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

Harimad harimad2001 at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 14 20:56:19 BST 2011

MM> Mitch Miller wrote
MM> If I were an atheist, why on earth would I care about the
MM> environment or anything else but my own aggrandisement and pleasure?

C> Carol wrote (and many others were insulted):
C> But I'm really hoping your comment was just a bad joke......

MM> Neither.  It was a serious question.  I really do not
MM> understand how there can be, or why there should be,
MM> ethics if there's nothing other than our lives and
MM> ourselves.  I really do not see many signs in history
MM> that people are able to develop and act upon the concepts
MM> of "good" and "bad" in the absence of an external authority
MM> defining those concepts (and little evidence of that when
MM> they do believe in such an authority).[...] Perhaps I'm
MM> philosophy-disabled, but please believe me that I'm not
MM> trying to offend you, but am really trying to understand
MM> you, when I ask you to explain to me why, under your view
MM> of the world, they should act differently, because I
MM> don't see it.

1. Why do you perceive "God says" as any clearer than "Grandma says" or "society says"?  Why do you believe that all people are evil?  To my Anglican-educated and religiously-read mind, that is a strongly Christian viewpoint.  It's not even true in all Christian religions - Quakers believe differently.  Jews don't think people are evil either.  Their reason for "being good" is a contract with god; there's no heaven or hell in Judaism.

2. There are many ethical traditions that do not involve deities.  Start your research with Confucianism.  Then move on to Buddhism.  Then explore Ethical Humanism, usually researched in conjunction with the Enlightenment.  Now get thee to the economics section of the library and look into utilitarianism; when you've done that tell me why you think no one will believe in the win-win or in moderation.

Also?  You *really* need to work on your phraseology.  That was as insulting a formation of this question as I've ever seen, and I've seen it a lot.  Your second attempt was much better.

- Harimad

More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list