Ye Olde Grandpa John's
In these types of discussions religious faith plays a large role on one side of the argumentation. The detractors try to discount these arguments as superstitious and ignorant rantings of rubes. I want to know the foundations of the non-Christian 'rationalist' that inform his belief that there is any real value to human life at all and why it is wrong or immoral to murder another.
JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe gives it a stab:
"Why is murder wrong absent god? Human well-being, in this life, increases in a world without murder. It's a bit of instinct, a bit of game theory. It's economics and physics and math. It's feelings and thoughts that come from our brains that maybe we don't quite understand entirely yet. It is the same things that led the inventors of all of the world's religions to place such tenets into their mythologies."
To which I responded:
"Instinct is debatable, game theory, math, and physics make your sentence longer, and feelings/thoughts must be of the warm and fuzzy variety to add credence to your assertion. Not all are warm and fuzzy.
Naked economics (not the warm and fuzzy kind) more than likely would support murder. The aged, infirm or injured, contrary or criminal, and otherwise weaker members of our society are heavy economic drains on human society. Evolutionary nature culls them, both to strengthen the present herd and to insure future generations are only possessing the superior genes.
Hobbling the advance of human society by heavily draining finances, technology, manpower and skills, and valuable time decreases the well-being of others.
That loud sucking sound you hear? It's economics swirling down the drain.
However, since man was created in the image of God, he has implanted within him these moral motions, these 'instincts' "that maybe we don't quite understand entirely yet." Since man also is of a fallen nature, he has perverted this image into one exhibiting all varieties of incongruities."
I wanted to keep this discussion going, so I moved it onto a main post. This type of discussion was rife in the early days of this blog, "The good old days."