Friday, June 26, 2009

10: Is ethics possible without God or religion?

[Last posting before summervacation. I'll be back September 1.]

Is ethics possible without God or religion? It is question 10 of Stephen Law. Not my kind of question. I may be mistaken, but explicite atheism seems to be popular in the UK these days.

Law himself gave a presentation here in SL about his book in which he writes against authoritarian schools based on religious principles. And Dawkins of course rocked the boat with his "God delusion".

Is this philosophically worth the effort. My answer is NO. Like this question....what is it all about? Let's take the effort to read Law's conclusions about this question and I quote:

"My conclusion is not that we shouldnt give it a try to offer our children a moral education. In fact there is nothing more important. Neither do I want to say that moral education shouldnt take place at denominational schools.

My intention was simply to question as to the increasingly supported view that morality depends on God and religion, that there do not exist moral standards without God and that we will not be virtuous humans if religion doesnt guide our way?"

I dont know what your observation is, but what Stephen Law claims is not my observation at all. And second, he who knows the history of philosophy and in particular the history of ethics, can't say anything else but that this is philosophical nonsense.

This question as such is a waste of time. In fact it implies actually a theological point of view on ethics. That is ok with me, but this is a philosophy class and Law's book carries the title "The Philosophy Gym".

So let's put this question in philosophical perspective. What is the real question to ask? This question is as old as philosophy itself: what enables us to know what is right and what is wrong?

If we do not immediately introduce a God as the moral authority, this does not mean that thence moral standards are completely arbitrairy.
Philosophically a reference to God as the author of our moral standards is philosophically a metaphysical choice. And this choice we already discussed in question 7.

Since 22 November 1859, when "On the Origin of Species" by Charles Darwin went on sale to booksellers, we are more familiar with the idea that the human being is a part of nature like all other creatures.

But we have that little extra: consciousness. And that makes a difference. However, when we observe all those other non human creatures, especially those who live in groups, then we can conclude only one thing:

The behavior of these creatures is not arbitrary and completely unpredictable. On the contrary, they all show a kind of standard rules of behavior. This is not moral behavior, it is behavior based on instinct and contributing to the survival of the group.

And in that respect I see little difference between human behavior and animal behavior, except that big difference. We can ask why we behave like we behave. And I suggest that we should continue to do so.

But not now (^_^).
The weather outside in RL is sunny and warm. This weekend we'll spend in Amsterdam attending parties and meeting with friends. One event is a boat trip through the canals of Amsterdam with the boat of friends of ours...well, I guess you already understand ........

Let's enjoy vacation and find new inspiration, because we will deal with these issues on ethics soon enough when we will deal with questions like 15, 17, 20 and 21.

[13:19] Gemma Cleanslate: very good!!!
[13:19] Qwark Allen: HEEHEH
[13:19] herman Bergson: See you on Tuesday, September 1!!! And thank you all for your interest in the Philosophy Class and your participation. And I wish you all a splendid summervacation.

The Discussion (with vacation in mind :-)

[13:20] Gemma Cleanslate: lol that was fast!!!
[13:20] Qwark Allen: to you to herman
[13:20] Alarice Beaumont: great.. i would love to come back again :-))
[13:20] Yakuzza Lethecus: wow what happened ?
[13:20] Gemma Cleanslate: he ended the lecture
[13:20] Qwark Allen: will you go to island this year?
[13:20] Gemma Cleanslate: lol did not really start it
[13:20] herman Bergson: Yes..same island Qwark :-)
[13:21] Gemma Cleanslate: nice
[13:21] Qwark Allen: ah
[13:21] Qwark Allen: nice
[13:21] herman Bergson: three weeks this time instead of two :-)
[13:21] Qwark Allen: heheh ^^
[13:21] Gemma Cleanslate: we will look for you on the walls of the virtual room
[13:21] Qwark Allen: you deserve it
[13:21] Alarice Beaumont: oh have a fantastic time then!!!
[13:21] oola Neruda: i want to throw out the name of oppenheimer as a person who might make one stop and think about this question
[13:21] Alarice Beaumont: lol
[13:21] Alarice Beaumont: oh hey oola.. did not see you .. sorry :-(
[13:21] Qwark Allen: loool
[13:21] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:21] oola Neruda: hi Alarice
[13:21] Alarice Beaumont waves
[13:21] herman Bergson: what about Oppenheimer oola?
[13:23] oola Neruda: he was faced with a problem... if he did not help make the atomic bomb and the germans got to it first... and they nearly did... on the other hand, if he made it and then it got used.... what should he do... and ethics... with or without god... have a lot to think about
[13:23] herman Bergson: Next Tuesday no class...but I think you can attend Qwarks party then :-)
[13:23] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:23] Qwark Allen: lool
[13:23] Macov Finkler: oops, misunderstood that lol
[13:23] Gemma Cleanslate: well make it easier on us too
[13:23] Qwark Allen: Partyyyyyyyyyy!!!!
[13:23] Qwark Allen: take openheimer with you too
[13:24] Gemma Cleanslate: shhhh
[13:24] herman Bergson: Yes,,,you are right oola
[13:24] herman Bergson: But I think we'll keep that ethical dilemma for after the Summerbreak :-)
[13:24] oola Neruda: :-)
[13:24] herman Bergson: Because it really is a serious one
[13:25] Gemma Cleanslate: several classes i bet
[13:25] herman Bergson: Maybe yes Gemma..
[13:25] herman Bergson: Besides I am thinking about a series on the history of ethics
[13:25] Macov Finkler: can I quickly ask, by religion, does Law mean the pervading religion, or the idea of religion, and if the latter, what exactly is religion? Sorry if the question's out of place.
[13:26] herman Bergson: No ..he definitely thinks of christianity here
[13:26] oola Neruda: that is a good question Macov
[13:26] Macov Finkler: if it's christianity, I agree, the question's absurd
[13:27] herman Bergson: yes...I agree
[13:27] herman Bergson: The fact that the human being is tended to religious all cultures known so a completely different issue
[13:27] herman Bergson: altho I talked about that in lecture 7b :-) : :
[13:28] herman Bergson: Is your silence a sign that you long for vacation too?
[13:29] herman Bergson: Coming week is superb summer weather here :-)
[13:30] herman Bergson: While it is raining in Austria :-)
[13:30] Gemma Cleanslate: good
[13:30] Gemma Cleanslate: it has rained almost every day since june 1 here
[13:30] herman Bergson: Well...then I thank you all for participating today :-)
[13:30] Qwark Allen: OMG
[13:31] Qwark Allen: HERE sunny days
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: have a wonderful time Herman
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: send postcards
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:31] Qwark Allen: last week, almost melted my pc
[13:31] herman Bergson: Gonna be more than 26 C here coming days
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: good
[13:31] Qwark Allen: eheheh
[13:31] Qwark Allen: nice
[13:31] Qwark Allen: that is what it is here at a cold night
[13:31] Qwark Allen: eheheheh
[13:31] herman Bergson grins
[13:31] Alarice Beaumont: lol here already 27
[13:32] Alarice Beaumont: but quite humid...
[13:32] herman Bergson: I know you live at the North Pole Qwark :-)
[13:32] Alarice Beaumont: lool
[13:32] Qwark Allen: omg
[13:32] Gemma Cleanslate: lolol
[13:32] Qwark Allen: south portugal
[13:32] herman Bergson: Global warming effect I guess
[13:32] Qwark Allen: almost a desert over here
[13:32] Qwark Allen: sahara coming on the way
[13:32] herman Bergson: oh my...
[13:32] Qwark Allen: last week was more then 40ºC most of the days
[13:33] herman Bergson: But isnt that common there Qwark?
[13:33] Qwark Allen: sometimes only
[13:33] Qwark Allen: not every years
[13:33] herman Bergson: ok
[13:34] Qwark Allen: last 2 years were kind of cold compared to this one
[13:34] Alarice Beaumont: oh my
[13:34] Alarice Beaumont: lol
[13:34] herman Bergson: 40 is very hot....I hope you have airco :-)
[13:34] Qwark Allen: more like the 24-26 ºC
[13:34] Qwark Allen: no i don`t
[13:34] Qwark Allen: was terrible week
[13:34] Macov Finkler: I can never remember back as far as a year... at least not about weather
[13:34] herman Bergson: me to Macov...:-)
[13:34] Qwark Allen: had to buy new cooler for cpu and new fan for the tpc tower
[13:35] Qwark Allen: in september you can win , a chess match to me [13:35] herman Bergson: I can image....with such temperatures
[13:36] Qwark Allen: everybody almost naked at homes
[13:36] Qwark Allen: *~*~rofl*~*~
[13:36] Gemma Cleanslate: i am looking at the chess set out there
[13:36] herman Bergson: Ah...:-)
[13:36] herman Bergson: I played a game with Macov before class....
[13:36] Gemma Cleanslate: qwark likes to play chess
[13:36] herman Bergson: the board is fun to play
[13:36] Gemma Cleanslate: i bet
[13:37] Qwark Allen: ehehehh
[13:37] Qwark Allen: nice chess
[13:37] herman Bergson: Great....I already have a date with Alarice...I'll add Qwark to the list :-)
[13:37] Qwark Allen: ^..^
[13:37] Qwark Allen: great
[13:37] Gemma Cleanslate: nice
[13:38] herman Bergson: I think I'll study some theory during my vacation..:-)
[13:38] Gemma Cleanslate: :-)
[13:38] herman Bergson: Oh..something else....
[13:38] herman Bergson: A chinese person ...I mean from RL China suggested to do a project...
[13:39] Alarice Beaumont: lol
[13:39] herman Bergson: Reading a book together...
[13:39] Alarice Beaumont: you remembered lol
[13:39] Gemma Cleanslate: oh
[13:39] herman Bergson: She wanted to read the Republic of Plato!
[13:39] Gemma Cleanslate: ohh dear
[13:39] Alarice Beaumont: oh my
[13:40] herman Bergson: I agreed ...interesting how such an old Greek fits in in Chinese thinking about the state
[13:40] Gemma Cleanslate: we will come here and visit to make sure everything stays in place lol
[13:40] Alarice Beaumont: yes.. and clean of the dust
[13:40] herman Bergson: I dont go to china Gemma :-)
[13:40] Qwark Allen: eheheh
[13:40] Qwark Allen: ♥゚*:;;:*゚♥゚*:;;:*゚♥ ☜❤☞Gemma☜❤☞ ♥゚*:;;:*゚♥゚*:;;:*゚♥
[13:40] Qwark Allen: yes
[13:40] Gemma Cleanslate: oh i know that lol
[13:40] Macov Finkler: I still haven't gotten the vibe... Plato's republic as an obviously good thing, or obviously bad thing? =)
[13:41] herman Bergson: I cant say yet Macov....
[13:41] Gemma Cleanslate: in which language herman??????
[13:41] herman Bergson: I read about it ..not the book itself
[13:41] herman Bergson: in English
[13:41] Gemma Cleanslate: ahha
[13:41] Qwark Allen: lool
[13:41] herman Bergson: the book is available as ebook
[13:41] Gemma Cleanslate: and the person reads english well??
[13:41] Qwark Allen: nice
[13:41] Gemma Cleanslate: or ok??
[13:42] herman Bergson: yes she is a university graduate in communication and philosophy....eager to learn
[13:42] Gemma Cleanslate: ah good
[13:42] herman Bergson: so...besides the class I gonna do that project and maybe find two or three other people to participate
[13:43] herman Bergson: I was enchanted by the idea of reading a book together
[13:44] herman Bergson: But I'll do some PR on the project in September ...
[13:44] herman Bergson: some advertizement
[13:45] Gemma Cleanslate: WELL
[13:45] Gemma Cleanslate: i think it is time to let Herman go lol'
[13:45] herman Bergson smiles
[13:45] Gemma Cleanslate: and we will be off
[13:45] Gemma Cleanslate: party at 2
[13:45] Qwark Allen: let herman go in vacations
[13:45] Qwark Allen: eheheheh
[13:45] herman Bergson: Your philosophical education shows Gemma :-)
[13:45] bergfrau Apfelbaum: I have with my children. often together read, a book. lying on the bed. how goes into sl?
[13:46] bergfrau Apfelbaum: :-)
[13:46] herman Bergson: Ah open up new perspectives...we'll discuss that later ^_*
[13:46] bergfrau Apfelbaum: lol+
[13:46] Macov Finkler: audiobook would work
[13:46] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:47] Gemma Cleanslate: Bye
[13:47] Gemma Cleanslate: all if you want to come to the party let me know
[13:47] Qwark Allen: i`ll play progressive today
[13:47] herman Bergson: Next time conservative, Qwark?
[13:47] Qwark Allen: eeheheheh
[13:47] Qwark Allen: it very interesting music
[13:48] Qwark Allen: ˜*•. ˜”*°•.˜”*°• Bye ! •°*”˜.•°*”˜ .•*˜ ㋡
[13:48] herman Bergson: Bye
[13:48] Qwark Allen: so nice classes were this last year
[13:48] Qwark Allen: looking foward to next ones
[13:48] herman Bergson: I'll be ready. Qwark
[13:50] Alarice Beaumont: sorry i have to go
[13:50] Alarice Beaumont: have a good time then
[13:50] herman Bergson: class is dismissed Alarice ^_^
[13:51] herman Bergson: I dont know your plans, but I go and rezz some sculpted prims :-)
[13:51] herman Bergson: So..thank you all..and if you will excuse me ...
[13:53] bergfrau Apfelbaum: herman danke für die lektionen in den letzten wochen

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