Simon Paynton

  • Like I said, one of the uses of philosophy should be as help to live a good life.

  • That’s what philosophy is supposed to be there for, in my opinion.  I can understand the pursuit of pure knowledge, etc., but it is also supposed to be a kind of guide for life.  It’s just not that great at doing that job, perhaps since the ancient Greeks.

    I fail to see what philosophy that could even be.

    We have secular humanism, and it seems t…[Read more]

  • One problem is their judgemental angry God, and that’s always been a problem.  People take it into their heads to carry out God’s imagined punishment on people they don’t like (unmarried mothers (Ireland), gay people (Iraq), liberated women (everywhere)).

  • That’s true, but we need a philosophy behind the laws.  In the West we have secular humanism – respecting the dignity of the individual, and universal justice.

    I think that in their zeal, religious people can sometimes forget about these values.

    The difficulty is that justice is a very elastic concept – treating people as they deserve can mean…[Read more]

  • A Christian said to me (as an atheist): “where’s your lawmaker?”  It’s a fair point.

    I think that religious people have two lawmakers that others don’t:

    1. God
    2. religion.

    The option for (2) is open to atheists, if they had a canonical set of detailed and rigorous philosophies as a guide to living.

  • Do not eat any of the apples in the orchard of religions for religion poisons everything.

    It’s also a force for promoting deep integrity, and that’s what it does much of the time.

    I have come across some difficulties though.  The biggest one I’ve seen in the UK (which seems to be somewhat different from the US and…[Read more]

  • Simon Paynton posted a new activity comment 1 week, 6 days ago

    My Firefox says it is an attack site. Maybe it’s haunted lol

  • Here’s a first! A Christian pastor is accused of financial corruption and running a slave cult.

    This would be almost humorous if it wasn’t so terrible.  The pastor is a text-book narcissist in my opinion.

    But a religion can’t be held responsible for bad apples like him.  He violated every sacred precept in the Abrahamic faiths, while ruining peo…[Read more]

  • Here is the basics.

    I’m normally pretty sniffy about conventional moral philosophy, but from what I can see, this seems to me pretty much on the nose.

    Evolutionary ethics cuts down 100 pages of this kind of dense theorising to about 3 pages of straightforward instruction.  The real questions are, what should I do, and why?  Or rather, what do w…[Read more]

  • A Christian said to me, thriving is good because God made it so.  I said, ethical thriving is good because we say it is.

    Why is something good?  Even if you believe in God, I don’t see any grounds for choosing the first option over the second – it’s unnecessary.

  • People can remain loyal to an individual (the tribal chieftain or an unfaithful spouse) and also remain loyal to the groups they belong to even if they think that they have been unfairly treated by the group.

    I think this represents the two sides of the coin of dependence – loyalty and affection on the one hand, towards the person or group we…[Read more]

  • I like Greta Christina’s article “‘How can you be moral?’: Here are 9 questions you don’t need to ask an atheist“.  I would take slight issue with this:

    we evolved with some core moral values wired into our brains: caring about fairness, caring about loyalty, caring when others are harmed.

    Loyalty is something that people feel when others are go…[Read more]

  • Can you spot the fallacies and flaws in this argument?

    Dialogue with an Atheist

    This is a dense steaming pile of bullshit.  In what way is it bullshit?  It’s one rhetorical question after another, putting words in our mouths, and generally misrepresenting atheism in a very smug and simple-minded way.

    why do you feel you need forgiveness? (…

    [Read more]

  • In Defense of Disbelief: An Anti-Creed.

    I like this guy: he says this:

    Hoping to be proved wrong,

    I think that morality is a mind-body problem (under his definition), but I’m sure it’s not the only mind-body problem.

  • Simon Paynton posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 3 days ago

    Once or twice a month I attend an old-school Catholic Sunday church service with my friend. Neither of us believes in God, but we like all the hymns and uplifting encouraging talk. We try and put something in the collection box for their trouble. The experience does us both good.

  • Can you find any faults in this article on “new atheism”?

    I basically have a lot of sympathy for the author, Professor Habadi’s point of view that the Four Horsemen demonstrate only a shallow and ill-informed understanding of religion.  He is wrong to say that they only pick on Islam, however, the Four Horsemen sure don’t like Islam, it’s true…[Read more]

  • Here is the basics.

    While morality in the normative sense is not an empirical phenomenon to be explained, there are still important questions to ask about how evolutionary theory may bear on it.

    I would disagree with this.  We can find what we like or dislike morally by examining ourselves, each other, and the human race in general.

  • Simon Paynton posted a new activity comment 3 weeks ago

    You don’t have to like ice cream, to work at Dairy Queen.

    • Good point (I almost typed “good pint,” ha ha!). I like the ice cream metaphor.

    • Once or twice a month I attend an old-school Catholic Sunday church service with my friend. Neither of us believes in God, but we like all the hymns and uplifting encouraging talk. We try and put something in the collection box for their trouble. The experience does us both good.

  • It’s within the branch of moral philosophy called evolutionary ethics.

  • They are monitored by the group.

    Also, by their own self.

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