• penciIartist79

    Gotta remind you that the character being discussed was presented as, and is traditionally understood as, the moral idiot of the story by anyone at all.

    • Escaping Atheism ن​

      LOL! I love the generalizations here. “anyone at all” would understand that protagonist was a “moral idiot.”

      Well, no. Atheists tend view their personal moral fiber as rather superior to the whole of humanity, just as the main character supposed himself to be.

      You are projecting yourself into the novel, thinking “well, I would do x, y,z and it would turn out all right” when the whole point of the novel is no, you’re not better and no, it wouldn’t turn out alright.

      That point just flew right by you, didn’t it? I can hear sonic boom even. Too funny.

      • Martin R. Oakley

        You accuse me of rash generalizations, then make several of your own. The first being the direct misquoting of what I originally stated: That he was written as, and traditionally understood to be, the moral idiot.

        Other than that, here are two other points.

        #1) I do not view my moral fiber as superior to the whole of humanity. I just disagree as to the original source of said moral fiber.

        #2) As for projecting myself into the novel, no, I have not done so. I’d challenge you to explain how this particular point is shown by my original posting.

        • Escaping Atheism ن​

          So..you’re commenting under two Disqus ids. Interesting.

          “The first being the direct misquoting of what I originally stated: That he was presented as, and traditionally understood to be, the moral idiot.”

          If you’d like me to be more precise then I was last night,this statement is an opinion and a personal opinion at that. It is not certainly the consensus on the subject, which I did some light research into after your statement. From my readings, you missed the point of Crime and Punishment if that’s what you personally got out it.

          And if that’s what you got out of it, then there’s no mistaking the idea that you consider yourself to be of superior moral character. You cannot believe a fictional character meant to be a sort of everyman down on his luck to be a “moral idiot” without a very high opinion of yourself. There is no other possible cause for such a statement, even if you’re trying to pretend everyone else shares that opinion.

          • Martin R. Oakley

            It all depends which browser I use, because of the fact that I actually don’t remember this password but it’s connected to my google account.

            Light research, very interesting. But then again, it is as I would expect from your group. You tend to do as much research as will prove your point, and then go no further. Along the way you claim to be a fully secular critique, yet spout the religious claims at every point.

            I find this extremely telling, and know this post will either get me banned from commenting (remember to ban BOTH ID’s!) or simply deleted.

            In fact, I’ll just state one last thing: Your hate rhetoric is showing on every thread now.

          • Escaping Atheism ن​

            Why are you upset I researched your claim? You clearly didn’t research it at all. All I had to do was find one or more authorities that didn’t agree with you and I was done, based on the nature of the statement. As it is, I saw enough to tell me your conclusion was not even close to consensus.

            “I find this extremely telling, and know this post will either get me banned from commenting (remember to ban BOTH ID’s!) or simply deleted.”

            I ban when I feel like conversations with a particular poster will not be productive and it’s wasting my time via spam. I’m not goaded into them any sooner or later than that point. You’re still somewhat on the side of sanity, believe it or not. 🙂

            “In fact, I’ll just state one last thing: Your hate rhetoric is showing on every thread now.”

            Pointing out that you have an opinion is not hate speech. Making reasonable conclusions on the fact of your opinion is not hate speech. Researching until no more needs to be done is not hate speech. Stating great truths of life on planet Earth is not hate speech.

            You can hide behind “hate speech”, if you wish, for the rest of your life. But if there’s one piece of advise I could give you, even if you never become a theist, is to learn that’s it okay to make mistakes. To err is the most human thing you could ever do. It’s such a better life, to go “oops, I made a mistake” and move on. It hurts to learn to do it, but after a while it becomes 2nd nature and it’s much easier.

          • Martin R. Oakley

            Kinda like Dean’s mistake about posting that poll on twitter eh?

          • Escaping Atheism ن​

            We’re talking about your inability to admit your errors, even tiny and of no consequence like this one, not someone else’s.

            No foolin, the sooner you learn to say “Oops, I made mistake”, the faster your life gets better. It’s such a relief to be able to say “I made mistake” and then take any appropriate action, including apologizing if required.

            I get avoiding it because it’s painful, but developing that habit is worth the pain. I promise it will make the creation of art go easier, too, on many levels.

          • I can admit when I’m wrong, and I had the wrong book. Upon research I discovered I was wrong in my statement that the main character was the moral idiot in Crime and Punishment. I was thinking of another book by Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazhov. (Apologies if I misspelled either of those)

            So that portion of my argument was based upon a misremembered piece.

            Yet I feel that the main thrust of my point is this: That atheism reveals a path to moral relativism. The argument that Dr Peterson makes that moral relativism is the default point after abandoning the (as he stated) “transcendent”. I completely disagree with this as our ethics, values, and morals do not neccessarily need any type of the “transcendent” as he stated, but instead an understanding (via compassion and empathy) of “Do not do unto others that you would not have done to yourself”, a rewording of the golden rule taught in Christianity.

            I agree on one point that there has to be a value placed upon human life as one part of morality and ethics. Where this needs to be placed is up for a more philosophical discussion.

          • Escaping Atheism ن​

            “Upon research I discovered I was wrong in my statement that the main character was the moral idiot in Crime and Punishment.”

            And yet, you’re still not honest are you? You didn’t research it, *I* researched and told you that. Yes, you have a problem admitting error and an honesty problem (this is the primary one), although this is a huge step in the right direction.

            “Do not do unto others that you would not have done to yourself”, a rewording of the golden rule taught in Christianity.”

            In other words, your guiding principle comes not from yourself or atheism, but a religion. What if you’re an atheist not exposed to that religion? What if you’re an atheist that simply doesn’t agree?

            Empathy and compassion are a terrible basis of morality. Unfortunately, we’re only compassionate to people we empathize with. But even empathy varies wildly from person to person. It also tends to disappear when you need it the most, during stressful situations.

            Morality requires a transcendent third party. If there’s nothing but breakfast in the morning and dinner at night, there’s no reason you can’t redefine your worldview to suit yourself. There’s no reason even to place value on other human life, other than a value you feel it has, as in Crime and Punishment.

            You’re arguing here against the whole of 20th century history. Again and again atheist governments assign arbitrary values to human life, because there’s nothing in the worldview that’s incompatible with that. In Christianity, all human life has value because each person is of God’s creation, regardless of your personal feelings on the matter. What does atheism have other than at best, a cheap and unstable of copy of such thoughts, and only in the West? Nothing.

          • You assume much.

            You did research. Then I did my own to verify that I was, in fact, wrong. I then admitted that I was. Now who’s being disingenuous?

            As for morality, there has not been a true atheistic government that has not been set up as the state as the god. Of course you’ll bring out the tired tropes of “communism” and “hitler was an atheist” in direction contravention of the actual evidence.

            As for morality, as I stated before, it’s a much more philosophical argument than you want to admit. You just believe that there’s a different source for it than I do. We both have morality, believe there is a moral code.

          • Escaping Atheism ن​

            “You did research. Then I did my own to verify that I was, in fact, wrong. I then admitted that I was. Now who’s being disingenuous?”

            *Without* acknowledging my research in anyway or even thanking me for the correction. The whole point of phrasing the statement that way was to CYA. I will tell you point blank, there is no personal happiness down the road of protecting your ego. I’ve seen it too many times in my life. You’re not that far gone yet, but until you can say “Oops”, nothing about your art or insight into humanity will improve. And there will be a point where you’re so deep in lies to protect your ego, that the way back will take a miracle.

            “As for morality, there has not been a true atheistic government that has not been set up as the state as the god. Of course you’ll bring out the tired tropes of “communism” and “hitler was an atheist” in direction contravention of the actual evidence.”

            Ha, ha! This right back to the idea you are somehow superior to the humanity you see around you. “Of course” there’s been no “true” atheistic government. Except “of course”, it’s been tried in multiple places, in multiple nations with the same disastrous consequences. But somehow we’ll come up with better one. No, we won’t. I believe in believing in the results of past experiments.

            “As for morality, as I stated before, it’s a much more philosophical argument than you want to admit. You just believe that there’s a different source for it than I do. We both have morality, believe there is a moral code.”

            Except I’m honest about where that moral code comes from, ie, God. You wish to raise yourself up to that level. Sorry, the only humans who even come close to being fully alive are the ones who accept their fallen, falliable nature. If there is a universal morality (which there is), there is no other source but a Creator because humans spend most of their time running away from it.

          • Now you’re moving the goalposts again, and making such leaps of intellectual arrogance and dishonesty that I am aghast that you could accuse atheists or anyone else of intellectual arrogance or dishonesty!

          • Escaping Atheism ن​

            Okay. I’ve told you the truth as I know it. It’s your life and your choice – God gave you free will to head down this path. You can decide to go a different direction at any time. God bless.

          • Very interesting. You finally admit that this is only the truth “as you know it” and not anything more than personal anecdote!

          • Escaping Atheism ن​

            Yes, as I know it, because our understanding of the objective truth necessarily is subjective, as fallen, fallible humans – all of us. Which means one of us is wrong. God bless.

          • So objective is subjective. Which is the actual truth.

            As for one of us being wrong, yes, that is true. One of us is.

            As to your assumption that we are fallen, I disagree. Fallen from what you’d have to then ask. Your presupposition is “grace”. Then follows the question what is grace?

            As for fallible, yes. We all are. That is why we must examine the topics under discussion in great detail without assuming either objectivism or that the answer lays in ancient texts. Science is one way of examining truth, and as my thoughts and beliefs evolve, philosophy is becoming another way.

          • Escaping Atheism ن​

            “So objective is subjective. Which is the actual truth.”

            Nope. Your perception of objective truth is subjective. Let me give you an analogy. Imagine truth as a fine, perfect gold circle. What everyone is given is a first grader’s pencil and a first grader’s skills (in the beginning) to attempt to draw that circle. You have an eraser and time to draw and re-draw the circle. You can even redraw little bits at a time, if it works out. You can keep making your circle like the objective one.

            But necessarily your circle will never be a fine, perfect circle made out of gold. And of course, other people will draw triangles, rectangles, scribbles, or even nothing at all. But paradoxically, the closer your personal drawing comes to the real circle, the more peace you will have.

            That’s thing. You’ve never once asked me how we could decide on who is right and who is wrong here. You’ve blazed ahead to attempting to bash the truth in verbally, like your lopsided ellipse is good enough if you can just convince me that the golden circle doesn’t exist.

            Sure, I could even agree with you, but we’d both be wrong and neither one of us would have any peace whatsoever. It’s mindlessly predictable why atheist “communities” fall apart unless they’re destroying something. There is absolutely no peace in pretending there’s no circle to draw.

            That brings me all the way around to, whatever it is you are and where ever it is you go next, learn to say “Oops”. Bring out that eraser. Apologize. Leave that ego behind you. God bless. 🙂

  • Melody Toland

    He asks why people wouldn’t just take what they want and do what they want without religion? It’s not just society that teaches us right from wrong. It’s also an innate attribute known as empathy. Humans are not the only species to have it, and when a human doesn’t have it, they are a sociopath. Sociopaths have no trouble rationalizing srealign and hurting for personal gain, no matter their religion. Being a Christian is not the source of empathy. Athiests certainly have empathy as well and that would be the foundation for said society.

    • Escaping Atheism ن​

      So..you’re saying that a quality that you *know* people don’t have would be a basis for a society. Hmm…

      It turns out that for the people who have empathy, it varies quite widely in amounts. Worse, empathy tends to disappear in high stress and emotional situations, the time when you need it most. Honestly, I can’t think of a worse quality than empathy to create a society.

      I suspect the millennial snowflake phenomenon is partially the end result of too much emphasis on empathy. Because realistically, if you offer empathy, you’re expecting back in what you believe to be the same amount. Without a transcendent third party, society rapidly devolves into a pity party and who is the biggest victim, as they see it.

      • Prince Randorson

        “So..you’re saying that a quality that you *know* people don’t have would be a basis for a society. Hmm…”

        You have a mental impairment. She wrote “some” people dont have it, they are called sociopaths.

  • anonymeme

    Two points to make:
    What is the issue with Kantian ethics or Utilitarianism? Depending on epistemology, these may be held as true independent of God.
    In what sense does the assumption that moral values exist lead to the belief that God exists? It would seem to me like God’s existence still leads to an “is vs ought” problem. Say that God is, what makes him maximally good? See Euthyphro.
    Thanks for responding in advance and thus being honest about a tough subject.

    • Escaping Atheism ن​

      Lots to unpack there. 🙂

      The issue with utilitarianism is that a society ultimately ‘votes’ on ethics. Do you think Nazi Germany was right? While Hitler ruled via claiming power, rather than via democracy, it’s clear he tapped deep into discontent of the German people. It is moral for one group to kill another group of people because they feel like it and agree mostly? That’s almost any genocide, particularly the ones post WWII. Utilitarian morality says it’s okay. Is it?

      If moral universal values exist and they do, because otherwise it would be impossible for school kids to judge “fair”. Where does that urge for “fair” come from, even in children? Theoretically, I should not be able to make my kids happy by splitting something exactly in half, especially under utilitarian or self gene theories. The only thing that would make them happy is the *whole* cake, not half.

      Presuming moral values is universal, and think that’s safe and with evidence, then where do universal moral values come from? What humans recognize as moral at times actually works against theories of evolution. As humans, you can see how moral behavior might benefit all of society over time, but that hardly makes it good the individual in question. We are not bees that carry the similar genetic codes. An individual that sacrifices their reproduction for any reason has indeed made a suicidal statement from the self-gene point of view.

      And here atheists shoulder shrug with an “I don’t know”, if I’ve even had them get this far with me. But the most logical answer (other than I don’t know) is the Creator of the universe the and the force that runs reality has put a moral code within each human.

      Now the nature of that Creator is a different question altogether. Quite often they blend in these discussions, so I’m glad you asked. 🙂 A deist would tell you that God is an indifferent God. He installed a moral code and is off making other universes presumably, leaving us to ourselves.

      It is specifically Christianity in the West that stakes a claim to God’s nature of all good. So within that context, within the faith of Christianity, how is it possible to say that God is all good while permitting evil? My answer, along with many others is that God is indeed merely permits evil for His own ends, specifically to allow free will. Without free will, we lose the ability to love freely – the ability to choose and really to grow as spiritual beings. We would be as robots or maybe more correctly, animals, unable to choose from between different actions and sometimes against our own animal instincts. Without free will, we lose our humanness. And thus an all-Good God can allow suffering, precisely because of a love of humanity itself.

      • anonymeme

        Regarding your comment on utilitarianism: utilitarianism is the use of a pain vs pleasure calculation in morality. It is not popular-opinion morality. Is there a logical issue with this particular system?

        • Escaping Atheism ن​

          This is definition of utilitarianism that I looked up: “the doctrine that actions are right if they are useful or for the benefit of a majority. the doctrine that an action is right insofar as it promotes happiness, and that the greatest happiness of the greatest number should be the guiding principle of conduct.”

          So it’s not strictly pain vs. pleasure, but a majority opinion on the subject, so the genocidal question still stands. How do we say,for instance, any genocide is immoral? All genocides by definition are utilitarian morality at work.

          If you want to talk about a concept that’s about an individual, the analogies get even worse. It means that it would be impossible to talk anyone out of actions that obviously hurt others. If it makes someone happy to kill other people, on what grounds do you tell him or her to stop? The best you can offer is jail time, and only if they’re caught.

          It appears that when you detach God from morality, it seems it’s difficult to argue an action is wrong. You can only get to “might is right”

      • anonymeme

        And regarding free will: why can’t god veto actions? For example, a murderer can try to shoot, but the bullet hits the shooter in the arm instead? And thanks very much again for honest debate.

        • Escaping Atheism ن​

          God can veto actions. It’s quite possible many accidents, shootings,etc, have been altered in the manner just as you describe. But if it happened all the time, none of our actions would have meaning, and thus we’d lose our free will.

  • Prince Randorson

    If there is no god then you can do whatever you want, if youre an asshole. Our morals facilitate interactions amongst social primates in a way that increases fitness. The reason to keep our evolutionary programed morality, once we realize that it is arbitrary is simply because those morals facilitate living as social primates.