How do we know what is right, and what is wrong?

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Compassionist
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How do we know what is right, and what is wrong?

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How do we know what is right, and what is wrong? For example, I think it is wrong to be a herbivore or a carnivore or an omnivore, or a parasite. I think all living things should be autotrophs. I think only autotrophs are good and the rest are evil. However, I am not certain that my thoughts are right. Can herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, and parasites become autotrophs at will? If so, why don't they? If they can't become autotrophs at will, is it really their fault that they are not autotrophs?

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Re: How do we know what is right, and what is wrong?

Post #111

Post by The Tanager »

Compassionist wrote: Sat Mar 18, 2023 1:26 pmJust because we can't predict with 100% accuracy, who will do what does not mean that the choices are not determined by genes, environments, nutrients, and experiences, and the laws of physics. We can't predict the weather with 100% accuracy either. That does not mean that the weather is not determined by variables and the laws of physics.

I wish there was a way to know with 100% certainty what is real and what is not as I find it very frustrating that I can't know. I hate not being able to prevent all suffering, injustices, and deaths and not being able to make all living things forever happy.

I don't think we are going to agree and that's ok. I don't require anyone to agree with me. Thank you for all your thoughtful replies. I wish you all the best.
I wasn't saying a lack of 100% prediction proves determinism wrong. The argument offered for determinism was that we are getting more knowledgeable and so we may one day get to 100% prediction. I was saying this faithful thinking wasn't good enough to support thinking determinism is true, ultimately resting on begging the question.

I would also love more certainty in my life as well, but it's not a part of our life as humans. I don't think that lack is necessarily evil.

I also wish no evil occurred, including "small" self-centered evils I commit. That is, until I think about that the only way I could accomplish this was to turn everyone (including myself) into puppets and all the great love we would be missing out on by doing so.

Yes, disagreeing is okay. May we both continue to pursue truth and move closer to it, though. May peace be yours.

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Re: How do we know what is right, and what is wrong?

Post #112

Post by Compassionist »

The Tanager wrote: Sat Mar 18, 2023 4:13 pm
Compassionist wrote: Sat Mar 18, 2023 1:26 pmJust because we can't predict with 100% accuracy, who will do what does not mean that the choices are not determined by genes, environments, nutrients, and experiences, and the laws of physics. We can't predict the weather with 100% accuracy either. That does not mean that the weather is not determined by variables and the laws of physics.

I wish there was a way to know with 100% certainty what is real and what is not as I find it very frustrating that I can't know. I hate not being able to prevent all suffering, injustices, and deaths and not being able to make all living things forever happy.

I don't think we are going to agree and that's ok. I don't require anyone to agree with me. Thank you for all your thoughtful replies. I wish you all the best.
I wasn't saying a lack of 100% prediction proves determinism wrong. The argument offered for determinism was that we are getting more knowledgeable and so we may one day get to 100% prediction. I was saying this faithful thinking wasn't good enough to support thinking determinism is true, ultimately resting on begging the question.

I would also love more certainty in my life as well, but it's not a part of our life as humans. I don't think that lack is necessarily evil.

I also wish no evil occurred, including "small" self-centered evils I commit. That is, until I think about that the only way I could accomplish this was to turn everyone (including myself) into puppets and all the great love we would be missing out on by doing so.

Yes, disagreeing is okay. May we both continue to pursue truth and move closer to it, though. May peace be yours.
The reason we can't predict choices made by complex organisms is the same as why we can't predict the weather. There are too many variables for us to compute. It does not mean that our choices are not determined by our genes, environments, nutrients, and experiences, as well as by the laws of physics.

Are you saying that God is a puppet because he is all-knowing and all-powerful? I proposed in other posts that God should have made all living things all-knowing and all-powerful as that would have led to everyone being forever happy. Nothing and no one can harm all-knowing and all-powerful beings.

You claimed in another post that killing sentient beings for food is not unjust. On what basis is this not unjust?

I have asked you in several other posts whether or not you have looked at https://www.evilbible.com and http://skepticsannotatedbible.com but you never said if you had looked at them or not. You don't have to look at them if you don't want to. If you did look at them what do you think of them?

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Re: How do we know what is right, and what is wrong?

Post #113

Post by The Tanager »

Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 7:24 amThe reason we can't predict choices made by complex organisms is the same as why we can't predict the weather. There are too many variables for us to compute. It does not mean that our choices are not determined by our genes, environments, nutrients, and experiences, as well as by the laws of physics.
I didn’t say it means determinism is false. I said it doesn’t prove determinism and to have faith that we one day will be able to is to beg the question because if determinism is not true, then we wouldn’t be able to predict it all even in theory.
Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 7:24 amAre you saying that God is a puppet because he is all-knowing and all-powerful? I proposed in other posts that God should have made all living things all-knowing and all-powerful as that would have led to everyone being forever happy. Nothing and no one can harm all-knowing and all-powerful beings.
No, I’m not saying that. I’m saying that for God to make sure no one does anything evil, God would have to make us puppets.
Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 7:24 amYou claimed in another post that killing sentient beings for food is not unjust. On what basis is this not unjust?
No, you claimed that this was unjust and I asked for the basis on which you were making that claim. You said because it was harmful. I asked on what basis causing harm is necessarily unjust.
Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 7:24 amI have asked you in several other posts whether or not you have looked at https://www.evilbible.com and http://skepticsannotatedbible.com but you never said if you had looked at them or not. You don't have to look at them if you don't want to. If you did look at them what do you think of them?
I have said in those posts that I have looked at them. I believe I even said that most of those are the result of misinterpretations of the texts and even what kind of texts they are. That's obviously a generalization, but I'm always open to looking at specifics.

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Re: How do we know what is right, and what is wrong?

Post #114

Post by Compassionist »

The Tanager wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 9:04 am
Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 7:24 amThe reason we can't predict choices made by complex organisms is the same as why we can't predict the weather. There are too many variables for us to compute. It does not mean that our choices are not determined by our genes, environments, nutrients, and experiences, as well as by the laws of physics.
I didn’t say it means determinism is false. I said it doesn’t prove determinism and to have faith that we one day will be able to is to beg the question because if determinism is not true, then we wouldn’t be able to predict it all even in theory.
Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 7:24 amAre you saying that God is a puppet because he is all-knowing and all-powerful? I proposed in other posts that God should have made all living things all-knowing and all-powerful as that would have led to everyone being forever happy. Nothing and no one can harm all-knowing and all-powerful beings.
No, I’m not saying that. I’m saying that for God to make sure no one does anything evil, God would have to make us puppets.
Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 7:24 amYou claimed in another post that killing sentient beings for food is not unjust. On what basis is this not unjust?
No, you claimed that this was unjust and I asked for the basis on which you were making that claim. You said because it was harmful. I asked on what basis causing harm is necessarily unjust.
Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 7:24 amI have asked you in several other posts whether or not you have looked at https://www.evilbible.com and http://skepticsannotatedbible.com but you never said if you had looked at them or not. You don't have to look at them if you don't want to. If you did look at them what do you think of them?
I have said in those posts that I have looked at them. I believe I even said that most of those are the result of misinterpretations of the texts and even what kind of texts they are. That's obviously a generalization, but I'm always open to looking at specifics.
Some things can be proven if one assumes that our sensory perceptions are not being doctored by simulations or illusions. For example, I can prove that humans with XY chromosomes are males and XX chromosomes are females. I can also prove that if you deprive me of oxygen, water and food, I will die. I can also prove that if you put me in an oven and set it to 200 degrees Celsius and switch it on, I will die. I can also prove that if I experience something it affects my choices e.g. I put on a coat if I feel cold.

In the examples above, I prove that genes (XY and XX chromosomes), environments (200 degrees Celsius oven), nutrients (lack of oxygen, water and food), and experiences (being cold) determine what happens.

Here are some things that I desperately want to do but can't do due to lack of ability:

1. Go back in time and prevent all suffering, deaths, and injustices.
2. Make all living things all-knowing and all-powerful. This way no one will ever be harmed by anyone or anything. If God is truly all-knowing and all-powerful, why didn't he make all beings equally all-knowing and all-powerful?

Here are some things I have done, currently do or will do even though I don't want to do them:

1. Breathe
2. Eat
3. Drink
4. Sleep
5. Dream
7. Pee
8. Poo
9. Fart
10. Burp
11. Sneeze
12. Cough
13. Age
14. Get ill
15. Get injured
16. Sweat
17. Cry
18. Suffer
19. Snore
20. Think
21. Feel
22. Choose
23. Be conceived
24. Be born
25. Remember some events
26. Forget some events
27. Die

I am clearly not a free agent with free will. I am truly a prisoner of causality who does things he does not want to do and can't do what he wants to do. We are all prisoners of causality who are thrust into existence without consent in a horrific and unjust world. I wish I was never conceived but I can't choose to prevent my existence. Can you refrain from the 27 items on the list above? I bet you can't. No human can refrain from these things because we are all prisoners of causality and doomed to suffer and die.

Please see https://www.evilbible.com/evil-bible-ho ... the-bible/ and https://www.evilbible.com/evil-bible-home-page/slavery/ and https://www.evilbible.com/evil-bible-ho ... the-bible/

Do you truly not find the above examples to be atrocious? Only an evil God could commit such acts and give such commands.

Please see viewtopic.php?p=1114770#p1114770

I am quoting from your post:
The Tanager wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 12:15 pm
Compassionist wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 11:50 amI don't understand how you can be a non-vegan while you think that one should get upset about injustice. The exploitation and murder of sentient organisms are among the worst injustices in the universe.
It’s because I don’t see carnivorism as an injustice. I could be wrong about that, unless atheism is true. Therefore, I don’t understand what you mean by injustice. If atheism is true (I know you are agnostic), then there is no such thing as injustice; there are only things that go against your taste and go with a being that has a different taste.
Compassionist wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 11:50 amI already said that both theism and atheism provide subjective morality. Religions can not and do not provide us with objective morality.
It may be true that theism cannot provide us with objective morality either, but we are tabling that question until we are done with this part. We are just talking about the atheism side of things. And, on that side, I don’t see how “injustice” exists as a concept in the way you are using it.
Why don't you see carnivorism as an injustice? I disagree with your claim that atheism being true nullifies the existence of injustice. I bet lots of agnostics and atheists and even theists would agree with me in that justice and injustice can exist regardless of whether atheism is true or false.

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Re: How do we know what is right, and what is wrong?

Post #115

Post by The Tanager »

Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 1:56 pmSome things can be proven if one assumes that our sensory perceptions are not being doctored by simulations or illusions. For example, I can prove that humans with XY chromosomes are males and XX chromosomes are females. I can also prove that if you deprive me of oxygen, water and food, I will die. I can also prove that if you put me in an oven and set it to 200 degrees Celsius and switch it on, I will die. I can also prove that if I experience something it affects my choices e.g. I put on a coat if I feel cold.

In the examples above, I prove that genes (XY and XX chromosomes), environments (200 degrees Celsius oven), nutrients (lack of oxygen, water and food), and experiences (being cold) determine what happens.
Bolded emphasis mine. You did not prove that experiences determine what happens. You moved from saying experiences affect to experiences determine. You don’t have to put a coat on.
Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 1:56 pmHere are some things that I desperately want to do but can't do due to lack of ability:
Doing those things is not what free will is in the free will vs. determinism debate that has thousands of years of philosophy behind it, so this does nothing to prove determinism.
Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 1:56 pmIf God is truly all-knowing and all-powerful, why didn't he make all beings equally all-knowing and all-powerful?
Why should God?
Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 1:56 pmPlease see https://www.evilbible.com/evil-bible-ho ... the-bible/ and https://www.evilbible.com/evil-bible-home-page/slavery/ and https://www.evilbible.com/evil-bible-ho ... the-bible/

Do you truly not find the above examples to be atrocious? Only an evil God could commit such acts and give such commands.
Those are too many things that all deserve responses to. They deserve their own thread. I would be happy to join you in such a thread. For this discussion, let’s assume that at least some of those critiques are solid. What would that show? It would show that the Bible is not all inspired. It would not show that atheism is true, that Christianity is false, or that God cannot ground objective morality.
Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 1:56 pmWhy don't you see carnivorism as an injustice?
Again, you claimed it was a clear injustice. It is your burden to support that rationally. So, why do you think it is an objective injustice?

I don’t think that causing pain is, in itself, necessarily evil. I don’t make all parenting decisions with my kids’ comfort in mind; I’m more concerned about their character. It may be the case that our type of world requires the existence of pain, both for us and for other creatures.
Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 1:56 pmI disagree with your claim that atheism being true nullifies the existence of injustice. I bet lots of agnostics and atheists and even theists would agree with me in that justice and injustice can exist regardless of whether atheism is true or false.
People agree for all sorts of reasons, not always rational. Can you offer any grounding of objective morals, assuming the truth of atheism?

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Re: How do we know what is right, and what is wrong?

Post #116

Post by Compassionist »

The Tanager wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 9:38 pm
Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 1:56 pmSome things can be proven if one assumes that our sensory perceptions are not being doctored by simulations or illusions. For example, I can prove that humans with XY chromosomes are males and XX chromosomes are females. I can also prove that if you deprive me of oxygen, water and food, I will die. I can also prove that if you put me in an oven and set it to 200 degrees Celsius and switch it on, I will die. I can also prove that if I experience something it affects my choices e.g. I put on a coat if I feel cold.

In the examples above, I prove that genes (XY and XX chromosomes), environments (200 degrees Celsius oven), nutrients (lack of oxygen, water and food), and experiences (being cold) determine what happens.
Bolded emphasis mine. You did not prove that experiences determine what happens. You moved from saying experiences affect to experiences determine. You don’t have to put a coat on.
Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 1:56 pmHere are some things that I desperately want to do but can't do due to lack of ability:
Doing those things is not what free will is in the free will vs. determinism debate that has thousands of years of philosophy behind it, so this does nothing to prove determinism.
Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 1:56 pmIf God is truly all-knowing and all-powerful, why didn't he make all beings equally all-knowing and all-powerful?
Why should God?
Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 1:56 pmPlease see https://www.evilbible.com/evil-bible-ho ... the-bible/ and https://www.evilbible.com/evil-bible-home-page/slavery/ and https://www.evilbible.com/evil-bible-ho ... the-bible/

Do you truly not find the above examples to be atrocious? Only an evil God could commit such acts and give such commands.
Those are too many things that all deserve responses to. They deserve their own thread. I would be happy to join you in such a thread. For this discussion, let’s assume that at least some of those critiques are solid. What would that show? It would show that the Bible is not all inspired. It would not show that atheism is true, that Christianity is false, or that God cannot ground objective morality.
Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 1:56 pmWhy don't you see carnivorism as an injustice?
Again, you claimed it was a clear injustice. It is your burden to support that rationally. So, why do you think it is an objective injustice?

I don’t think that causing pain is, in itself, necessarily evil. I don’t make all parenting decisions with my kids’ comfort in mind; I’m more concerned about their character. It may be the case that our type of world requires the existence of pain, both for us and for other creatures.
Compassionist wrote: Sun Mar 19, 2023 1:56 pmI disagree with your claim that atheism being true nullifies the existence of injustice. I bet lots of agnostics and atheists and even theists would agree with me in that justice and injustice can exist regardless of whether atheism is true or false.
People agree for all sorts of reasons, not always rational. Can you offer any grounding of objective morals, assuming the truth of atheism?
Yes, I could put the heating on instead of putting the coat on but that would cost extra money which I don't have.

God should have made all beings all-knowing and all-powerful because no one and nothing can harm them.

There is no such thing as objective morality. All knowledge and morality are subjective. I have said that many times. We go round and round the same circles so I am just going to stop.

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