Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME FORUMS BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:20 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 41 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3
Imagine, there's no heaven 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Professor

Silver Contributor

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 3542
Location: NJ
Thanks: 1
Thanked: 5 times in 5 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: --
Well said guys! I have been meaning to get back to Niall's posts with similar thoughts, but you have both answered for me.

Thanks!

Mr. P.


I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - Asana Boditharta (former booktalk troll)

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

What is all this shit about Angels? Have you heard this? 3 out of 4 people believe in Angels. Are you F****** STUPID? Has everybody lost their mind? - George Carlin

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:48 pm
Profile YIM WWW
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Stupendously Brilliant


Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 716
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified
Country: Ireland (ie)

Post Re: --
OK, I'll try and get through as much as possible as quickly as possible.

Irish:
Quote:
I'm not exactly sure what you are getting at here, but I'm going to jump in and take a guess. Are you stating atheists are no more likely to determine their own moral grounds free from dogma and doctrine than theists?


Nope. But that is something I'd agree with.

What I was trying to say was that if you argue that because atheists do not believe in a morality that is ultimately true, they are more likely to be flexible when it comes to negotiating with those who they do not agree with on moral matters, then an implication of that argument is that atheists would sooner compromise with NAMBALA types or other deviants.

I was responding to the sentiment you expressed when you stated:

Quote:
If there were no falsely defined ultimate truth then there would be opportunity for discussion on the subject matter.


What I am saying is that an implication of this would be that if you had two people in a room, an atheist and a theist, and both believed that genocide was wrong, because the theist (falsely?) believed that it was ultimately wrong to commit genocide, he would be less likely to compromise with the people who were carrying out the genocide, than the atheist would.

You seemed to only notice the negative implication of a morality that incorporates religion, namely that because some religious people believe that an action is wrong in the eyes of God, then achieving a compromise with these people will be difficult and the absence of a belief in ultimate morality would lead to less conflict. I'm just pointing out that, for me, and for many others, discussion, compromise and avoiding conflict are not always good things.

Quote:
And religions prey on these minds, holding them up as some kind of goal to which the religious faithful should strive

A concrete example would be nice here.

No problem. Two examples of large numbers of vulnerable people sought and attained by religious zealots are: (1) children with unstable backgrounds and insecure futures, and (2) felons, largely drug and alcohol addicts. The rate of Christian and Muslim conversion in the prison systems is skyrocketing. The felon is lauded as the soul to be saved; the one who faltered once but now will follow the path of the church; the person whose life without god was a failure, but now is saved and a valuable member to society.




And this is a bad thing? I'm sorry but trying to help people is not some sort of evil. We can only do our best for each-other. If you happen to think that teaching criminals, drug addicts or kids about God will help them, then you should do it!

Regarding the quotations you posted from the JP2 speech, I really don't see what is so bad about anything he said. Perhaps I'm missing something, but if you volunteer to join any organisation and agree to follow the rules, then don't, then you really have to ask yourself what you're doing there. There is room for dialogue within the church, but it isn't a case of anything goes. There are rules set down around how dialogue should be conducted.

Quote:
Consider that limbo was only just recently reversed (heh, that's such a legal term) by the church. If those helpless babes, who never did a thing wrong, couldn't make it to heaven, how could our imperfect souls get there?


Eck! This one annoys me whenever I encouter it. Limbo was not reversed. It never was an offical teaching. When it was stated that souls were in limbo, it simply meant that we could not speak of their status. The assumption that certain theologians made, and which was commonly adopted by the masses, was that such souls ventured off into some sort special realm where they enjoyed a state of perfect natural happiness, not supernatural mind, just natural. Now what recently happened, was not that this belief has been noted as being contrary to catholic teaching. It is a heretical belief.

Nearly out of time, so I'm rushing here.


SG

Quote:
Let's consider the point, now. Is it logically impossible to change one's mind? Of course not. I do it all the time! It is not equivalent to making a square circle.


We change our mind in response to the input of new information. If you had all the information to begin with, would you change your mind, or could you?

Quote:
You are defining omnipotence as the ability to do anything logically possible FOR GOD to do, not the ability to do anything that is logically possible.


This is infinity plus one stuff. And really it doesn't belong here. It's not something I personally want to discuss at the moment. I'm stupidly busy. Sorry. But maybe it you start a new thread elsewhere, somebody will bite.

Full of Porn*

http://plainofpillars.blogspot.com




Wed Feb 14, 2007 11:43 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Banned

Banned

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 528
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post Re: --
Niall: What I was trying to say was that if you argue that because atheists do not believe in a morality that is ultimately true, they are more likely to be flexible when it comes to negotiating with those who they do not agree with on moral matters, then an implication of that argument is that atheists would sooner compromise with NAMBALA types or other deviants.

I assume you mean NAMBLA. I agree that the idea of morality being malleable would lead to discussions about age-of-consent, and how it is determined. Therefore, anyone who develops their own moral code, be they theist or atheist, is more likely to be open to the questions NAMBLA raise. I, however, would not agree that those people would, necessarily, come to personal moral conclusions that would be unhealthy to juveniles or society at large. Nor do I think engaging these discussions would make individuals more likely to "be flexible" with necessary laws instituted to protect juveniles. (I recognize that even the idea of what constitutes "protection" of juveniles and what constitutes inhibiting their free sexual expression will need to be discussed with regard to this topic.) I'm o.k. with engaging the discussion; I encourage it. And I think the U.S. has a pretty good legal system (albeit there is always room for significant improvement) that works at navigating that discussion--as, I am sure, do other countries. I think much of the rhetoric surrounding religion inhibits that discussion. (Of course, all of this assumes your issue with NAMBLA is the 'minors having sex' issue and not the 'male on male sex' issue.)

BTW, Niall, when was pedophilia decided by religion (Catholicism) to be an "ultimate wrong"?

Niall: What I am saying is that an implication of this would be that if you had two people in a room, an atheist and a theist, and both believed that genocide was wrong, because the theist (falsely?) believed that it was ultimately wrong to commit genocide, he would be less likely to compromise with the people who were carrying out the genocide, than the atheist would.

And how does a theist know that genocide is "ultimately wrong"? Is it because murder is wrong? How does the theist know murder is wrong? Because her god tells her so; or the Bible (substitute any holy book) tells her so; or her church (substitute any holy congregation) tells her so; or her belief in the soul, both her own and her theoretical victims', tells her so? And what makes you think that an atheist (or anyone not willing to subscribe to a religious-inspired ultimate truth) isn't able to build an equal social and moral abhorrence to murder or genocide?

So now let me use your theist and atheist in this scenario:

What about abortion?

If the theist says abortion is morally wrong because god says so, or her church says so, or because the fetus has a soul, there is no more discussion to be had. How does the atheist respond to this? She doesn't believe the theist's god even exists, she therefore doesn't recognize any special authority in the theist's church, nor does she believe the fetus has a soul. The theist's "ultimate truth" is really not an ultimate truth; it's an ultimate truth for her, specifically. (Consider this along with garicker's well-founded claim that there is no one God, or one Religion, and I would progress this to no one "ultimate truth." And now we have hundreds of "ultimate truths" fighting it out, reducing moral arguments down to "my god said so.")

Now take a discussion between two people, be they theist are atheist who are not relying on ultimate truth. They can discuss the issue of abortion, its uses in society, its implications and effects, without ever invoking, on either side, an ultimate truth. There is so much to be had in this discussion. Everything from moral issues, to gender issues, to class issues, to race issues, to state interests, to privacy rights, to when and where a person's rights begin and on and on and on. The discussion is astonishingly interesting; it can be invigorating and enlightening to peel one layer of the onion, finding dozens more layers underneath. But that discussion is rarely engaged because what is raging now is a question of religious-inspired morality vs. everyone else's morality.

Niall: You seemed to only notice the negative implication of a morality that incorporates religion, namely that because some religious people believe that an action is wrong in the eyes of God, then achieving a compromise with these people will be difficult and the absence of a belief in ultimate morality would lead to less conflict.

Ummmmm...No. That's absolutely wrong; I'm not really sure from where you are getting this, but I've never stated this. It is true that I think if people developed their own moral systems, free from the religious preaching, they would be more likely to discuss moral issues. These discussions would also, likely, lead to more areas for compromise, IMO.

For me the "negative implication" of a religious-inspired "ultimate morality" is the encouragement of this system to allow morality to be dictated; and, the discouragement of this system to develop personal moral codes. The inability to compromise with people that assume "ultimate morality" positions is only a negative side-effect. My actual problem with "ultimate morality" is in the lack of personal responsibility and effort of such people in deciding their own moral compass. For me then, there is only negative with regard to religious-inspired morality, because the method itself, the building blocks, are corrupt. (This does not mean that no good can ever come of religious-inspired morality, just that the good does not derive from the method.)

Niall: I'm just pointing out that, for me, and for many others, discussion, compromise and avoiding conflict are not always good things.

I can't think of a time where discussion, constructive discussion that seeks progress and solutions, is a bad thing. I think compromise



Wed Feb 14, 2007 4:42 pm
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Stupendously Brilliant


Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 716
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified
Country: Ireland (ie)

Post --
Irish, first off, apologies for not replying long ago. I tried twice, but something always went wrong. You\'d think I\'d learn my lesson and use word, wouldn\'t ye?

Anyway, just to clear up. I quit my old job, moved home, started a new course in cognitive psychology and family life was less than blissful for a while there as well. It wasn\'t good busy, but so long as those are the worst kind of problems I have, life won\'t be treating me too badly.

Quote:

I assume you mean NAMBLA.



Ha, sorry. My knowledge of NAMBLA comes mostly from watching an episode of South Park and skimming through a wikipedia article.

Quote:

I agree that the idea of morality being malleable would lead to discussions about age-of-consent, and how it is determined. Therefore, anyone who develops their own moral code, be they theist or atheist, is more likely to be open to the questions NAMBLA raise. I, however, would not agree that those people would, necessarily, come to personal moral conclusions that would be unhealthy to juveniles or society at large. Nor do I think engaging these discussions would make individuals more likely to "be flexible" with necessary laws instituted to protect juveniles.



I would agree that when you develop your own moral code, you will be more open to any and all positions that had been considered deviant by society in the past, and I certainly accept that by developing your own moral code you would not necessarily come to a conclusion that would be unhealthy for the youth of society.

In fact, I\'ve always leaned toward the position that theism or atheism has very little impact on the intensity with which a belief is held or the motivation it places on an individual to act in any given situation. (If that seems to contradict what I\'ve posted earlier, please keep in mind that I was responding to the argument that by virtue of believing in a God, religious people very more likely to engage in extreme negative behaviour. I\'m merely trying to show the flip side of that argument).

Quote:

BTW, Niall, when was pedophilia decided by religion (Catholicism) to be an \"ultimate wrong\"?


Quote:
And how does the theist know its wrong...


I think you misunderstand me. Religions change over time. What is considered Christian morality, or Islamic Morality or Pagan (Yuck, hate the term) morality during one era will not be the same in another. When I said that (an implication of the argument presented earlier in the thread was that) atheists were more likely to compromise on moral matters than theists, I did not mean that this was because of their morality lacked a history. I simply meant that somebody who believes in a constructed morality is more likely to deconstruct that morality than somebody who believes in absolute morality, especially in circumstances where acting on the morality would be inconvenient or even dangerous.

Quote:
And what makes you think that an atheist isn\'t able to build an equal social and moral abhorrence to murder or genocide.


Nothing makes me think this. Remember I\'m not asserting that atheist do not have an equal moral abhorrence to rape, murder or genocide. I\'m saying that this is an implication of the argument that a belief in a God somehow makes one more likely to behave in a negative and extreme manner.

If we say that a belief in a God gives an individual extra motivation to behave in an extreme fashion, then that not only means that a religious individual will become something like a suicide bomber, it also means that they are more likely to dedicate their lives to fighting poverty etc.

The argument that was presented seemed to suggest that if a person believed that something like homosexuality was wrong, then they were more likely to go around shooting homosexuals if they believed in a God than if they did not. All I\'m saying is that the flip side of that argument is that if a person believed that something like genocide was wrong, then they would be less likely to fight against it, if they were an atheist.

Really, the thread has kind of went through a bit of a spiral, so its very easy to get lost.

Quote:
What about abortion.....


Sorry I\'m not quoting you fully, but for some reason, I can\'t only connect to booktalk using proxyhero, which seems to disable my ability to copy and paste.

I think your characterisation of religious positions is a little simplistic. I presume that is for convenience sake. But abortion probably isn\'t a good example.

Abortion may be wrong in the eyes of most religions, but the same can be said of things like adultery or homosexuality. In spite of this fact, there are few religious people on the streets protesting the fact that cheating husbands have not been put in prison!

The problem with abortion is that life is an imperfect concept. I am oppossed to the legalisation of abortion not because I believe it is wrong, but because I believe it involves destroying the life of another human being. I\'d no sooner support it than I would the Jewish Holocaust.

I believe in ultimate morality but that does not mean that I would not other individuals the opportunity to live their lives according to different moral codes.

Paraphrased
Quote:
I can\'t see a time when constructive discussion would be a bad thing.


There\'s a famous quote from a developmental child psychologist (the name escapes me) who once shouted that \"Children have no time for relativism\".

Look at Iraq. Now we could probably have great discussions about the criteria of just wars, the best systems of government, the causes of class conflict and everything under the sun. If we could reveal the truth of these matters, then we would be excellently placed to help the people of Iraq.

But you know what, that discussion would be pretty long. In fact, we\'d probably be dead before we finished it. Sometimes, you have to act. And sometimes, it\'s best not to deconstruct morality.

If you see a thief running down the road having stolen a woman\'s handbag, it\'s not the time to debate whether or not there is such a thing as private property.

In relation to the religious preying on the minds of the vulnerable, I understand you better now, though it\'s probably best to emphasise the difference between religion preying on an individual\'s needs, than saying that the religious prey on the minds of the vulnerable. I really don\'t think that its helpful to describe Good Samaritans as predators. Vectors, at a stretch.

As for your thoughts on AA, well the research tends to support your position. It is better than nothing, but there are better treatments available out there.

Quote:
There is room for dialogue amoung the Pope and the Magesterium, anyone else is overridden by their \"opinions and beliefs.\"


:) Like that.

There is something very frustrating about being a Catholic, and that\'s the fact that change happens at a glacial pace. But you cannot deny that change happens. The Catholic church of 2007 is a very different creature to the church of 1807.

As for being overriden by the PTB, well, the best example I can think of for understanding the way the RCC works in these situation is the case of Hans Kung. Kung believes that we should have female priests, and he doesn\'t believe in papal infallability. These are hardly orthodox views, and because of them, his licence to teach as a Catholic theologian has been removed. However, he remains a Catholic Priest in \"good standing\". In fact, he remains a much admired theologian within the church. Kung will most likely end his days as a priest in \"good standing\", and he will most likely continue to further his views on things like female priests and papal infallibility. And maybe, in fifty years after he\'s passed on, his positions will become part of orthodox mainstream catholicism. When you engage in dialogue within the church, you don\'t just engage with your peers, but with the past and the future. It can be frustrating, but fools rush in....

Anyway, this post will come across a little scattered. Apologies if it is a little hard to follow, but I\'m tired, it is late, life is mad and the thread itself is a little all over the place. Regardless, it\'s always a pleasure.





Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:15 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Worthy of Worship


Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 2021
Location: NY
Thanks: 560
Thanked: 171 times in 118 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Morality
If I had the powers of a god I could make a round square, simply redefine the definition of square to mean round. ::80

Anyway, maybe it's just me but my moral principles are not "malleable" in any sense, especially for myself. And my opinions of right and wrong are pretty much set in stone. From my personal experience I have more conviction than any theist I have ever encountered.

Most of my morals are based off of the code of conduct established in karate, but honesty and good behavior was instilled in me by my family and religion had nothing to do with it.

I have never smoked or done illegal drugs, these were personal moral choices that were non-negotiable for me and I have never wavered. Even though my reasoning was personal I had a better ability to resist than most of my friends, including the theists.

In short I do not believe that religion offers any special benefits, (an extreme personality will remain an extreme personality) but religion does offer plenty of reasons to act badly.

This is something that atheist reasoning is devoid of; there are no pre-set excuses for immoral behavior.

It is true that a selfish atheist could come up with their own reasoning, but it would be difficult for them to justify that to others.

My other morals are equally firm but are based off of an understanding of human nature, my desire for personal freedom and a will to help my fellow man, these traits seem to be lacking from biblical morality.

Now I cannot and would not assume to speak for all atheists but the ones I know are less likely to compromise on their basic morality than most theists I have met.

I cannot really account for that except for a level of character.

It might be partly due to the fact that atheists must fight regularly for our choice of lifestyle and most of us do not shy away from such encounters. Atheists are used to making our opinions known without compromise. And when atheists come to our conclusions on morality it is through a decision made for personal and logical reasons, not just because someone told us it was so. (This is at least true of the atheists I know)

Later




Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:05 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
I dumpster dive for books!

Bronze Contributor

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1796
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 14 times in 12 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Hans Kung
Speaking of Hans Kung.

For something more in line with God Delusion, here's a repeat from yours truly:

For theological brilliance and religious scholarship I highly recommend Hans Kung's Does God Exist: An Answer For Today. It is a massive tome, but you can get it cheap on Amazon and at most libraries. Kung leaves few stones unturned in answering the question in his title: Descartes, Pascal, Augustine, Aquinas, Wittgenstein, Carnap, Kuhn, Popper, Spinoza, Einstein, Whitehead, Russell, Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, Freud, Jung, Adler, Frankl, Buber, Erikson, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Bloch, Kant, Buddhism, Judaism, Barth, Rahner, Tillich, and William James. Yes, it is over 800 pages, but it is full of treasures for the Atheist, Agnostic and Theist of all stripes. He is painstakingly sympathetic in laying out the accuracy and truth of each position he covers; especially those he disagrees with. It is an education in world religions, philosophy of religion, and history of the modern intellectual pursuit of the "God question"; I'll let you guess how Kung answers it.

Kung has written voluminously on theology and literature, philosophy, natural sciences, art, medical ethics, world religions, economics, and the search for a global ethic. He has been censored by the Catholic Church and is no longer able to serve in any capacity of the Priesthood...of which he was a major player in the develop of Vatican II and an early comrade and lifelong foe of Pope Benedict.

I know it is a large suggestion, but I think it really represents the challenge involved with taking seriously the vast amount of information and voices brought to the discussion concerning what in the world we mean by the word God...and how best to approach the subject. I never fail to pick it up and find myself riveted to wherever I happen to open it: Descartes' mathematical certainty, Hegel's phenomenology of spirit, Freud's future of an illusion, Marx's opium of the people, Wittegstein's language games, James' will to believe, Buddhism's nirvana, Nietzsche's nihilism, and Jesus as the Son of God....thought provoking, inisghtful, illuminating and always something to learn from.

Edited by: Dissident Heart at: 3/16/07 11:13 am



Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:25 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Banned

Banned

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 528
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post Re: --
Niall, no worries on delayed responses; there's no rush. Hope things are better at home.

As you said, this thread has certainly gotten turned around a bit and, because you have been the only person responding to several different arguments, I think you are confusing my position with other peoples' positions. I am hoping to clarify things a bit.

I think my criticism against "ultimate" or religious-inspired morality has become to you a criticism of its sometimes (even often) conservative effects. So, for instance, you think I criticize ultimate morality in the R.C. Church because it automatically makes a true believer hate the sin of homosexuality, or premarital sex and on and on. Therefore, you wish to demonstrate that, at times, ultimate morality can have positive effects. (One that I can easily see is the R.C. stance on capital punishment.) However, the effect of ultimate morality is not where my criticism lies. I abhor the method itself. I detest that morality, in anyway, is dictated, as decisive, by fallible men, institutions and dogma. So whether that morality has positive or negative effects is of no consequence, because the system itself



Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:34 pm
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Stupendously Brilliant


Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 716
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified
Country: Ireland (ie)

Post Re: Hans Kung
Quote:
He has been censored by the Catholic Church and is no longer able to serve in any capacity of the Priesthood...of which he was a major player in the develop of Vatican II and an early comrade and lifelong foe of Pope Benedict.


Jezz Dissident, you aren't half predictable. I mention Kung in passing, then BAM! You've got a Kung bio with links posted.

It's a pity that it's a bad bio though. Kung is still a priest. The only sanction taken against him is that he had his licence to teach Catholic Theology taken away from him. He continues to teach theology. He met Pope Benedict after he was elected, and the two are on pretty amicable terms.

Shit. Have to reply to you later Irish. Gotta go play at Paddy's day mass.

Full of Porn*

http://plainofpillars.blogspot.com




Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:10 am
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Stupendously Brilliant


Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 716
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified
Country: Ireland (ie)

Post Re: --
Quote:
Niall, no worries on delayed responses; there's no rush. Hope things are better at home.


Cheers, things sorted themselves out thankfully.

Quote:
However, the effect of ultimate morality is not where my criticism lies. I abhor the method itself. I detest that morality, in anyway, is dictated, as decisive, by fallible men, institutions and dogma. So whether that morality has positive or negative effects is of no consequence, because the system itself



Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:13 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Worthy of Worship


Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 2021
Location: NY
Thanks: 560
Thanked: 171 times in 118 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: AA
Quote:
Niall
Really, got any interesting links. I'm familiar with some papers showing that is not particularly effective in comparison to other therapies, but I'm also familiar with one particular 'study' (I remember it was by an American consumer rights publication.) that showed that users rated it just as highly. Indeed one of the most striking things that survey found was that consumers found almost all forms of therapy, including AA, equally effective, in contrast to the more objective studies.


In regards to the AA subject... Niall, you are correct that almost all forms of therapies and quitting attempts have a similar success rate, that includes quitting with no assistance.

The reason that many of us find AA to be deplorable is because it is a religious organization in disguise. According to AA accepting a higher power is critical to success in the program. AA can fail a person who is otherwise successful on these criteria alone.

Furthermore AA is using our (secular) government to further its agenda. In many DUI and other alcohol related cases a judge can, and often does make AA a part of the convicted individual's sentence.

In effect forcing religion on these citizens who are supposed to be living in a secular country, to me this is deceptive, illegal and offensive.

Penn and Teller did a great show about AA on their cable show Bull S**t.

Later




Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:20 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Banned

Banned

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 528
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post Re: --
Good call, Niall. I think you're right; we probably are working from two different concepts, which would explain the confusion in our discussion. So I'm going to work on some definitions. I started out in this discussion keeping "ultimate morality" in quotes and often preceded it by religious-inspired. Really I should have used the term religious-dictated. But that was cumbersome and I thought I had made it clear what I was speaking of, so I cut out the religious-inspired and just started talking about ultimate morality vs. personal morality. My true criticism lies in dictated morality, largely religious-dictated morality, which is why my argument often focused on religiously observant people who do not explore their own moral choices. The "ultimate morality" I speak of is morality dictated by a religious institution as ultimately right or wrong. This type of morality breeds ignorance and unadulterated compliance, and is dangerous.

Now you state that those who do not allow their morality to be dictated to them by religious institutions can still develop an "ultimate morality." I don't disagree. I can't see any situation where there is gray in rape. My only caveat is I think those who explore their own morality would seriously limit the instances which they consider to be "ultimately" wrong compared to those who allow their morality to be dictated to them. Institutionalized morality must have clear, decisive proclamations, and this does not allow the individual to explore the gray in these many different issues. So, for instance, the Catholic Church believes capital punishment is wrong in every instance. I too believe capital punishment is wrong, but I am willing to explore individual cases to see if that personal moral choice applies in every circumstance.

And this is what I have been discussing all along. That religious-dictated morality castrates the individual's personal moral exploration, substituting institutionalized or religiously-dictated morality for what should be personally constructed morality. A question of morality should only be right and wrong to an individual because she feels/thinks/has determined it is right or wrong for her. (Note moral is different than legal.) Religious-dictated morality, specifically the Catholic Church, does not allow the individual, if she wishes to be a "good Catholic," to make those decisions for herself. (I am not limiting this criticism to the Catholic Church, but that is where most of my personal experience comes from, as does yours



Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:29 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 41 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:


BookTalk.org Links 
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Info for Authors & Publishers
Featured Book Suggestions
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!
    

Love to talk about books but don't have time for our book discussion forums? For casual book talk join us on Facebook.

Featured Books

Books by New Authors



Booktalk.org on Facebook 



BookTalk.org is a free book discussion group or online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a group. We host live author chats where booktalk members can interact with and interview authors. We give away free books to our members in book giveaway contests. Our booktalks are open to everybody who enjoys talking about books. Our book forums include book reviews, author interviews and book resources for readers and book lovers. Discussing books is our passion. We're a literature forum, or reading forum. Register a free book club account today! Suggest nonfiction and fiction books. Authors and publishers are welcome to advertise their books or ask for an author chat or author interview.


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSBOOKSTRANSCRIPTSOLD FORUMSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICY

BOOK FORUMS FOR ALL BOOKS WE HAVE DISCUSSED
Oliver Twist - by Charles DickensSense and Goodness Without God - by Richard CarrierFrankenstein - by Mary ShelleyThe Big Questions - by Simon BlackburnScience Was Born of Christianity - by Stacy TrasancosThe Happiness Hypothesis - by Jonathan HaidtA Game of Thrones - by George R. R. MartinTempesta's Dream - by Vincent LoCocoWhy Nations Fail - by Daron Acemoglu and James RobinsonThe Drowning Girl - Caitlin R. KiernanThe Consolations of the Forest - by Sylvain TessonThe Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion: The Mormons - by David FitzgeraldA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - by James JoyceThe Divine Comedy - by Dante AlighieriThe Magic of Reality - by Richard DawkinsDubliners - by James JoyceMy Name Is Red - by Orhan PamukThe World Until Yesterday - by Jared DiamondThe Man Who Was Thursday - by by G. K. ChestertonThe Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven PinkerLord Jim by Joseph ConradThe Hobbit by J. R. R. TolkienThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsAtlas Shrugged by Ayn RandThinking, Fast and Slow - by Daniel KahnemanThe Righteous Mind - by Jonathan HaidtWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max BrooksMoby Dick: or, the Whale by Herman MelvilleA Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer EganLost Memory of Skin: A Novel by Russell BanksThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. KuhnHobbes: Leviathan by Thomas HobbesThe House of the Spirits - by Isabel AllendeArguably: Essays by Christopher HitchensThe Falls: A Novel (P.S.) by Joyce Carol OatesChrist in Egypt by D.M. MurdockThe Glass Bead Game: A Novel by Hermann HesseA Devil's Chaplain by Richard DawkinsThe Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph CampbellThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainThe Moral Landscape by Sam HarrisThe Decameron by Giovanni BoccaccioThe Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Grand Design by Stephen HawkingThe Evolution of God by Robert WrightThe Tin Drum by Gunter GrassGood Omens by Neil GaimanPredictably Irrational by Dan ArielyThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki MurakamiALONE: Orphaned on the Ocean by Richard Logan & Tere Duperrault FassbenderDon Quixote by Miguel De CervantesMusicophilia by Oliver SacksDiary of a Madman and Other Stories by Nikolai GogolThe Passion of the Western Mind by Richard TarnasThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le GuinThe Genius of the Beast by Howard BloomAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Empire of Illusion by Chris HedgesThe Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner The Extended Phenotype by Richard DawkinsSmoke and Mirrors by Neil GaimanThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsWhen Good Thinking Goes Bad by Todd C. RinioloHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiAmerican Gods: A Novel by Neil GaimanPrimates and Philosophers by Frans de WaalThe Enormous Room by E.E. CummingsThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeGod Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher HitchensThe Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama Paradise Lost by John Milton Bad Money by Kevin PhillipsThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettGodless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan BarkerThe Things They Carried by Tim O'BrienThe Limits of Power by Andrew BacevichLolita by Vladimir NabokovOrlando by Virginia Woolf On Being Certain by Robert A. Burton50 reasons people give for believing in a god by Guy P. HarrisonWalden: Or, Life in the Woods by Henry David ThoreauExile and the Kingdom by Albert CamusOur Inner Ape by Frans de WaalYour Inner Fish by Neil ShubinNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthyThe Age of American Unreason by Susan JacobyTen Theories of Human Nature by Leslie Stevenson & David HabermanHeart of Darkness by Joseph ConradThe Stuff of Thought by Stephen PinkerA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniThe Lucifer Effect by Philip ZimbardoResponsibility and Judgment by Hannah ArendtInterventions by Noam ChomskyGodless in America by George A. RickerReligious Expression and the American Constitution by Franklyn S. HaimanDeep Economy by Phil McKibbenThe God Delusion by Richard DawkinsThe Third Chimpanzee by Jared DiamondThe Woman in the Dunes by Abe KoboEvolution vs. Creationism by Eugenie C. ScottThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanI, Claudius by Robert GravesBreaking The Spell by Daniel C. DennettA Peace to End All Peace by David FromkinThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe End of Faith by Sam HarrisEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonValue and Virtue in a Godless Universe by Erik J. WielenbergThe March by E. L DoctorowThe Ethical Brain by Michael GazzanigaFreethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan JacobyCollapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared DiamondThe Battle for God by Karen ArmstrongThe Future of Life by Edward O. WilsonWhat is Good? by A. C. GraylingCivilization and Its Enemies by Lee HarrisPale Blue Dot by Carl SaganHow We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God by Michael ShermerLooking for Spinoza by Antonio DamasioLies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al FrankenThe Red Queen by Matt RidleyThe Blank Slate by Stephen PinkerUnweaving the Rainbow by Richard DawkinsAtheism: A Reader edited by S.T. JoshiGlobal Brain by Howard BloomThe Lucifer Principle by Howard BloomGuns, Germs and Steel by Jared DiamondThe Demon-Haunted World by Carl SaganBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownFuture Shock by Alvin Toffler

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOur Amazon.com SalesMassimo Pigliucci Rationally SpeakingOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism BooksFACTS Book Selections

cron
Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2014. All rights reserved.
Website developed by MidnightCoder.ca
Display Pagerank