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Old 12-31-2008, 05:59 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Are you really going to compare religion and morality? The difference is one has a text presupposed the theology that tries to explain why we're here and how we should live to enter an afterlife. Morality on the other hand is an on-going and ever evolving human condition that changes from person to person.
I never said that. Why I am comparing is the idea that you guys are not for rational living, yet you claim to when a hot topic such as religion comes around. A rational man is one who tries to live by reason in all areas. Morality is not excluded.

Also, comparing morality to religion is like comparing apples to oranges. Religions provide moralities. A religion is basically a base for someone's worldview, except it requires faith. Morality is a way to achieve what someone desires in their worldview.

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I don't have a problem with living life "according to one's own rational judgment" but the extent to which Rand takes it isn't rational, it's just selfish.
Well, selfishness is rational. That is her whole argument.
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:14 PM   #42 (permalink)
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I never said that. Why I am comparing is the idea that you guys are not for rational living, yet you claim to when a hot topic such as religion comes around. A rational man is one who tries to live by reason in all areas. Morality is not excluded.

Also, comparing morality to religion is like comparing apples to oranges. Religions provide moralities. A religion is basically a base for someone's worldview, except it requires faith. Morality is a way to achieve what someone desires in their worldview.
By criticizing people for approaching religion different then they approach morality you're implying they're similar by pairing them. Which is absurd.

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Well, selfishness is rational. That is her whole argument.
Yeah but the problem is...it's not.
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:25 PM   #43 (permalink)
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By criticizing people for approaching religion different then they approach morality you're implying they're similar by pairing them. Which is absurd.
No, I did not say that. I am saying that you aren't consistent at all. You say rationality and logic reign supreme, yet you ignore both when it comes to morality.

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Yeah but the problem is...it's not.
What is it then? I am hoping you won't say selfless because that would be absolutely stupid. That means that if someone wants to rape you, you pull down your pants and say, "Okay sure."
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:37 PM   #44 (permalink)
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What is it then?
Survival. I am not certain that saying you're more important than someone else is selfish in most cases.
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:39 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Survival. I am not certain that saying you're more important than someone else is selfish in most cases.
The underlined is the exact definition of the bold. Selfish means to be concerned with one's own interests. What is your definition of selfishness?
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:39 PM   #46 (permalink)
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No, I did not say that. I am saying that you aren't consistent at all. You say rationality and logic reign supreme, yet you ignore both when it comes to morality.
Oh bullshit, do I need to break down exactly what you said for you? You said: "..of course, if I started talking about religion then everyone suddenly turns on their 'logic switch'." You had previously been talking about me not approaching morality logically and then you went on to say this. How isn't that pairing morality and religion? This is all semantics of course and not very productive but you said what you said.

It's not like I approach morality with no thought whatsoever (as you're implying.). I do things that I think, in my mind, are right and beneficial to my well-being and others. Here's where I differ from you though; I often place others needs higher than my own because I'm not selfish. I don't consider this "irrational" or "turning off the logic switch" because I don't believe my existence is more important to there's and in many cases I want to add pleasure to their existence because I love their life.

Here's the other difference though: I'm aware morality isn't objective nor can it be approached as such. I clearly have different morals than Rand (in placing others higher than myself) and you clearly have different morals than say, Jesus, because you've stated before dying for other people is irrational because you can't think when you're dead. We BOTH (I'd hope) have a different idea of right wrong then say Ian Brady and Myra Hindley or the members of the Westboro Baptist Church. All these different ideas of right and wrong can't exist if morality is something that can be approached objectively.

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What is it then? I am hoping you won't say selfless because that would be absolutely stupid. That means that if someone wants to rape you, you pull down your pants and say, "Okay sure."
Here's the problem I have with your examples: you're taking one extreme or the other and not looking at something that's well...realistic! Plus you're making assumptions that I think either extreme is right. A common example of charity would be say donating to a orphanage or giving to a homeless person. It doesn't really benefit the person in any sense, in fact giving takes away from them financially. The most they take away from it is a sense of satisfaction...which is hardly tangible. Why not look at the morality and rationality of something like that instead?

Also what you describe isn't rape; if you do nothing to stop it and indeed (in the name of "selflessness" let it happen) then it's just consensual sex. So your example doesn't even make much sense in addition to it's unlikelihood. Morality and rationality and how a person operates is all about perspective. You can only live the world inside your own head and make your decisions based on your own observations and rules of right and wrong. You and Ayn Rand seem to have a hard time grasping this.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:16 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Oh bullshit, do I need to break down exactly what you said for you? You said: "..of course, if I started talking about religion then everyone suddenly turns on their 'logic switch'." You had previously been talking about me not approaching morality logically and then you went on to say this. How isn't that pairing morality and religion? This is all semantics and useless; you had said what you just said initially I wouldn't care.
It is because you are focusing too much on the topics I used and not on the actual point I was trying to convey. I used religion because that seems to be an issue where all sorts of people tend to be real logical. Those who believe in subjective reality will sometimes argue using logic to disprove a God. Of course, they believe logic to be flawed.

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It's not like I approach morality with no thought whatsoever (as you're implying.). I do things that I think, in my mind, are right and beneficial to my well-being and others. Here's where I differ from you though; I often place others needs higher than my own because I'm not selfish. I don't consider this "irrational" or "turning off the logic switch" because I don't believe my existence is more important to there's and in many cases I want to add pleasure to their existence because I love their life.
Well, do you decide who is more important than you and who isn't. If you do, you trust your own rationality and judgment over everyone else's. This makes you selfish. You can still be selfish and give to those in need, or even die for a loved one. The point is, selfishness is doing what you will to do and doing things because you have reasoned them. If it is better for you to put your own life on the line for a spouse, or a really good friend because you they are a high value in your life, then you are still being selfish.

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Here's the other difference though: I'm aware morality isn't objective nor can it be approached as such. I clearly have different morals than Rand (in placing others higher than myself) and you clearly have different morals than say, Jesus, because you've stated before dying for other people is irrational because you can't think when you're dead. We BOTH (I'd hope) have a different idea of right wrong then say Ian Brady and Myra Hindley or the members of the Westboro Baptist Church. All these different ideas of right and wrong can't exist if morality is something that can be approached objectively.
They can exist. Just like creationism, Scientology, and the Mayan calendar thing. They are concepts that exist. They are not reality. If logic is a way to observe reality, then only one morality can be right. If reality is objective, there must be an objective morality. This is because we can still use logic to observe this thing (morality) in reality. This logical morality is the objective reality. However parts of it differ due to what one's goals are. The skeleton is the same meaning the only reason you can have for your morality being what it is would be that you reasoned it out using your own mind.

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I never said selflessness was rational (though in many cases its commendable.) Here's the problem I have with your examples, you're taking one extreme or the other and not looking at something that's well...realistic! A common example of charity would be say donating to a orphanage or giving to a homeless person. It doesn't really benefit the person in any sense, in fact giving takes away from them financially. The most they take away from it is a sense of satisfaction...which is hardly tangible. Why not look at the morality and rationality of something like that instead?
Giving is perfectly fine as long as you have a reason to give it to them. If you give to someone you don't know, then what reason do they deserve charity over the other millions of kids who need it? There would be no reason. If you know a person in need, and you value them, then it is still moral to give to them. You have no duty to give to them. You do it because you have reasoned it out. It is selfish in this way because you put your own interest (in this case your interest would be that person) over everyone else's interests (other people, other things, etc.)

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Also what you describe isn't rape; if you do nothing to stop it and indeed (in the name of "selflessness" let it happen) then it's just consensual sex. So your example doesn't even make much sense in addition to it's unlikelihood. Morality and rationality and how a person operates is all about perspective, you can all live the world inside your own head and make your decisions based on your own observations and rules of right and wrong. You and Ayn Rand seem to have a hard time grasping this.
It is rape. I am forced into a rape situation, and I let it happen, I am still coerced. This makes what I did involuntary, rendering the idea of my action to be irrational.

I have a hard time grasping how one can logically say that one has the right to someone else's life. That is my main problem with people. When some new tax comes out to tax more of the rich to give to people they don't even know, I have a huge problem with it. I have a huge problem with people reaching into my pocket and telling me I must care for a person I do not want to care for. Yet the majority of voters, including democrat and republican, somehow get away saying that they do it so that the good of all is achieved. There is no reason why everyone deserves a "right" to health care and such if it takes away my right to manage the money I worked for just like I have no "right" to walk into a poor man's house and take all he owns. If I am to give to people I would like to do it rationally and voluntarily, not because I have a gun to my head. Especially when the money I could be giving could be going to some waste of space blowing their money on crack and alcohol while their children starve. Not all people are equals. Some people are better than others because they have worked for it. At birth, all humans are equal, but eventually all humans become individuals and begin to think with their own brain. Some make irrational decisions that lead to their destruction, others make rational decisions that lead to financial success. Some are born in an environment where the struggle to be rational and to achieve financial success is harder. If they make it out of that situation and become a successful rational business man, they completely deserve every penny they earn and have proven that they are a monumental human being.

The philosophy of altruism, believes that the crack-addicted, children-starving man and his hardworking son who ended up becoming a business man are both equals. Those who propose this philosophy believe that the hardworking business man should have to give money to his father who almost starved him to death (and granted, he also gives towards those in a familiar situation to his and etc.). Then the father can go by more crack and still be considered to be equals with his hardworking son. This is a bunch of bull****.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:46 PM   #48 (permalink)
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It is because you are focusing too much on the topics I used and not on the actual point I was trying to convey. I used religion because that seems to be an issue where all sorts of people tend to be real logical. Those who believe in subjective reality will sometimes argue using logic to disprove a God. Of course, they believe logic to be flawed.
I'm going to address this again later; god and morality are not two things I can personally think about in the exact same manner because they're clearly different things that have to be approached with entirely different arguments.

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Well, do you decide who is more important than you and who isn't. If you do, you trust your own rationality and judgment over everyone else's. This makes you selfish. You can still be selfish and give to those in need, or even die for a loved one. The point is, selfishness is doing what you will to do and doing things because you have reasoned them. If it is better for you to put your own life on the line for a spouse, or a really good friend because you they are a high value in your life, then you are still being selfish.
Selfish, by definition, isn't doing what you do by your own justification. I don't know what dictionary you've been reading but all these and my own basically say selfish is caring for ones self.

selfish - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
selfish definition | Dictionary.com

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They can exist. Just like creationism, Scientology, and the Mayan calendar thing. They are concepts that exist. They are not reality. If logic is a way to observe reality, then only one morality can be right. If reality is objective, there must be an objective morality. This is because we can still use logic to observe this thing (morality) in reality. This logical morality is the objective reality. However parts of it differ due to what one's goals are. The skeleton is the same meaning the only reason you can have for your morality being what it is would be that you reasoned it out using your own mind.
See, you're comparing religion and morality again despite your constant claims you're not trying to. They're two entirely different things! Religion can be argued from a scientific and historical perspective to disprove that. All history proves to us is that ethical standards are constantly progressing and morality is ever-changing (which makes it hard to be objective if its constantly evolving.) It used to be acceptable to hit your wife, own slaves and shoot a man if he questioned your integrity. It isn't anymore and I don't know how you'd even begin to apply science to morality seeing as everyone has their own individual thoughts and it would be a constantly progressing study that never stayed the same and couldn't be replicated in study because the people you're studying wouldn't be the same.

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Giving is perfectly fine as long as you have a reason to give it to them. If you give to someone you don't know, then what reason do they deserve charity over the other millions of kids who need it? There would be no reason. If you know a person in need, and you value them, then it is still moral to give to them. You have no duty to give to them. You do it because you have reasoned it out. It is selfish in this way because you put your own interest (in this case your interest would be that person) over everyone else's interests (other people, other things, etc.)
If you look at that with that much scope then of course it appears selfish because you're valuing your own over everything else but giving to everyone in need is impossible (unless you have enough to give) so of course you have to limit your charity to what is probable. There is reason and justification for being charitable (which isn't a synonym with selfish though in this case I guess it is) in that case.

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It is rape. I am forced into a rape situation, and I let it happen, I am still coerced. This makes what I did involuntary, rendering the idea of my action to be irrational.
You LET it happen which is making it consensual, if you do nothing to stop being raped (because you're "selfless" even though you're grossly misinterpreting what being selfless means) it isn't rape anymore it's just sex.

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I have a hard time grasping how one can logically say that one has the right to someone else's life. That is my main problem with people. When some new tax comes out to tax more of the rich to give to people they don't even know, I have a huge problem with it. I have a huge problem with people reaching into my pocket and telling me I must care for a person I do not want to care for. Yet the majority of voters, including democrat and republican, somehow get away saying that they do it so that the good of all is achieved. There is no reason why everyone deserves a "right" to health care and such if it takes away my right to manage the money I worked for just like I have no "right" to walk into a poor man's house and take all he owns. If I am to give to people I would like to do it rationally and voluntarily, not because I have a gun to my head. Especially when the money I could be giving could be going to some waste of space blowing their money on crack and alcohol while their children starve. Not all people are equals. Some people are better than others because they have worked for it. At birth, all humans are equal, but eventually all humans become individuals and begin to think with their own brain. Some make irrational decisions that lead to their destruction, others make rational decisions that lead to financial success. Some are born in an environment where the struggle to be rational and to achieve financial success is harder. If they make it out of that situation and become a successful rational business man, they completely deserve every penny they earn and have proven that they are a monumental human being
Oh boy we've been over this and I don't feel going over it again. Do you know why the country failed before congress had the power to levy taxes? Maybe you should study American history before running around proposing Anarcho-Capitalism. It offers all the answer as to why your idea of a government would completely and utterly fail.

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The philosophy of altruism, believes that the crack-addicted, children-starving man and his hardworking son who ended up becoming a business man are both equals. Those who propose this philosophy believe that the hardworking business man should have to give money to his father who almost starved him to death (and granted, he also gives towards those in a familiar situation to his and etc.). Then the father can go by more crack and still be considered to be equals with his hardworking son. This is a bunch of bull****.
And you think the polar opposite, a selfish concern only for yourself, is any better?
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:29 AM   #49 (permalink)
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I'm going to address this again later; god and morality are not two things I can personally think about in the exact same manner because they're clearly different things that have to be approached with entirely different arguments.
A rational man tries to be rational in ALL AREAS. You can be rational in morality, and in religion. To say that sometimes rationality works and sometimes it doesn't is a flawed argument. If you argue for reason at all you must regard it as an absolute.

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Selfish, by definition, isn't doing what you do by your own justification. I don't know what dictionary you've been reading but all these and my own basically say selfish is caring for ones self.

selfish - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
selfish definition | Dictionary.com
First of all, the dictionary corrupts the word due to all the Marxist and religious propaganda. Rand, in her books, defines selfishness as "concern with one's own interests." The reason being, you can be concerned with your own interests and still care about others. If it is in your interests to help someone and you do, then you are totally disregarding their interests, but you still care about that person. If you care for your own self (to use your definition) and your own self takes interest in somebody, isn't it in your interests to do things for that person? You can not simultaneously care for your own interests and somebody else's interests at the same level because that it impossible. My point is, if you will do do anything, you are selfish. If you put your mind above everyone else's, you have automatically said, "I care about myself more than everybody else." For me to do something because I freely will it, then that means I have done it in a rational and voluntary way. I am ultimately responsible for that action, hence, I control my own body. This is selfishness just like not giving to charity. I want to keep what it mine and do what I want to do with it.

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See, you're comparing religion and morality again despite your constant claims you're not trying to. They're two entirely different things! Religion can be argued from a scientific and historical perspective to disprove that. All history proves to us is that ethical standards are constantly progressing and morality is ever-changing (which makes it hard to be objective if its constantly evolving.) It used to be acceptable to hit your wife, own slaves and shoot a man if he questioned your integrity. It isn't anymore and I don't know how you'd even begin to apply science to morality seeing as everyone has their own individual thoughts and it would be a constantly progressing study that never stayed the same and couldn't be replicated in study because the people you're studying wouldn't be the same.
@Bold: They were all following the wrong morality. See, you are making it sound like what you believe is an objective morality is a combination of everyone's moralities at the time. However, the reason to not even own slaves is because you violate what Rand has described as the non-aggression axiom. More on this can be found here: Non-Aggression Axiom. My point is, the objective morality is objective because it is logical and rational. Would you say flying turtles exist just because 99% of the earth says they do? No, because that doesn't prove it is right. In the same way the objective morality is not based on a combination of everyone's morals at the time. Everyone can have the wrong morality at wrong time. The objective morality still remains the same.

As far as religion goes, you are missing the strongest argument against it, which is whether it is rational for me to waste my time believing in it. All the scientific proof in the world just shows that religion is improbable, but the argument isn't over. Now you use rationality to say that because I don't believe in flying turtles or live garden gnomes, I can't consistently say I believe in a God. The only consistent way to believe in God is to render reason false, and at that point the person can go curl up in a corner.

I use religion because that is what, to most people, is considered one of the weirdest things out there. Don't get caught up on the topics I used. I used them because they all have the same general fallacy. My point is to show why reason must be consistent throughout a rational man. It is simply the definition.

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If you look at that with that much scope then of course it appears selfish because you're valuing your own over everything else but giving to everyone in need is impossible (unless you have enough to give) so of course you have to limit your charity to what is probable. There is reason and justification for being charitable (which isn't a synonym with selfish though in this case I guess it is) in that case.
It is still selfish though. If you were selfless, you would give until you had nothing left and then starve to death because your life doesn't even matter to yourself.

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You LET it happen which is making it consensual, if you do nothing to stop being raped (because you're "selfless" even though you're grossly misinterpreting what being selfless means) it isn't rape anymore it's just sex.
Do you know what a Frankfurt Scenario is? I would post a link, but I can't find any good ones.

Basically Frankfurt scenarios are when a person, in a position where he would be forced to do something, does so voluntarilly. So does he do it by free will? After thinking about this, you would be right here. Since the ends does not justify the means, and he willed to be in the situation, it is free will.

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Oh boy we've been over this and I don't feel going over it again. Do you know why the country failed before congress had the power to levy taxes? Maybe you should study American history before running around proposing Anarcho-Capitalism. It offers all the answer as to why your idea of a government would completely and utterly fail.
I am not proposing anarcho-capitalism. That is a completely different subject. I am proposing laissez faire capitalism because it is the morally right thing to do, making it practical. Secondly, America never had a laissez faire economy, so American history does not even apply here. I can however tell you that America's creativity and production boomed when the economy was more free.

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And you think the polar opposite, a selfish concern only for yourself, is any better?
Yes, because it proposes a society where the hard worker is rewarded.
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Old 01-01-2009, 05:32 PM   #50 (permalink)
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This is getting derailed into a discussion about government and rape let's try and move it back to what we really started arguing about (and to be honest, I don't know about you, but I don't want to extend this to two posts responses with paragraphs and paragraphs simply because I want to waste a half hour on an internet forum typing up something that lengthy.) We've gone over the government discussion before and if you want to again I will but not in this thread. As for the rape thing its entirely semantics. If something gives any form of consent I'd consider it sex apparently you don't.

The great irony of your entire argument is several times you've said you're a christian. You can flip the arguments for morality and religion around and you're just as "irrational" as you're claiming me to me. Which I find weird. I base my argument as to why religion is false off of a scientific and historical information. The problem is you can't do that with morality. Religion is traditional; morality is ever-evolving. As for basing it off science...you couldn't get anywhere with it unless you found were able to find several groups of people with the exact same definitions of right and wrong for each test which is unlikely and would be a horrible way of going about things because it would be selective and therefore have no actual bearing on reality. I'd really like you to accurately explain how my approach to morality is "irrational" and turning off the "logic-switch" because I find the idea that you can find a personal code objective for billions of people to be, well, just fucking silly.

Now if you're saying there can be wrong or right morals then who's to decide what's wrong or right? A mythical space god? Ayn Rand? A dead Palestinian? To me, if there was an objective morality (which I don't believe there is) it would have to be incredibly vague in order to be timeless, universal and objective. Moral norms and ethical standards are constantly changing as we progress as a world. I think the ultimate goal of a some sort of perfect (or objective) morality is unattainable because it would require a universal agreement as to what right or wrong is. Which isn't going to happen. The only other route would be some sort of moral arbitrator but we have those now anyway. I don't like Jesus or Muhammad or Moses or Joe Smith. I think they teach some very immoral things and I could go on and on about the problems I have with organized religion and their teachings but I've beat on about it so much and unless you want me to I won't here. I think you're approach towards morality shows that you don't understand the meaning of the word (and before you ask I don't think Karl Marx and Jesus ruined the definition of that word either) or have very much scope. I believe it should not be treated as something concrete but as an on-going human discussion about seeking a balance between protecting the rights of humans but respecting the beliefs of others.
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