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   Author  Topic: A call for ethics.  (Read 581 times)
Bass
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A call for ethics.
« on: 2007-01-30 11:35:18 »
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The purpose of these ethics would only to forward the atheist meme, yes? They would ensure we can cooperate and improve the public's views of atheism. But once we get to the dissolve stage, these ethics are not neccessarily valid anymore because the task is complete. But they would still stick around, like all memes. Have you considered the consequences of this? Ethics come from biological predispositions and culture. We know that the cultural sources are meant to be questioned, but what about the biological ones? Biology is outdated. It has been around for billions of years, and its only purpose is to propogate genes. Now that we have these amazing brains of ours that can question our culture, why shouldn't we question our biology as well? When making your ethics, I think you will show a predilection toward an anthropocentric viewpoint. Things like murder will be denounced, and things like charity encouraged. But do these things only have to do with advancing atheism, or anthropocentric morality?

We are humans, but our brains don't care about that. Can these biological ethics be rationaly justified? Atheists are so found of making sure everything else is, that they should address this issue as well. So, what are the axioms of morality? Religions can at least claim that morality comes from God, and if God is assumed to exist as they describe him, then their morals have to be right. But athiests can't do that. If I am going to join some group that has an ethical code, I want to know the foundations of these ethics. I want to know that they logically follow from something. This something could be a very vague notion or a concrete ideal, but in any case it must be the only irrational thing(s) in the discussion.

My moral basis, of course, is influenced by biology and culture. But even then, it does not follow from these that murder is wrong; I am not some peace-loving hippy. In my mind, I am an atrocity. I detest these 'humanistic' views, and am pissed off at people that want to give animals rights; it is bad enough that I have to give other humans rights. I hate artsy people that gas off for hours over emotion, and literary snobs that talk about the 'human expierence'. I detest the culture that says we need to treat everyone nicely. Arrgh!

But even so, I do not act evilly. I am actualy nice! Cognitive dissonace? You bet. Normally we think about people not living up to their moral standards as a bad thing, but in my case it seems to be fortunate.

Anyway, that was all a big rant intended to point out two assumptions for critical evaluation: (1) Ethics are anthropocentric and (2) There is always a need for a formalized code of ethics (I behave well even though I am an internal abomination). This doesn't mean that making a code of ethics for a unified atheist movement is a bad idea. I really don't know if it is or not, but I'd guess it would be. But if you, or anyone else, propose a set of ethics, remember that they are not neccessarily justified or adaptable and will stick around by becoming part of the culture.

I have another problem with 'humanistic' ethics that I might get around to posting later.
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Re:A call for ethics.
« Reply #1 on: 2007-03-22 20:28:33 »
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The purpose of all ethical codes is to ensure the successful functioning of the society which elects to implement them.  Any ethical code which assists a society in preserving and/or perpetuating itself is "fit", to use the term in a Darwinian sense.  The "fittest" ethical code would be one which outperforms others in assisting a society in preserving and perpetuating itself.  As such, any rational justification for an ethical code would rest solely on its demonstrable utility for this purpose.  What other reason for implementing an ethical code could there be?
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