Pandorum’s Pandora’s Box

This post has been moved to True Freethinker were it resides at this link


  1. Yep, you got it right!

    Dammit, I was hoping that we atheists would be able to hide our sociopathic and amoral desire to cannibalize the rest of humanity while we are on a futile space voyage.

    Stop publicizing these movies! They give the atheist master plan away!

    /sarcasm off

  2. And here we go again: Mariano, how's about some evidence for your side instead of using the fallacy of appeal to consequences of a belief.

    Even if that nonsense you're spouting is true, how does it show that atheism is a false belief? You may as well be arguing that the "placebo affect" means that sugar pills actually do have medicinal value.

  3. I think you fellas are reading a bit too much into Mariano's post, really you are. The movie posits human behavior without a higher authority through the actions of two characters, the "Darwinist" for lack of a better term, and the "Villain" who believes that a transcendent moral authority (in the personage of God) no longer exists.

    In the movie, the consequences of these world views are not so good...so it makes an interesting parallel with the Christian or theistic Moral Argument. Mariano is just pointing that out. He isn't twisting his moustache bellowing "Yes, yes...this is the proof that will be the Atheists undoing....mwah-ha-ha."

    On a related note, Pandorum, though derivative as all get out, is a nice atmospheric little sci-fi horror movie worth the rental, with tight performances from Ben Foster and "The Quaid". You guys should check it out.

  4. Dei-o,

    Reading too much into the post or not, Mariano's point is moot since he's arguing for something that doesn't exist anyway! Some 'ultimate authority' or source of morality. All morality is relative. Relative to the time, place, society, etc. Even religious morality is relative! If it wasn't christians wouldn't have, over the course of time, changed their minds about slavery, the status of women, etc.

    Mariano says, "Yet, the context is clearly that since the Earth is gone, humanity is gone and so there is no one left to dictate morality, no society to conjure an arbitrary social contract. Thus, he is free to express his every desire."

    No, no no! No one is left to dictate morality??? What about the remaining survivors? As long as there is more than one individual living within each others' sphere of influence there is no choice but to create rules of conduct (ie. the 'social contract'), so to say that just because there may not be enough people to make up a 'society' means nothing.

    Because morality is relative, each society or group of individuals must come to terms with the fact that they, and they alone, determine what they consider 'moral' behavior. Besides, the simple fact is that theists have no 'higher' standard of morality than the rest of humanity. What if some god was the ultimate authority of morality? It doesn't change anything because either whatever god says goes, or there is a source of morality above god and 'he' just hands these laws down to us. The famed Euthyphro dilemma. Either way, a god isn't needed for morality because, for example, in a theistic universe murder is relative. Relative to what god commands, and who in the world would possibly claim that murder was a 'moral' thing to do? The issue of morality is a complex issue and I don't feel the need to go any further, but the simple fact is that even a theists' morality is relative and a god doesn't change that fact. In fact, it even adds some problems, such as the one I proposed above about murder.

  5. ArizonaAtheist,

    As a moral relativist, of course you would disagree with that argument...a moral objectivist, not so much. Moral relativism is a can of worms I have no time to open at this point in time, and one which I think has been tackled successfully by others, so let me just say we shall agree to disagree...in other words, I appreciate the "world" of the postmodern intellectual exercise that is relativistic morality, but 'tis a world I imagine many wouldn't want to live in it.

    In regards to the Euthyphro dilemma, this has been dealt with by many theistic philosophers, one of my recent favorites being William Lane Craig's take on the supposed dilemma, in which the dilemma itself is eradicated. It's compelling stuff.

    All the best to you.

  6. Sounds like the movie writers didn't really think outside the box.

    Also sounds like the movie highlights what atheistic relative morality is all about: survival of the fittest and if that means killing and eating your own kind, so be it.

    Yet, in CS Lewis book the Abolition of Man he documents how every society seems to have the same moral laws. How did that happen?

    Also, theistic morality is not relative. Murder is always murder. War is always war. Killing is always killing. Each of those have a different context.

    Atheistic morality is always schizophrenic and contradictory.

  7. Thanks for the replies, Dei-O and Jared.

    Where might I find Craig's argument? I'm interested in reading it, though I doubt it solves anything. I'll try to find it online later. And of course theistic morality is relative. It is relative to what god commands, and what he/she/it considers moral. And I disagree with the argument because there is no ultimate basis for morality and that is, sorry to break it to you, a fact. If it wasn't even christians would have the same beliefs regarding morality as they have throughout history, but that's clearly not true. Their beliefs have changed, therefore they are relative to the time and place in which christianity is practiced. I'm not even going to comment on that last silly and incorrect comment by Jared.

  8. IRT Arizona Atheist...

    After wrapping up an exhausting discourse with Reynold a few days ago in another thread, I'm hesitant to delve into morality because honestly, there is nothing I can argue that has not been argued by someone else. Let me say though, I appreciate your enthusiasm.

    Your claims of theistic morality being relative is just a return to the Euthyphro dilemma, which has -- again -- been tackled by others. I will however comment on something that always gives me a good chuckle, which is when one states opinion as fact.

    You write...

    "There is no ultimate basis for morality and that is, sorry to break it to you, a fact."

    Really? A fact? Can you prove this as factual?

    I do agree with you on one point, with only a slight distinction, but it is an important one. Morality has changed throughout history, but are these new morals invented or are they discovered?

    I believe (as you do) that relative morals exist. However, I also believe that objective morals exist. It is not a take it or leave it proposition. So, if even ONE objective moral exists, it is enough basis for the Moral Argument to be a viable one.

    In related news, you can find Craig's take on Euthyphro here:


    All the best.

  9. Hi Dei-O,

    Thanks for the link. I had found that same page earlier and I am not in the slightest impressed by Craig's argument. He simply claims that god's nature is essentially good, period. And how does he know this??? Just proclaiming something as fact, as you said, when it's just opinion is absurd. That's just what Craig has done in stating god's nature as being good. However, what I have said about relative morality is a fact and can be backed up with facts. It is a fact that morality is different depending on the place, culture, religion, and time. Those are facts. Therefore, morality is relative.

    Thanks for the short discussion, though.

  10. IRT Arizona Atheist...

    Craig's argument is not what I would consider impressive, but it is elegant in its simplicity and effective in ridding the "dilemma" from the dilemma. There are many ways Craig could justify the knowledge that "God is good", and he has gone into those sorts of justifications in detail when dealing with other questions regarding the character of God.

    I still vehemently disagree with your supposedly factual claim that all morality is relative. The subject is not nearly as clear cut as you would seem to like it to be. I for one believe that both relative and objective morals exist. But again, we shall agree to disagree and I respect your opinion, though I do not support it.

    Thank you as well for the short discussion. I've recently been getting into far too many extended online discourses for my schedule to allow.

    Be seeing you.