Joined: Sep. 2006
|Quote (Richardthughes @ July 11 2008,08:33)|
Over on ATBC someone says of us:
"Most people think that murder is wrong even if it goes unpunished, doofus.
Dave and Russ: two grown men to whom the word “conscience” means nothing more than “wondering if Sky Daddy would approve”. "
What is a “conscience” when an atheist refers to it? Can it be weighed or measured to confirm its material existence? Is it subject to experiment to figure how it works?
At any rate, my “conscience” doesn’t necessarily think that murder is wrong. For instance, I could easily murder someone like Timothy McVeigh if I found out he was planning to kill a bunch of innocent people. The only thing that would stop me would be the threat of punishment. You can’t just go around killing people by unilateral decision. My conscience, which is really no more than my own self-reflection, would bother me if I could have murdered McVeigh but didn’t and then 168 innocent men women and children died when I could have prevented it by taking the law into my own hands.
So if Dave was in ab Arab country and he knew lots of lovely Christians were about to be beheaded for their beliefs, he's do nothing because he's scared of the punishment... And clowns. And cheesypoofs that have gone green in the middle...
You know, Dave, we can postulate the existence of something when we evidence of its effects.
A "conscience" is described by people who report feeling guilty about having done something that they think (also a process that we can postulate exists due to its effects on a person's behavior) is wrong. People who don't feel guilty are said to have no conscience (like, for example, those who did a search-and-replace of "creationism" for "intelligent design" in a new edition of Pandas, or the piece of work in Dover who bought a cartload of same and then lied about it on the witness stand. Eh?)
We can weigh water, but can we weigh a waterfall? How much does "falling" weigh? What molecules (other than those of the compound water) is it made of? For that matter, how much does unbelief weigh? Do I need a supernatural agent in order to transfer my unbelief with me when I walk my materialist self across a room? Do you see how stupid this question is? (Yes, he knows better - it's a rhetorical question (and how much does that weigh?))
How much does stupidity weigh? It certainly seems heavy to me. In fact, the stupidity of UD weighs on me. Is that conscience? Me thinketh so.
Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?
AtBC Poet Laureate
"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive
"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr