[quote="RebeccaJ, post:70, topic:433896"]
Hey Russell_SA, to be transparent here, I think you should know I converted to Catholicism from atheism. :D I was a humanist and also had nihilist tendencies.
Humanism, is based on ever-changing subjective ideas of what constitute the well-being of humanity. I understand the attraction, that is, that humanity and working toward well-being is a giant scientific experiment, with faith and hope that one day humans will get it right.
Let's just say, I lost faith and hope in humanity and the grand humanist experiment. I still view it as people of good will working towards, generally, good.
Where Catholicism differs is defining what is good.
Human life is good.
Even when suffering is a major component, life itself is still intrinsically, good.
Is it for the general good of humanity to prevent suffering by preventing life? Such as, is the answer to poverty, hunger and the suffering that comes with it, the removal of human life from the equation? No human life, no suffering. Problem solved?
The removal of human life, as a solution to human suffering, is a really, amazingly, terrifying view to take of humanity.
To your analogy of poison, as I said in my first post in your thread here, it is in practice, where the subjectiveness fails. A) Poisoning a human in one circumstance is murder, in another it is mercy.
Or, B) the circumstance doesn't change the nature of the act of poisoning someone (or oneself). It is still the desire to take a life put into practice.
Option A is subjective, based on circumstance. Option B is objective, based on the act.
In reverse order:
I was referencing nutrition for the betterment of humanity. So yes poison is objectively bad in the subjective point of reference of Nutrition. Once you subjectively pick your point of reference you can have objectively bad ideas. Another analogy: Chess - there are numerous good moves, even some that seem terrible, like losing your queen. But it is objectively bad to deliberately place your king into a checkmate position.
When you address my point of "Poison", you seem to point to the betterment of humanity as a reference point while I was using nutrition. So yes that has a wider application of how to determine if poisoning people is subjectively bad. I would argue that poisoning a group of people over limited resources to ease the burden is objectively bad because your group could be targeted next.
But how does appealing to a reference point of a deity clear up this argument. It's just an appeal to the biggest bully in the room that makes the rules. We are the ones directly affected by the application of the conclusion of these arguments.
Yes we have problems with over population in the world as well as many other issues that are part of the psyche of the human condition. We are tribal orientated and guard access to women too much and many other ridiculous qualities that sustained us through the savanna of the past. The empowerment of women, education, and proper use of birth control seems a better option than these constant wars over limited resources and the frailness of the male ego. Just because someone comes up with a quick solution does not make it correct in any since.
"life is intrinsically good" - this appears to be the argument for "life is preferable to death" but not in all circumstances. Once there is a line crossed where someone believes they can not go back to a life they want to continue, then death is preferred. Where that line is may be different for each of us, but we can find lots of overlap and very little extreme examples.
"where one day we will get it right" - well by every measure of the human condition, we are improving. What is the point where you think that would be reached? It's like asking when is good, good enough? Looking for perfection is a ridiculous standard to attempt to reach.
People always have the ability to be good because each new generation is a blank slate for who they are to become. I believe the idea we mostly hate about bad people is that our society created the conditions that nurtured that person to grow into that terrible person. We are responsible for the world that person was brought into and its still producing people like that. They still need to be held accountable but we hate it when people attempt to turn the light on us or our favorite groups and point out where we are fostering that environment.