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  • Originally posted by seer View Post
    Isn't that kind of the point. How far away is the moon? 238,900 miles? Or 384,400 kilometers? How we measure distance is arbitrary, and tokens we use are subjective. Distance is real, but defined subjectively. Morality is real but also defined subjectively.
    I agree with all of that.

    Hence why I say that like distance, morality is objectively real, and like distance, the way an individual might want to measure it at a particularly time can reasonably be quite variable within limits.

    Three people's answers to how far away something is might be "500 miles as the bird flies", "1000 km by road", "a day or two to drive", and all three answers might objectively speaking be correct, truthful and accurate in the sense they are reasonable approximations and correspond to something real that a 3rd party could check.

    Distance exists. Distance is objectively a real thing. How we talk about it though can be pretty subjective. Same with morality.

    But God sure doesn't need to intervene to give us a measure of distance in order for us to use it.

    We sure don't start dozens threads whining that human distance is subjective and therefore to have objective distance we need God.

    We don't say that because every human culture in history defined distance differently that therefore we need God to exist and need him to be the external distance-giver outside of humanity.

    So why do you do that for morality?

    Comment


    • Great Metaphor!

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Starlight View Post
        I agree with all of that.

        Hence why I say that like distance, morality is objectively real, and like distance, the way an individual might want to measure it at a particularly time can reasonably be quite variable within limits.

        Three people's answers to how far away something is might be "500 miles as the bird flies", "1000 km by road", "a day or two to drive", and all three answers might objectively speaking be correct, truthful and accurate in the sense they are reasonable approximations and correspond to something real that a 3rd party could check.

        Distance exists. Distance is objectively a real thing. How we talk about it though can be pretty subjective. Same with morality.

        But God sure doesn't need to intervene to give us a measure of distance in order for us to use it.

        We sure don't start dozens threads whining that human distance is subjective and therefore to have objective distance we need God.

        We don't say that because every human culture in history defined distance differently that therefore we need God to exist and need him to be the external distance-giver outside of humanity.

        So why do you do that for morality?
        It doesn't follow Star. Distance between the moon and the earth would exist even if there were no minds to assign values to that distance. How do moral truths exist without minds?
        Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

        Comment


        • It would require, at the very least, that this random universe begat what is called an "emergent property". I cannot articulate this idea very well, but for instance, the Mind would be an "emergent property" of the physical brain. That is usually the goto example used when philosophers discuss emergent properties. It's like when things get so complex and so symmetrical, an entirely different property emerges... a synthesized Whole that is greater than the sums of it's parts. The human brain is a quite complex thing. But where is the Mind? In the Brain? Where? No one knows.

          It is said to be an "emergent property" of the universe. The Mind, "emerges" from the brain. (although there is a debate amongst some philosophers that there is no evidence that the Mind originates in the brain...but whatever).

          I would say that there needs to be at least some kind of self existent consciousness in some form...whether it's folded up inside this complex universe, kinda like holographically, or it's a God of some sort. And this God is the ultimate eternal consciousness, and therefore would be the ultimate Moral source.

          It doesn't have to be the Christian God. That is a different debate altogether.


          Comment


          • Originally posted by Stoic View Post

            Okay, so you think there needs to be a God in order for legal obligations to exist.
            It all comes back to moral obligation, specifically, what moral obligation does one have to obey the law? If I can figure out how to break the law and avoid the negative consequences, as many have done throughout human history, then why shouldn't I? After all, laws are just arbitrary rules put in place by men.
            Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
            But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
            Than a fool in the eyes of God


            From "Fools Gold" by Petra

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

              No, it is not innate. Children need to be taught to share, to tell the truth, to cooperate with others, etc.
              It’s an innate instinct that a social species such as ours lives in community and teaches our young the social rules of their community in order to ensure its social cohesion.

              But even if you want to reject this premise, we can all think of times in our lives when our first inclination is to put our own interests ahead of others. The question is, what obligation do we have to reject that inclination?
              The obligation is determined by the punishments or rewards of the culture in which we live. This amounts to removal from society in some instances or the bestowing of honors in others.
              “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Tassman View Post

                It’s an innate instinct that a social species such as ours lives in community and teaches our young the social rules of their community in order to ensure its social cohesion.


                The obligation is determined by the punishments or rewards of the culture in which we live. This amounts to removal from society in some instances or the bestowing of honors in others.
                And yet children still need to be taught to share, to tell the truth, to cooperate with others, etc.

                As for punishments and rewards, that does not entail an obligation. Suppose you are threatened by a mugger to hand over your wallet or he will beat you up. Does it follow that you are morally obligated to hand over your wallet?
                Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                Than a fool in the eyes of God


                From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                  It all comes back to moral obligation, specifically, what moral obligation does one have to obey the law?
                  You are jumping about a lot. Law codes are a much later human development. In early human groups it may be postulated that behaviours which threatened the survival of that group would have been deemed undesirable. A possible rejection by the group might have led to certain death.

                  Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                  If I can figure out how to break the law and avoid the negative consequences, as many have done throughout human history, then why shouldn't I?
                  Are all laws just?

                  Should American slaves not have tried to escape?
                  Should women not have broken laws in their campaign for the right to vote?
                  Should workers not have broken laws in their wish to form a union?
                  Should Rosa Parks have given up her seat?
                  "It ain't necessarily so
                  The things that you're liable
                  To read in the Bible
                  It ain't necessarily so
                  ."

                  Sportin' Life
                  Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                    You are jumping about a lot.
                    Actually, I'm not. I've been focusing on the source of moral obligation, which is the center point of this discussion.

                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    Are all laws just?

                    Should American slaves not have tried to escape?
                    Should women not have broken laws in their campaign for the right to vote?
                    Should workers not have broken laws in their wish to form a union?
                    Should Rosa Parks have given up her seat?
                    Thank you for making my point that "laws are just arbitrary rules put in place by men." It would seems that your contention, then, is that we are morally obligated to follow some laws, but not others. What basis do you use to determine which is which?
                    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                    Than a fool in the eyes of God


                    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                      And yet children still need to be taught to share, to tell the truth, to cooperate with others, etc.
                      Yes, our young need to be instructed in the rules and customs of a given society so that they will be socialized according to its specific community standards. What is NOT in question is that as social animals they are instinctively accepted as an intrinsic part of the community into which they were born.

                      As for punishments and rewards, that does not entail an obligation. Suppose you are threatened by a mugger to hand over your wallet or he will beat you up. Does it follow that you are morally obligated to hand over your wallet?
                      “Rewards and punishments” do entail an obligation. Namely, the obligation to behave appropriately according to the accepted rules of a given society. If one does so then one is rewarded by being honored and accepted. If one does not, that person is removed from society via social censure or incarceration or execution for being antisocial.



                      “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                        Thank you for making my point that "laws are just arbitrary rules put in place by men." It would seems that your contention, then, is that we are morally obligated to follow some laws, but not others. What basis do you use to determine which is which?
                        And yet the “men” who enforced these "arbitrary rules" were self-proclaimed Christians, who cited scripture to justify their “man-made” rules – as men have done throughout Christian history by reading the biblical text through the lens of their own culture.






                        “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                          If I can figure out how to break the law and avoid the negative consequences, as many have done throughout human history, then why shouldn't I?
                          It's kindof worrying when theists get obsessed with this topic because of the negative things it indicates about their character.

                          If you were a loving, kind, Christ-like person, who valued everyone, and manifested the fruits of the spirit in your internal character, you wouldn't need any external threats of punishment to keep you on the straight and narrow. You would want to take actions that were kind, loving, generous and benevolent, not because of any threatened punishment or promised rewards, but because of who you were, because of your generous and kind and benevolent nature and character. You would have strong 'intrinsic motivation', as psychologists term it, to be kind and loving to others.

                          But your deep and repeated concern in this thread and forum about the importance of there being an external motivation for kind and benevolent and generous behavior (or 'extrinsic motivation' to use the psychologists term) - e.g. God's existence and the promise of rewards / judgement, and your strong belief that lacking an external motivation for good behavior that the logical and rational course would be to engage in as much selfish and harmful-to-others behavior as you could get away with, seems indicative that your internal character is not at all aligned toward benevolence and kindness and Christ-like values, and seem to suggest that currently your character is that of an extremely selfish person who places no value on others and that you only do any good at all out of the external promise of reward, not because your character is such that you value others and you value doing good to them for the sake of doing good to them.

                          That's worrying for a number of reasons, but I'd note that Christianity is supposed to have generated a Christ-like character within you. Your lack of it is one of many reasons I don't consider you a real Christian.

                          Those of us who actually do value others, have an intrinsic motivation to be kind and loving to them - we do it because we want to do it. Being kind to others is its own reward in the sense that we enjoy it in the same way we might enjoy reading a book or playing a computer game.

                          Your question of what if there was no extrinsic motivation for acting well toward others, is irrelevant to those of us who act well toward others out of intrinsic motivation. A general finding in psychology has been that intrinsic motivations are almost always better than extrinsic motivations at getting things done, e.g. in the workplace, in relationships, in people's day to day lives. A person who wants to do something is generally more likely to do it, that a person who doesn't want to but is pressured to do so by a reward/punishment. (e.g. A person who loves their job will do it better than a person who grudgingly does it for the money.)

                          But if you're saying that you yourself would act terribly towards others if you had no outside pressure on you to act well, and furthermore that you can't even comprehend why people would act well without such external pressure... well that indicates that not only is your inner character such that its in no way motivating you to be nice and kind to others, but that it's so far from that that you can't even imagine a situation in which it was the case that it motivated you to be kind and loving. Perhaps this is why I am so constantly horrified by the immoral inner character of the "Christians" on this site and their complete lack of anything resembling Christ-likeness.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                            Actually, I'm not. I've been focusing on the source of moral obligation, which is the center point of this discussion.


                            Thank you for making my point that "laws are just arbitrary rules put in place by men." It would seems that your contention, then, is that we are morally obligated to follow some laws, but not others. What basis do you use to determine which is which?
                            We are not necessarily "morally obligated" to follow any law because morality is premised on the cultural and social attitudes of a specific society. You may not feel "morally obligated" to follow the laws in Saudi Arabia against having or consuming alcohol. However, if the Saudi authorities find you in possession of alcohol you will be subject to that society’s due penalty for breaking those laws.

                            You [I think] are considering general prohibitions against far more serious behaviours e.g. murder, rape, torture, theft. Those prohibitions are in place because they help maintain the stability of the social group. However, these prohibitions may not always be extended to AN Other social group[s] particularly in times of war and/or conquest. This is clearly demonstrated in those primitive parts of the OT where it was divinely sanctioned to, on occasion, practise herem.

                            In all human societies if certain social codes of behaviour and/or taboos are broken then that specific society will often exact some form of punishment or express social embarrassment or even outrage.

                            "It ain't necessarily so
                            The things that you're liable
                            To read in the Bible
                            It ain't necessarily so
                            ."

                            Sportin' Life
                            Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Tassman View Post
                              Yes, our young need to be instructed in the rules and customs of a given society so that they will be socialized according to its specific community standards.
                              In other words, it's not innate.

                              Originally posted by Tassman View Post
                              “Rewards and punishments” do entail an obligation.
                              So you are morally obligated to hand over your wallet when a mugger waves his fist under your nose?

                              Yeah, I know, you said "the obligation to behave appropriately according to the accepted rules of a given society", but which society, and which rules? And what, exactly, morally obligates to that society instead of simply deciding for yourself what is right and wrong?
                              Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                              But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                              Than a fool in the eyes of God


                              From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Tassman View Post

                                And yet the “men” who enforced these "arbitrary rules" were self-proclaimed Christians, who cited scripture to justify their “man-made” rules – as men have done throughout Christian history by reading the biblical text through the lens of their own culture.
                                Oh, please, not that canard again.

                                I assume you're referring to slavery, and while some men did use a distortion of scripture to justify the practice, many others interpreted the Bible correctly and fought to abolish it.
                                Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                                But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                                Than a fool in the eyes of God


                                From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                                Comment

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