Is there a reason to be honest if you don't believe in life after death?

  • Thread starter lockecole
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  • #26
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pmb_phy said:
As such your claim that "at least 50% of people are honest at least 50% of the time." is incorrect.
My statement was meaningless, like yours, and was meant to be taken as meaningless.

Phrases cannot be "looked up" and what it means to an individual is obviously subjective.
Sure. I hope that you are smiling when you say that. You say "almost everyone in the world", a meaningless statement which you could not possibly verify and you could not possibly have evidence to support, and you pretend to honestly expect that I should recognize that "almost everyone in the world" means "at least 50%". Sure.

As I said, I once believed what you do about what the term "most" means and it was pointed out to me that I was incorrect.
I am sorry. I must have missed where you said that you once believed as I did. Can you post that quote?

I therefore have adjusted my use of the term to more accurately reflect the precise definition of the term. You can use it as you like, but I will use it as defined.
Funny, aren't you. Is this the "precise" definition that you are using? Are you being "precise" when you say "most" when you mean at least 50%? I think that you should reanalyze your situation. Otherwise, you will find as life goes on that everyone misunderstands you, because you are the only person in the world who knows the "precise" definition of the words that you use. Don't you think?

So tell me - Do you believe in honesty and afterlife being related in anyway or not? Do you believe in honesty and God being related in anyway or not. If so in either case then why?
I do not, and I do not.
Since you only requested my response if so in either case, I assume that you do not want my response if I do not. Therefore, I will leave it at that.
 
  • #27
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pmb_phy said:
Its not the fear of Hell that scares me. Its the possibility that there is no afterlife and my consciousness simply winks out of existance that scares me.
Deep. Life must be much easier for "most" non religious types, as they don't have this fear to contend with.

I think we've gotten off the main track here - If one does not believe in an afterlife what is his motivation to be honest?
Are you suggesting that it is fear of punishment that causes "most" people to be honest?

Can one really flourish in a civilization if they are considered to be a dishonest person?
I admire your use of the impersonal pronoun "one". Now, you might consider pronoun agreement, as "they" is not in accord with "one" or "a person". Also, you might consider the subjunctive.

I think its pretty obvious that atheists are not considered to be dishonest as a group so that seems to say something to this end.
Good for you.
 
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  • #28
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Prometheus said:
Are you suggesting that it is fear of punishment that causes "most" people to be honest?
Nope. That is not what I am suggesting nor is it something I was suggesting. That was a restatement, in my own words, the topic of this thread.
I admire your use of the impersonal pronoun "one". Now, you might consider pronoun agreement, as "they" is not in accord with "one" or "a person". Also, you might consider the subjunctive.
This is incorrect -- in common speech, "they" is in agreement with "one" or "a person". I wasn't aware that this forum was part "rhetoric 101."
 
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  • #29
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pmb_phy said:
I wasn't aware that this forum was part "rhetoric 101."
I am sorry. I was just trying to be helpful.

pmb_phy said:
I once believed what you do about what the term "most" means and it was pointed out to me that I was incorrect. I therefore have adjusted my use of the term to more accurately reflect the precise definition of the term.
I thought that once you know the precise grammatical form that you would jump on the opportunity to make use of it.
 
  • #30
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As I said I don't see a good reason to discuss these stats anymore. Anymore and its petty bickering on something I have zero interest in and is off topic. I also said If you're really that interested in stats and the meaning and perception of words then you can do it in PM. I will respond to all such questions in PM. That's just so nobody gets the idea that I'm not willing to back up what I say.

There is too much to do here since you keep getting what I said wrong. E.g.
.. and you pretend to honestly expect that I should recognize that "almost everyone in the world" means "at least 50%". Sure.
I never said that "almost everyone" meant "more than 50%" any place. As I explained above "Almost everyone" to me would be something like 95%. When I said that the first time that is what my impression of the statistics are or were. I was going by my recollections of my religious courses. I guess I was off by about 20% and I explained that to you.

Too be honest, your comments are getting very sarcastic for no good reason and I'm not about to continue when you're in that mode.
 
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  • #31
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Prometheus said:
I thought that once you know the precise grammatical form that you would jump on the opportunity to make use of it.
Except that you got it wrong
 
  • #32
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pmb_phy said:
Except that you got it wrong
Your statement is as incredibly enlightening and precise as we have come to expect from you.
 
  • #33
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Prometheus said:
I am sorry. I was just trying to be helpful....
I thought that once you know the precise grammatical form that you would jump on the opportunity to make use of it.
I've chosen to go to a philosophy forum to discuss philosophy, not grammar etc.

Otherwise this is similar to going to a party at a friends house and having a conversation with someone and having someone your speeking to correct your grammar. If its not asked for then it is rarely welcome. That's why the Physics FAQ nettiquette section recommends not to do this.
 
  • #34
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Prometheus said:
Your statement is as incredibly enlightening and precise as we have come to expect from you.
You've gotten pretty sarcastic so I've lost interest in discussing anything with you. Especially off topic comments. Had I explained you'd probably start getting into a debate about grammar.

However - In English we haven't got a gender-neutral singular pronoun. When someone doesn't want to say "he" or "she" they will often substitute "they", even though it's a plural. This is so common and well-understood, and the alternatives are so awkward, that it doesn't seem reasonable to call it "wrong".

I suspect that comments like this will launch you into some sort of correction mode on grammar. Have fun.
 
  • #35
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pmb_phy said:
I think its pretty obvious that atheists are not considered to be dishonest as a group so that seems to say something to this end.
As an atheist, I wish I could agree with that. The thing is, though, that atheists don't necessarily have anything at all in common, much less a similar moral outlook.

I do think that you gave fair enough reasons for why someone would be honest without religion. Social contract and individual respect seem capable of keeping someone honest most of the time.

I don't think the original quesiton was well asked, but at the same time I think it's been answered.
 
  • #36
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pmb_phy said:
This is so common and well-understood, and the alternatives are so awkward, that it doesn't seem reasonable to call it "wrong".
That is fine. I don't mind. You seemed like such a stickler for precision that I didn't think that you would approve of such sloppy grammar, but I guess that I was wrong. Feel free to keep your grammar at the level it is now.
 
  • #37
jammieg
Is doing the moral thing also doing the reasonable thing?
I also wonder what would happen if people stopped following religious beliefs...could be a lot worse off...but then choosing to do the right thing by reasoning it out for oneself instead of feeling compelled or indoctinated could be better.
 
  • #38
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Prometheus said:
That is fine. I don't mind. You seemed like such a stickler for precision that I didn't think that you would approve of such sloppy grammar, but I guess that I was wrong. Feel free to keep your grammar at the level it is now.
You're confusing logic and the precision in the meaning of terminology and words with the precision in grammar. Not to mention that fact that I didn't make any grammatical errors as you claim. This is a forum on philosophy and not a forum on grammar hence I don't want to get into debate about your bogus corrections to what is considered perfectly normal English. Since you're in a completlely sarcastic mode there is little reason for me to expect you to come out of it at this point. You've been quite insulting for little reason except that you don't seem to like to be disagreed with.

Feel free to remain illogical.

Locrian said:
As an atheist, I wish I could agree with that. The thing is, though, that atheists don't necessarily have anything at all in common, much less a similar moral outlook.
That is no inconsistent with what I said. I said that "atheists are not considered to be dishonest as a group." That literally means that just because you're an aetheist it doesn't mean that your dishonest.
I do think that you gave fair enough reasons for why someone would be honest without religion.
I never implied that was the case. REligion motivates a person to be honest. It does not gaurentee it nor does it imply that the lack of it means a person is dishonest. E.g. take a group of 1 million dishonest people who have had no exposure to religion. Not expose them. The number of people who accept religion would likely be more than zero. For the sake of arguement say its 100,000, i.e. 10%. Then within that 10% who accept it there might be 10% who are now motivated to be more honest. Therefore religion increases the likelyhood of being honest.
Social contract and individual respect seem capable of keeping someone honest most of the time.
That was what I was hinting at in my first post.
jammieg said:
Is doing the moral thing also doing the reasonable thing?
Please clarify, i..e please give an illustrative example of where the moral thing is not reasonable?
I also wonder what would happen if people stopped following religious beliefs...
Prisoners will sometimes "get religion." What do you think would be different if none of them became religious?
...but then choosing to do the right thing by reasoning it out for oneself instead of feeling compelled or indoctinated could be better.
Not all people are capable of that kind of reasoning to a large extent. But things like the Bible can provide that kind of guidance.

There are things that nature does not require but that some religions do. E.g. monogamy. How do you think one can reason their way to monogamy?

Pete
 
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  • #39
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pmb_phy said:
You're confusing logic and the precision in the meaning of terminology and words with the precision in grammar. Not to mention that fact that I didn't make any grammatical errors as you claim.
Not to mention it, but you are confusing logic. You did in fact mention it, didn't you?

This is a forum on philosophy and not a forum on grammar hence I don't want to get into debate about your bogus corrections to what is considered perfectly normal English.
The fact that you yourself consider something normal English is very meaningful, at least to you. Hey, I don't care about the quality of your grammar. I was just offering my help. If you want to stick with this "perfectly normal English" bull, feel free.

Feel free to remain illogical.
I try to help you with your English grammar, since you care so much about precision. You prefer to stick to what your peer group considers perfectly normal grammar. Hey, I don't care, go right ahead. However, it is extremely illogical for you to call me illogical because you consider your grammar to be "perfectly normal". I challenge you to identify one case where any native English speaker ever claimed that his grammar was less than perfectly normal. What does logic have to do with this? You are just throwing big words out, ignoring their meaning. Good for you.
 
  • #40
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don't statistics rely on people being registered officially? if so what about those people born in 'third world' countries that don't even realise there is such a thing as population poll!
 
  • #41
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Matter said:
don't statistics rely on people being registered officially?
No. A census does. Not all stats are based on a census
 

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