Gavin Collins

  • But moral behaviour

    What is moral behaviour?

    …as behaviour

    Huh? Let me read that again.

    But moral behaviour, as behaviour

    Huh?

  • Simon, the more you talk about this, the less I believe you have a basic grasp of it. I don’t know what motivates you to make conclusions on things you have a vague “skimmed” knowledge of, but it is odd to say the least. Intentions leads to actions leads to co sequences is nothing profound. Of course this is the case. Different people make…[Read more]

  • No, we analyze such situations in terms of the intent, not their success or failure, when it comes to an ethical analysis.

    Indeed. It is absurd to base a moral judgement on chance. If a surgery is successful 90% of the time, then is it the case that in 9 operations the doctor made the right decision to operate and the 1 time the patient didn’t…[Read more]

  • Intentions could be said to be putting the conditions in place for actions

    Let me remove your weasel words:

    Intentions are putting conditions in place for actions.

    I am completely stumped on what this means. Could you please clarify Simon?

  • If you are talking about consequences then you do not seem to understand deontological ethics. In any case, you didn’t answer my question, you just answered with a statement that is really a question (“but surely”). Even if consequences were relevant (which they aren’t regarding deontological ethics), saying actions are as important as…[Read more]

  • Utilitarianism and deontological ethics cannot be bridged or merged or compromised. They are two totally different systems. Taking away the absolutism of deontological ethics would make it an entirely new system, as with taking away the flexibility of utilitarianism. It would not be utilitarianism anymore, but something new. It is very difficult…[Read more]

  • Yes, I agree (In general I find it difficult to disagree with anything you have written over the years and I do like to argue with people :-))

    Indeed we are very lucky to have you here Autumn

  • Is it dismissing someone, or describing them?  It depends how you see it.

    Simon, if you want to walk down the road of relativism then do so at your own peril.

  • Davis replied to the topic Group logo of Sunday SchoolSunday School 9th January 2022 in the forum Sunday School 1 week ago

    The link here makes sense. He’s notable within atheist circles for a reason. I don’t assume links signal an endorsement or categorical agreement with the linked content.

    This is well said. Reg, you don’t have to worry so much about how we will react when you post someone who is ambiguous on the social justice scale (or all over the place or bi-…[Read more]

  • The activation energy for spontaneous combustion  can be relatively small particularly if an accelerant is present. This is why combusting paper doesn’t hold a candle to levitation.

    It’s only been a couple weeks so there will certainly be more candidates in the future but I would put this down as the most quotable WTF comment on atheistzone for 2022!

  • I cannot stand this “thriving” bullshit anymore Simon. You cannot reduce human behaviour and the essence of everything into one or two concepts. It is reductionism at its most absurd. I simply refuse to participate in this silliness anymore.

  • I can think of many things that could falsify the theory of evolution:

    • Discovering several species which were clearly engineered by some intelligence other than ourselves (where the DNA of species before humans were capable of manipulating them showed clear signs of tampering by rational forces)
    • A new species emerging so rapidly it could not…

    [Read more]

  • Actually an article that Reg once posted led me to looking far more into it and agriculture is not the only way to gain surpluses. There have been societies which have developed surpluses through nomadism (some steppe cultures), herding (some mountain cultures), fishing (some Pacific cultures) and even foraging (some North American indigenous…[Read more]

  • Of course it is a cop-out. Mass human cruelty is an evolutionary by-product. Nazi Germany is just an excessive example of what was going on for millennia anyways. Once humans started having a surplus of anything, they built unjust and unspeakably cruel systems. More altruistic and caring societies are exceptions that define the rule. Western…[Read more]

  • All I can do at this point is roll my eyes and sigh and laugh. Good luck with that Simon…I guess.

  • Simon, if you were a mathematician dealing with a completely new, contentious theory with little published work, dissenting voices and nothing approaching consensus (let’s call it Theory X), then yeah, it would be ridiculous to say “theory x says…” anything. The best you could get away with is: “some people believe that theory x says…” or “in…[Read more]

  • Evolutionary ethics places truth-telling…

    Ugh. Did you not read me calling you out on making broad claims about evolutionary ethics? It is a new branch with a very diverse set of views and nothing remotely approaching consensus, not to mention most of it just describes the evolution of human morality without even developing a moral system.…[Read more]

  • None of those possibilities is “to make the best possible outcome”; i.e., “I do something I feel to be wrong in order to make the best possible outcome”.

    Did you not read B?

    In evolutionary ethics, truth telling is helpful and even necessary within a cooperative context.  The general guiding rule would seem to be, tell the truth when it is helpf…

    [Read more]

  • We do things we hold to be generally wrong in order to:

    A) Ensure our self interests

    B) Do something we believe is less harmful than the consequences

    C) Believe it is a worthy exception

    D) Cause we just feel like it and don’t have to explain ourselves to no one

    E) Tell ourselves the rule doesn’t apply in that case

    Though more usually:

    F)…[Read more]

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