[LMB] Bringing it back to LMB [Was:OT: verging on

Elizabeth Holden azurite at rogers.com
Mon Sep 12 01:49:48 BST 2011

Hmm. I just walked in on this one.

--- On Sun, 9/11/11, Mitch Miller <mitchmiller at entertainmenttax.com> wrote:

> It was a serious question.  I really do
> not understand how there can be, or
> why there should be, ethics if there's nothing other than
> our lives and ourselves. 

That's all the more reasons to have ethics, and a strong sense of morality.

The only difference is that non-believers choose morality based on their own value system and what they believe to be good, not what their church decrees.

If you are really seriously interested in this, I suggest reading one of many recent well-explained books on atheism, or read up on the subject online.  Otherwise your confusion and curiosity sounds rather offensive.

> I really
> do not see many signs in history that people are able to
> develop and act upon the concepts
> of  "good" and "bad" in the absence of an external
> authority 

Why not?  Many religions have not had a component of moral doctrine (cf. classical religions).  Other religions are not based on the decrees of a deity (e.g., Buddhism).

> Perhaps I'm philosophy-disabled, but please believe me that
> I'm not trying to offend you

I believe you, but it certainly sounds offensive - as if you are saying that I must be a corrupt, vicious and self-serving person if I do not believe in a certain deity.

> but am really trying to understand you, when I ask you
> to explain to me 
> why, under your view of the world, they should act
> differently, because I don't see it.

Because in my philosophy, the greatest good is to minimize suffering and to foster happiness, love of life, and moral enlightenment; and for each of us to do what we can to make others happier; and for us to leave the world better than we found it if it is at all in our power to do so.

This seems rational to me.

Is that so different from your beliefs?


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