Yet, you have not accounted for why it would be good for humanity to survive. You assume we ought to.
Well, that's a separate question though, isn't it? I could go into many reasons why I think it should . The most basic reason is that as a human, it's hardwired into my DNA to make my species want to continue on beyond me. Any species that didn't develop that basic instinct must not have gotten very far. I could give other reasons, of course. I mean, without us, who the hell is going to make beer, for instance? And who's gonna drink it? Think about it!
I didn't really have to strain my brain all that hard to come up with the reason above. Keep reading for more reasoning.
This assumption is not arrived at by way of reason.
The brick mill owner who enslaves his workers has every reason to do so in light of the profits cheap labor helps him bring in. He does not offend reason by enslaving people.. his end is profit and cheap labor simply makes sense.
This is why religion makes me sad. Do you really want to stand by that statement? You can't think of how reason could make him see the error of his ways? Again, I could elaborate, but let me just give a couple reasons why slavery is bad. If we live in a world where slavery is tolerable, then who's to say that you won't one day be a slave? Also, look at the long-term impacts of slavery just in this country alone - a price which we all pay for in some way (some much, much more than others though, of course). I mean, think of all the brilliant African Americans who could have gone on to create and invent all sorts of things to help our society, but they never even got a chance to get an education as a result of the grip of slavery that lingered long after it was legally abolished.
If this brick mill owner were to tell me that he doesn't offend reason, then I'd say that his reasoning is incredibly short-sighted and based more on selfishness than reason.
It's funny that you would mention slavery though. Ever read the works of Frederick Douglass? He claimed that the worst slavemasters were the ones who were religious. In other words, I do not accept your assertion that the error of slavery can't be deduced through reason alone, and I think that if one were to take a broad view of the issue, religious faith has a pretty poor track record of leading people to discovering the evils of slavery.
People ought not be valued only for their utility. The life of a child ought not be compromised for the sake of profit. Reason does not tell me this; I assume it. And without that assumption, I can reason myself to just about anything.
I agree that people can reason themselves into just about anything if they start with the conclusion and then work their way backward. I disagree that you can't use reasons to conclude these things, and I find it both false and distressing to think that we need to believe things in which there is no evidence (have faith) in order to figure it out.
You pointed out a handful of the atrocities humanity has perpetrated upon itself in your post. All of these things are tragic for the very reason that they are a departure from basic value.
Of course, but what made them depart from basic value? Because their faith told them that they'd have rewards after they die if they do - even though there wasn't any evidence for that. That was my point of bringing them up, and this point does nothing to contradict what my point was - that faith so easily motivates evil. If those people did not believe that their evil deeds would grant them rewards in the afterlife, then what other reason would they have for doing them?
You are suggesting that, regardless of it’s strategic impact, something about using flying planes into populated areas is bad. Yet you’ve not given me a foundational reason to think so.
I used the kamikazes because by that point, they didn't have much actual hope in winning the war, so it was only a good strategy in the sense that it only created terror and cost more lives. I suppose a kamikaze attack could be a good thing if you're fighting for a good cause and it could actually lead to victory. You know, like that drunk dude in Independence Day.
But here's the thing, and I apologize if I'm bringing a lot of baggage from debates/conversations I've had with other Christians. Even if you're right, and I haven't given you a "foundational reason" you're still nowhere near having one yourself beyond simply asserting that you do. I mean, I could say that atheism is better because it provides us laser guns for the inevitable alien invasion, but until I start showing you some laser guns and evidence of the oncoming alien invasion, it's a pretty moot point, isn't it?
Because that's hardly the whole picture of what we've done and what we're capable of accomplishing. We've also gone to the moon, ya know. I think that any species that can do that can do so much more, and all too often, faith is what stands in the way of us living up to our true potential. (See the long history of faith's battles against scientific discovery.)
Alongside the travesties you cited, consider some even greater and more pervasive atrocities propagated by the species we ought to preserve…What makes such a species worth preserving?
After years and years of war between cylons (created by humanity) and humanity, the cylon asks if humanity has ever asked itself why it deserved to survive… poignantly, the commander does not have an answer.
I applied for that Captain of a Spaceship position, but I couldn't get in because of politics. I would have had an answer for them.
But you didn’t figure it out. “I should help blind women” is not a conclusion you came to after years of study and careful consideration of societal norms and/or cost-benefit analysis.
Aren't you turning the idea of reason into something unnecessarily convoluted? Yesterday I decided to have a big breakfast because I knew that I wouldn't have lunch until much later than usual. I didn't sit around the house drawing up charts and graphs in order to reach this conclusion - and I didn't need years of study to reason that it was good to help a blind woman.
“whatever is helpful for the greatest number of people is what’s good.” I honestly don’t understand this and could use an example of where or how you see this played out. It sounds like the kind of thing that could spell trouble for minority groups like the elderly, who make up only about 8% of the earth’s population and take a great deal of money, time and energy to care for. Can you please elaborate?It could only be trouble for groups like the elderly if you don't take into account the fact that we're all going to be old some day if we live long enough. As for minority groups, you'd have to ignore the fact that they are part of our society and what effects them ultimately effects all of us in the long run. Will there be situations where some people might be hurt in order to benefit the group? Unfortunately, the answer to this is yes, but I'd wager that you'd be willing to let an old man die if it saved the lives of a thousand other people.
Still, I'd rather use reasoning to make those tough choices than wait for some god to tell me what's what - or better put, some PERSON to tell me what the god said is what.