of unicorns, even if it’s only because someone else brought them up. But you don’t think they’re real, let alone that they are responsible for anything.
2. Off hand, I’m not sure, but that’s not really my problem. Theists make the claim at least one exists, while I remain unconvinced, so it is on the theists to prove one does. If they can’t, then I don’t believe they should believe one exists, either.

Ken Ammi
Just to bottom line it: this is not about whether God can exist in your thoughts, entirely: I am not even sure what that means. My question has been: in what area of your life, in your thinking about what, in what way do you actually acknowledge that God exists in any way whatsoever? I have been asking in what area of your thinking about anything and everything—from anthropology to cosmogony, from aesthetics to chemistry, etc. anything at all—do you recognize that God is actually doing something. Is your answer: in no way at all because you are an Atheist? Is this accurate, is that your answer?
I also asked “what would count as evidence that God exists?” and rather than replying you simply asserted “I have no proof and God’s exist” (and let us keep in mind the difference between evidence and proof).Lastly, you are now dogmatically asserting by your own authority that which people should and should not do but upon what premise? You demand that if theists cannot “prove” that God exists then “they should believe one exists, either.” But what do you care unto which Darwinian survival mechanism temporarily and accidentally existing bio-organisms cling—due to random bio-chemical neural reactions occurring within their haphazardly evolved brains, of course.

eddy eldridge
I do not believe a god of any sort has anything to do with any of the various processes that occur throughout the universe. Was it not established I’m an atheist? Did you think my response could ever be something like, “I don’t believe God exists, but it believe he’s the reason water behaved like it does.” That’s nonsense.
And yes, it is not my responsibility to say what counts as evidence. Just as its not the defending attorneys job to dictate what the prosecutor needs to present as evidence. Theists need to present evidence, then it will be up to the skeptics to analyze the evidence and see if it holds up to scrutiny.
And yes, if you have no proof something doesn’t exist, you shouldn’t believe it does. Do you worry about leprechauns stealing your potatoes or sharknadoes raining sharks down on you? No, because you don’t believe they exist. Because you have no evidence they do.
But God? Well, you seem to have made an exception in his case.
If you saw people regularly pouring vinegar outside their house to keep leprechauns away, would you not say something? What if those same people started popping up in government, passing laws to prevent leprechauns from stealing things? Would you just sit back and never say anything?
I wouldn’t, because I have empathy. Yes, all organisms on Earth, including humans, are just a complex series of chemical reactions. That doesn’t change, regardless of if a god exists.
But I still care about my fellow humans, and even most of the other life forms on Earth, because of my empathy. I want then to lead long, happy healthy lives. And in my experience, the best way to assure as many people do, is if they’re operating on as many true facts and as few false ones as possible.
My empathy compels me in the same way yours does you. Believing in facts makes Mr feel good, the same way believing in God does for you. Helping people releases dopamine in my brain, same way converting people to your faith does to yours.

Ken Ammi
FYI: I have not been implying that which you are inferring. So, now it seems we can get to one of the bottom line issues. Of course, let us keep in mind that as far as you are concerned these issues are very important even though we are both just accidentally and temporarily existing apes who learned to use a computer via which we express the result of random bio-chemical reactions within haphazardly evolved brains.
You previously claimed that Atheism “is a single position on a single subject.” I asked in what part of your thinking about anything and everything you make provision for an actually existing God. The obvious answer is that in no part whatsoever and why is that? Because you are an Atheist. Thus, you admit that Atheism is not a single position on a single subject but a foundation that effects all of your thinking about everything and anything. You view all things through Atheism so that far from being a single position on a single subject it is, in fact, the way you view absolutely everything such as “the various processes that occur throughout the universe,” mind you, so that this proves that Atheism is your worldview. That is because you took what you claimed is a single position on a single subject and turned it into a way to formulate every position on every subject.
Now, your take on the issue of evidence is a typical Atheist tactic: you do not/cannot say what counts as evidence, you leave it to theists to decide that, and you sit around shrugging everything off since you are an Atheist and, by definition, reject any evidence for God’s existence.
That “all organisms on Earth, including humans, are just a complex series of chemical reactions” is merely a myopic and restrictive statement of “faith” based on your Atheism (by any other name such as materialism, naturalism, reductionism, physicalism, etc.).
You then claim, on your own authority, that the foundational imperative dogma is empathy but that is just that: a claim based on your own authority—even if it is a good idea, it is as I have noted.
Lastly, I find it fascinating that you imply that your “Believing in facts” and “Helping people” is based on selfishness: that it makes you “Mr feel good” and “releases dopamine.” May I recommend helping others for their sake and not just to feel good, perhaps even feel good about yourself, etc.?

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