неделя, 14 юли 2019 г.

Bible Arguments 10

By DeYtH Banger


"You might object that the appearance of animal morality is just a thoughtless expression of an automatic instinct and that we could also give numerous examples of animals not caring about each other. But we could say the same thing about humans."

- Dan Baker

"Some people break into tears when they see cruelty to animals, and if you are like my sister-in-law Suzan, you will break into a rage..."

- Dan Baker

"We have many instincts—some nurturing, some violent—and they often conflict with each other. But Freud did not think the Id was moral in itself. He thought it was something for the Ego and Superego to control..."

- Dan Baker

"Daniel Dennett, in Freedom Evolves, writes that it makes no difference whether our moral impulses are evolved or learned. “[T]he theory that explains morality … should be neutral with regard to whether our moral attitudes, habits, preferences, and proclivities are a product of genes or culture.”"

- Dan Baker

"…think “instinct” is purely biological or a learned habit, or a combination of the two, it comes down to the same goal: the minimization of harm to biological organisms
Craig Packer points out in his book Into Africa, that is because ‘we make it all up as we go along,’ whereas an ant has ‘every small instruction laid out in advance.’”13 Since none of the other animals have such a proportionately large and complicated brain, they are, as far as we know, unable to construct a formal moral philosophy, but this does not mean they lack altruism, empathy, or moral sentiments."

- Dan Baker

"We can think about other people thinking about us thinking about their thoughts. (This is sometimes called Theory of Mind.) We can deliberate, compare, anticipate, contrast, imagine, and prioritize. We can run “what if” scenarios. We can refrain from acting and wait for more information. (That is one of the functions of the frontal lobe, which checks our actions in social settings. It is what keeps you from burping loudly at a wedding or funeral, for example.) We can investigate, read, and ask for help. We can search our memories for consequences to similar situations, past lessons, previous mistakes."

- Dan Baker

"…of the Unconscious, show that very often we simply “know” what to do intuitively, without deliberation. A hunch can be a signal from your lower biological brain to your higher consciousness that something is wrong, though you can’t put it into words. Your “gut feeling” happens somewhere beneath your conscious awareness, but it is no less important than reason. Instincts are a huge advantage, but Gladwell and Gerzinger also give examples of gut feelings gone wrong. Animal instincts are valuable not because they are always right but because they were advantageous most of the time when they were being naturally selected. “I’m not a textbook player. I’m a gut player,” President George W. Bush told Bob Woodward about his disastrous decision to go to war in Iraq. Gut feelings can go horribly wrong sometimes—especially when they are prompted by religion rather than evidence—because they are firing in a different environment from which they originally evolved."

- Dan Baker

"Sometimes such actions result in two tragedies instead of one. Call for help. Don’t become a dead hero. Yet the fact that most of us have these automatic impulses to do good tells us something about our human nature.."

- Dan Baker

"Morality is not a code. It is a compass. A compass does not tell you where you are or where to go; it only shows you where north is. Think of north as the direction of less harm and south as more harm. If your actions are heading more to the north, then you are acting morally. Of course, you can’t always travel directly north—the terrain is often complicated and actions can conflict with each other, and you might have to detour east, west, or even south for a while—but if you intend your general path to go more northerly than southerly, your journey is moral. (No offense to my friends in Australia, Brazil, and South Africa! If you live below the equator, then head south."

- Dan Baker

"I]n no instance has a system in regard to religion been ever established, but for the purpose, as well as with the effect of its being made an instrument of intimidation, corruption, and delusion, for the support of depredation and oppression in the hands of governments.”"

- Dan Baker

"In his book The Moral Landscape, Sam Harris identifies the “well-being” of conscious creatures as the aim of morality. I think that is right. “Well-being” is perhaps a more positive way to characterize the harm principle, but it boils down to the same thing. All through Sam’s thoughtful book, when “well-being” is unpacked with real-life examples, they always involve the avoidance of some kind of harm or limitation. Well, you can’t be “well” if you are harmed."

- Dan Barker

"The third moral mind, on the right shoulder, is not located in dead ancestors or individual consciousness, but in the social agreements formed by the large tribe to which we belong. Remember that I am not suggesting that law is actually one of your own minds: in a democratic society, humanistic law is a result of a collective mind (including yours) that expresses itself as social expectation or obligation. Unless you live alone on one of the moons of Saturn, the laws you encounter come from somewhere other than your own conscious mind."

- Dan Barker

"They replace reason with faith. Reason shows us, for example, that there is nothing wrong with being gay, and if the bible says homosexuality is wrong, then the bible is wrong, not homosexuality. These people are free to have faith and live by their own rules. They are even welcome to try to persuade the rest of us to think like them, but in a secular society, they are not free to impose their theocratic beliefs on everyone else by law…"

- Dan Barker



"But I also know there are good reasons for the state to impose a law on how fast I drive on a road that is owned and used by all of us. I may not know all those reasons. They probably have to do with efficient traffic flow, public safety, and convenience. In the absence of a true emergency (such as rushing a heart attack victim to the hospital), I willingly surrender part of my moral decision-making to the collective mind of society..."

- Dan Barker



"What about stem-cell research, abortion rights, birth control, prostitution, polygamy, military draft, tax laws, nude beaches, animal leash laws, motorcycle helmet laws? What about laws based on religious principles? What sense does it make, for example, to outlaw same-sex marriage or a woman showing her face in public? Those religious laws are simply an attempt to legitimize primitive homophobia, sexism, and sectarian orthodoxy. A truly moral law would deal with such discrimination by aiming at the attackers, not the targets. When considering any law, I think we should simply ask, “What is the harm?” Bad laws increase harm. If following a law more often results in less harm, we can say it is a good law."

- Dan Barker



"I am going to break the law, and I want all of you to witness. The god of the bible, if he exists, is an evil, immoral, selfish, arrogant, jealous, brutal, bloodthirsty bully, and if he created hell, he can go to hell. I am not saying “God Damn It,” I am saying “Damn God.” There. I just broke the Third Commandment. I took the name of the Lord Your God in vain. Are you going to have me arrested for blasphemy…"

- Dan Barker



"Thomas Jefferson concluded that “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”20 It was originally a jumble of regional legal decisions based on common sense and precedent that roughly came together after a long evolution of trial and error. It is not based on written statutes but on the “survival of the fittest” ideas that had been naturally selected by experience. The prohibition of murder, for example, is (to this day in England) not based on “Thou shalt not kill” or any other statute, but on the legal decisions of ancestor judges amassed over time into a “common” understanding of how we should…"

- Dan Barker


"Look what happened with Harvard, originally a religious school founded by Calvinists to educate preachers (“dreading to leave an illiterate Ministry to the Churches”) that grew into a humanistic institution of liberal arts education. The seventeenth-century theocrats, at any rate, did not found the United States of America. It was a century and a half later when our actual founders, not wanting any part of the religious divisiveness of the earlier colonies, continued evolving into a secular democratic republic."

- Dan Barker



"The constitution arose naturally from a group of people struggling to be free of authority, not to submit to rules. American citizens are not subjects.22 We are a proudly rebellious people…"

- Dan Barker


"…In Losing Faith in Faith and Godless, I describe the shortcomings of theistic morality, which is based primarily on a might-makes-right mentality. With its threat of eternal torture, inept role models, and a cosmic dictator who is praise-hungry, angry, and violent, the bible offers an ethical system that reduces to the morality of a toddler who fears and flatters the father figure. In most religions, behavior is governed by rules, but in real life behavior should be governed by principles."

- Dan Barker



"…you don’t believe in God you have to be reminded of the punishment of the law? If you do believe in God you can simply say, “so help me, God,” and that is enough to warrant honesty. If you don’t believe in God, it is assumed you have less motive to tell the truth, the “pains and penalties of perjury” replacing the threat of “hell” to force you to be a good person."

- Dan Baker

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