Frank Turek explains why Atheists Can’t Ground Morality September 27, 2016 beardeddisciple Arguments for God, Atheism, Food for Thought 14 comments Share this:TweetMoreEmailPrintLike this:Like Loading...
Justify morality: Morality is a product of advanced sociality, as developed by any species exhibiting sociality.
Atheist: Morality is grounded — in a single sentence no less.
By that definition morality could have ‘developed’ differently in which a woman killed their mate after intercourse.
Morality is a component of advanced sociality — this means the development of sociality as a survival trait is a direct response to an environment requiring said survival trait developed.
What morality might one suggest in your example — as counter intuitive of a survival trait? Where is the sociality in your example — much less advanced sociality?
How can advanced sociality support such a ridiculous sense of morality — if it couldn’t first qualify basic sociality?
Your example is akin to developing a survival trait as incompatible to the environment of a given species — ignorant of any needed requirements. By your reasoning, dogs might have developed gills as a survival trait in response to nothing requiring it.
How do you define society/socialite? Am I understanding you correctly that you saying morality is a effect of what is best to the survival of society?
“How do you define society/socialite? Am I understanding you correctly that you saying morality is a effect of what is best to the survival of society?”
I define Society and Socialite the very same as found in a dictionary — even though I didn’t mention them.
Morality is component of sociality — not a byproduct/effect. Else, a tire would be an effect of a wheel. Many species exhibit sociality. It’s the survival trait responsible for animals caring for their young, working as a group to protect a herd or colony, and even sacrificing individual members in order to ensure the survival of a colony. Sociality is the critical attribute of many species as responsible for said species continued survival — without, these species couldn’t exist as they are now, or at all.
The pinnings of morality all come from sociality. The relationship between sociality and morality is akin to a glove and a hand — one dependant of the other existing first, and providing an enhanced capability as a result. Morality cannot exist for a species without sociality. Also, moral concepts from human sociality cannot exist without the direct features of sociality (drexus.wordpress.com).
Primates other than humans maintain basic morality (and even emotion) without any requirement for religious social constructs as providing moral guidance — or a God-given sense of what’s right. For if this were true, what would be the implications of such a notion? That other animals also need faith and moral guidance? For what? Dog heaven? Orangutang heaven? Based on what, the dog/orangutang bible they are meant to read? What purpose would other animals have of morality if it belongs only to humans — contingent of reading scripture and the belief in a God in order to exercise morality properly?
No, the idea that morality is something that’s handed to you by someone contradicts everything we see in nature. We don’t have a monopoly on morality, it’s well documented as exhibited by the many species on earth — hence Dawkins balks at the idea God has taken an interest in only one primate on earth.
Morality is a developed capability from advanced sociality as evident by the many species exhibiting this trait. As a result, the claim that scripture or religion provides moral guidance is categorically unfounded, for morality is an inherent function any species of advanced sociality — not just humans, and suggests species existing longer than humans are without sustainable morality.
To that, the entropic style of adaptation all living organisms use to ensure continued survival, both immediate and existentially, is how traits are developed from the shape of the respective environments that required said traits — you cannot develop a capability in response to something that isn’t there.
For morality to exists at all in any other species other than humans, is direct evidence of a sustainable trait — contingent of a species very survival. How could it be said scripture offers sustainable moral guidance when it’s part of the biological makeup of many species who obviously can’t read. This is ‘selling a fridge to an eskimo‘ if I’ve ever heard it.
The evidence has been there a very long time, yet the question on scripture providing moral guidance as defined by a society long since extinct — is ignorant on a galactic scale, both on the incompatibility between the social function of an extinct society, but more so on the clear evidence that ownership of morality in untenable to any subjective definition by a rigid social construct. This is paramount to people still believing the earth is flat — because it might say so in a scripture someplace — indifferent to overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
You’ve changed your stance at least once here, but I understand you may have misspoke. You said in your first comment ‘Morality is a product of advanced sociality’. Now your saying Morality is component of sociality — not a byproduct/effect.’ Could you clarify?
For now I’ll assume that you misspoke and it is not a product of sociality.
I cannot help but think the logic seems a bit circular. It seems that your saying we should have morality because of sociality but yet we have sociality because of morality. The question I think that atheists have a problem with is in the end why we should have either or defining what I should call my society. Why should a murderer care that his action hurts the survival of the species so long it benefits his own? What is to stop a group like the Nazis defining the Aryan race as their own and seeking to destroy all the others for their own survival or at least scientific development to help their own survive? Why should those of us who define all of humanity as our society from killing all other animals?
Morality is within us as given by God, in my belief apart from scriptural understanding
“You’ve changed your stance at least once here, but I understand you may have misspoke. You said in your first comment ‘Morality is a product of advanced sociality’. Now your saying Morality is component of sociality — not a byproduct/effect.’ Could you clarify?”
Syntax for sure. The inseparability of each as one derived from the other.
“It seems that your saying we should have morality because of sociality but yet we have sociality because of morality”
No. Morality is not a trait developed without first having advanced sociality. You cannot have morality without advanced sociality — it’s where morality is developed.
“The question I think that atheists have a problem with is in the end why we should have either or defining what I should call my society.”
I’m uncertain what this sentence is trying to say.
“What is to stop a group like the Nazis defining the Aryan race as their own and seeking to destroy all the others for their own survival or at least scientific development to help their own survive?”
This parallels religious extremism. The only thing that stops such things from happening is the instinct of sociality we all carry. No different is it for all members of a neighbourhood to search for a lost child, than every nation in the world to rally against the oppressive actions of a nation lead by an unsustainable social model.
“Why should those of us who define all of humanity as our society from killing all other animals?”
Because we empathize with other life forms. Hence, the creation of animal rights. It’s built into our sense of sociality to preserve the sustainable function of those in our environment.
“Morality is within us as given by God, in my belief apart from scriptural understanding”
Is this the same scripture that would treat women as cattle, other humans as slaves, other nations as worthy of genocide? This is were you get your morality?
I don’t think we are quite understanding each other. Let me try a different way and also point you to something that I think also illustrates what I am trying to get at. You have provided me with reasons why morality could help for the survival of a species but that does not give me reasons why such an ‘adaptation’ came about in the first place. Saying wings help a bird fly and survive does not explain how evolution produced wings only how it benefits the bird. here is a link to another blog that perhaps says it better. http://crossexamined.org/evolutionary-just-stories-fail/
“but that does not give me reasons why such an ‘adaptation’ came about in the first place.”
I offer no explanation as to what was the exact contributing factor that led to owls turning their heads almost completely backwards — just that it was developed in response to needing that capability. Likewise, something pressured the development of morality as required — for no ability is developed in response to not needing said ability.
What do you mean by need?
The reason I ask is because as you mention you don’t know the need owls had for adaption but merely that they needed it you imply the same for morality. You don’t know what pressured morality to develop only that something did. If that is the case it seems we could argue we are now past the point of that need for morality. From an atheist perspective it seems there is nothing one can say to the atheist who says “I now longer need morality to survive or have my offsprings survive” and as a result reverts to murder when he sees it as advantages to his own survival.
The principal reasoning is that a need (such as a need to swim verses drowning) isn’t contingent of an obvious description. Else, one might say an octopus squirts ink as an act of God if it’s actual use isn’t apparent to us. If you need me to say an owl can turn its head 340˚ as a developed capability for watching prey more effectively, then so be it. However, as noted before many times, no capability is ever developed for a need that does not exist. Further, for god to create man — while leaving out morality — as only resolved by reading scripture — does not make an ounce of sense if man was created perfect at the very start.
To that, the function of religion as providing the only source of morality — contingent of our survival, is categorically dismissed when finding other species exhibiting morality — having no use of religion at all.
Does this clear it up? I’m uncertain I can dumb it down any more than that.
Bottom line: Humans, just like other species of advanced sociality, have developed morality as survival trait — because there was an existential need.
All that’s claimed in the bible aims to take ownership of an inherent trait — not well understood at the time. To many, all the wonders of our reality were answered with “God did it.” Why does it rain? God does it. Why does the Sun move? God does it. The supplanting of natural functions with creative concoctions is the most toxic influence in social function our species has had to endure.
Many are well aware — minus yourself perhaps — that for the first century CE, no mention of Jesus existed in any writing, records, or stories of any kind. Nothing. To begin writing about Jesus a thousand years after he supposedly lived is not the basis of credible historical writing. However, it is the basis of a fantastic story for the simple minds of ancient man — knowing almost nothing while claiming how amazing he was to answer all there is.
I’m sorry you think the earth was created ahead of the galaxies and stars. I’m sorry you think other species exhibiting morality does not matter somehow — still claiming man needed God to get his copy of biblical morality. I’m sorry you’re so easily fooled into believing fiction written thousands of years ago — despite being repeatedly picked apart by science at each turn — like a bushel of rotten apples, as though it’s all valid if you can find one apple that’s good.
I think I get what your saying that morality is a survival trait my point is simply if a human decided to reject the trait atheists would have no place say they should keep the trait.
The biblical view actually believes humans have morality in them even without scripture. It’s rather silent on whether the same exist for animals.
As for your other thoughts I’ll just encourage you to keep reading as I post. Some of your arguments lack evidence. For instance even among the most liberal scholars the gospels were written well short of a thousand years and incredibly close to the events they record compared to other historical sources from the time.
Thanks for the dialogue nonetheless and I look forward to your thoughts more later.
Funny how justification seems to be the point of morality to some apologists. …also all kinds of begging the question.