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A Moral Argument Against God's Existence

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post
    Uh, no. If TI is false it does not necessarily follow that God sometimes allows evil for no reason. If it is not true that involuntary human suffering necessarily produces a net benefit for the sufferer then it does not follow from that that God couldn't have other reasons for allowing undeserved, involuntary suffering.
    Well, I understood benefit to mean there was some logical reason for the sufferer to suffer: either to himself, or others, or for a just cause (that he has a moral obligation to be aligned with), etc. Not simply benefit as in practicality. Otherwise, you'd be right.

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by Cornelius View Post
      Well, I understood benefit to mean there was some logical reason for the sufferer to suffer: either to himself, or others, or for a just cause (that he has a moral obligation to be aligned with), etc. Not simply benefit as in practicality. Otherwise, you'd be right.
      Except the wording of the TI clause pretty much invalidates such an understanding:

      Necessarily, God permits undeserved, involuntary human suffering only if such suffering ultimately produces a net benefit for the sufferer.


      I.e, it does not matter according to TI whether undeserved, involuntary human suffering produces a net benefit for anyone else, what's important is that it does so for the one suffering.

      I would argue that TI is flawed to the core. I do not think that God has any obligation what so ever to prevent the suffering of any human being, who ever they might be.
      ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post
        Except the wording of the TI clause pretty much invalidates such an understanding:

        Necessarily, God permits undeserved, involuntary human suffering only if such suffering ultimately produces a net benefit for the sufferer.


        I.e, it does not matter according to TI whether undeserved, involuntary human suffering produces a net benefit for anyone else, what's important is that it does so for the one suffering.

        I would argue that TI is flawed to the core. I do not think that God has any obligation what so ever to prevent the suffering of any human being, who ever they might be.
        It is true that God doesn't have any obligation to prevent the suffering of anyone, but only if he wasn't benevolent. Moreover, the definition you cited does invalidate my understanding, except that the author clarified in Post#5 that the argument isn't as strict as a hyper-literal reading of the wording would suggest and that a third (and others perhaps) option is available:

        False, since the argument allows for a third option where the suffering is a net benefit for the suffering and benefits other's.

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by seer View Post
          OK, how about you Jichard, in your godless universe, tell us why we have moral obligations?
          The general analysis: we have moral obligations because there are moral reasons for actions, developing certain character traits, and so on. That's the standard analysis: obligations arise from reasons. And moral reasons are constituted by the properties/features discussed in welfare utilitarianism (ex: effects of well-being) and virtue ethics (ex: character traits like compassion).


          By the way: saying we have moral obligations because God says so is a form of moral subjectivism.
          "Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they [denialists] employ and identifying them publicly for what they are."

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by Cornelius View Post
            This is a pretty interesting argument, here's my opinion:

            I feel that #3 assumes that sometimes an individual's response to unjust harm (basically evil) isn't connected to God's command/wish. In other words, it sort of tries to suppose that God sometimes does not want the individual to prevent the undeserved punishment, basically evoking the Euthyphro dilemma. However, whether directly (a command, Biblical verse, etc) or indirectly (conscience, etc), God always commands this.
            But even if God always commands that one do that, that wouldn't mean that one's obligation to do that derives entirely from God's commands. This would just be a specific instance of the general idea that even if X occurs for every instance of Y, that wouldn't mean Y is derived from X. For example, take this case:
            X : an omniscient person thinks dogs exists at this moment
            Y : a dog exists at this moment

            Suppose that an omniscient person necessarily exists and does so eternally. This implies that X occurs for every instance of Y, given what "omniscient" means. But that doesn't mean that Y (or the truth of Y) is derived from what the omniscient person thinks. Instead, Y is true because of some facts regarding the existence of a certain type of mammal. This type of example shows that one can deny that Y is derived from X without denying that X occurs for every instance of Y.

            Now, let's apply that to this scenario:
            X : God commands the individual to prevent the undeserved punishment
            Y : the person has a moral obligation to prevent the undeserved punishment

            Same point applies: one can deny that Y is derived from X without denying that X occurs for every instance of Y. Which means that one can deny that one's moral obligation to prevent the undeserved punishment is derived from God's commands without denying that God commands the individual to prevent the undeserved punishment, for every instance in the individual has a moral obligation to prevent the undeserved punishment. So I disagree with your claim that the premise involves thinking that God would not command the person prevent the undeserved punishment.

            This is illustrated a bit better by the fact that #3's wording seems to suggest that "sometimes" a person has a moral obligation to prevent suffering, whereas by definition we always have a moral obligation. By separating the person's moral obligation from God's command, you create this problem (or suggest that theism creates it), but one has to recognize that the person's moral obligation and God's command are always the same (again Euthyphro dilemma).
            I think I addressed this above. To put it another way: just because one defines God such that God's commands line up with ordinary moral obligations, doesn't mean ordinary moral obligations derive from God's commands.

            Furthermore, the price for rejecting 3, is rejecting ordinary morality, as Maitzen notes:
            "In any case, however, Jordan is correct that ordinary morality sometimes expects us to prevent undeserved, involuntary human suffering and not simply because we’re commanded to do so. The very basic commitments of what I’m calling “ordinary morality” are shared by theistic and
            non-theistic cultures alike. Ordinary morality doesn’t presuppose the existence of divine commands because it doesn’t presuppose the existence of God (114)."

            To reach the point another way: saying one's moral obligations derive solely from God's commands reduces moral obligations down to following orders. And that's not how moral obligations are treated on ordinary morality.

            Therefore #4 does not follow.
            I think 4 follows from 2 and 3, given my response to your objection to 3.

            I feel like it plays with the concept of command a bit vaguely. Let me know where I made a mistake. Also, interesting stuff, do you have any more?
            I'm not sure what you would like more of. More moral arguments against God's existence? More arguments from Maitzen related to this? If there's something more I can provide, then pleas let me know.

            I found a similar situation with Geoffrey Boyd's, The Six Ways of Atheism, though I barely had time to glance at more than a few pages.

            Additional comment: I have an interesting observation: If true, #5 doesn't even really need much of a follow up to disprove the existence of God, at least a wholly benevolent (and thus holy) one. If #5 is true then, the only way God could exist is if TI is false. If TI is false, then God sometimes allows evil for no reason.
            I suspect someone could object to that by claiming that even if TI is false, then God can have some other reason for allowing the undeserved, involuntary suffering. So they'd object to your statement "If TI is false, then God sometimes allows evil for no reason". I don't think that reply works, though.
            "Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they [denialists] employ and identifying them publicly for what they are."

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by Jichard View Post
              The general analysis: we have moral obligations because there are moral reasons for actions, developing certain character traits, and so on. That's the standard analysis: obligations arise from reasons. And moral reasons are constituted by the properties/features discussed in welfare utilitarianism (ex: effects of well-being) and virtue ethics (ex: character traits like compassion).
              That is just silly. It does not follow that because we have moral reasons for acting that we have moral obligations. I mean if I have morally evil reasons for acting does that mean that I am obligated to act badly? And if men don't follow these moral obligations, as they often don't - what happens?


              By the way: saying we have moral obligations because God says so is a form of moral subjectivism.
              Please expound.
              Last edited by seer; 04-22-2015, 07:48 AM.
              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


              • #67
                Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                The philosopher Stephen Maitzen has recently argued that the existence of ordinary moral obligations argues against the existence of God:

                Maitzen presents and defends the the following premises from the argument (my account of these premises comes from paper 2, with the brackets {} around the page number where the premise appears):

                (TI or theodical individualism) Necessarily, God permits undeserved, involuntary human suffering only if such suffering ultimately produces a net benefit for the sufferer.
                {108}

                1) If God exists and TI is true, then, necessarily, all undeserved, involuntary human suffering ultimately produces a net benefit for the sufferer.
                {111}

                2) If, necessarily, all undeserved, involuntary human suffering ultimately produces a net benefit for the sufferer, then (a) we never have a moral obligation to prevent undeserved, involuntary human suffering or (b) our moral obligation to prevent undeserved, involuntary human suffering derives entirely from God’s commands. {111}

                (3) We sometimes have a moral obligation to prevent undeserved, involuntary human suffering, an obligation that does not derive entirely from God’s commands.
                {114}

                (4) So: It isn’t the case that, necessarily, all undeserved, involuntary human suffering ultimately produces a net benefit for the sufferer. [From (2), (3)]
                {114}

                (5) So: God does not exist or TI is false. [From (1), (4)]
                {115}

                (6) If not even God may treat human beings merely as means, then TI is true.
                {116}

                (7) Not even God may treat human beings merely as means.
                {117}

                (8) So: TI is true. [From (6), (7)]
                {117}

                (9) So: God does not exist. [From (5), (8)]
                {117}


                I think the argument is sound. Any other views?
                I believe the argument is sound for the Christian view of God, but I do not believe it is sound for all views of God, particularly the Baha'i view of an apophatic God where physical suffering is not considered in the same way as Traditional Christianity
                Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                go with the flow the river knows . . .

                Frank

                I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                  I believe the argument is sound for the Christian view of God, but I do not believe it is sound for all views of God, particularly the Baha'i view of an apophatic God where physical suffering is not considered in the same way as Traditional Christianity
                  So Shuny, how does the Baha'i faith view, let's say, the Holocaust?
                  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


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post
                    Address what? Me shrugging it of as unimportant is me addressing it.
                    So you didn't address it.

                    Instead of name-dropping, how about you provide some instances of these moral obligations that are in virtue of things that aren't God.
                    No, mentioning names works quite fine here. You said:
                    "On any plausible worldview that involves theism, God is the source of all moral obligations. On any theistic worldview worth it's salt there are no moral obligations over and above God Himself."
                    And I can show that's false by naming theists (and hence people with a theistic worldview) who don't think that God is source of all moral obligations. That's what I did. It'd be the same if you claimed that any naturalistic worldview has to deny that mental states exist. I could rebut that by simply naming naturalists (and hence people with a naturalistic worldview) on who's worldview mental states exist.

                    If we grant for the sake of the argument that God is not described in the OT as the source of all moral obligations, it does not necessarily follow that therefore the OT holds the position that God is not the source of all moral obligations.
                    What I wrote was:
                    "Third, on a plausible reading of the Jewish Old Testament, God is not the source of all moral obligations. Instead, God serves as an epistemic guide for morality."

                    That's true. For example, Gericke discusses the view that the Old Testament involves moral subjectivism in the form of divine command theory:
                    "Strong arguments for the presence of DCT in the text include the giving of seemingly unnecessary commands (as to Adam and Eve or the rituals of Leviticus) and even seemingly immoral commands (e.g. the commanding of Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, of the Israelites to plunder the Egyptians, the slaughtering of the Canaanites, Hosea being told to marry a prostitute, etc. […]). In philosophical terms this would mean that the Hebrew Bible took for granted a subjectivist yet universalist form of cognitivism that one might contrast with other forms of ethical subjectivism [emphasis added] (e.g. ideal observer theory, moral relativism, and individualist ethical subjectivism), moral realism (which claims that moral propositions refer to objective facts, independent of anyone’s attitudes or opinions), [...] (306)"

                    He then argues against that, and instead for the conclusion I mentioned: on a plausible reading of the Jewish Old Testament, God is not the source of all moral obligations. Instead, God serves as an epistemic guide for morality:
                    "Yet because DCT is anachronistic in the context of the Hebrew Bible, the upside is that in the context of the moral–realist trajectories in ancient Israelite religion the Euthyphro’s Dilemma qua dilemma is in fact a pseudo-problem. For while the Hebrew Bible often implies that YHWH commanded something because it is good the deity was not made redundant, thereby as is the case with DCT when this divinity–morality relation is opted for. The reason for this is that, unlike what is assumed in Euthyphro’s Dilemma, the ancient Israelites were not optimists in their religious epistemology. Even though the moral order was believed to have existed independent of the divine, the divine will – if the deity was of the moral type – was still believed to be humanity’s only access to that order. The deity was thus assumed to function in relation to the moral order as an instructor, a mediator, a judge and an authority on right and wrong – not as its creator (308-309)."

                    God does not need to be defined as a maximally great being, but I happen to think that God is maximally great.
                    If that's just your definition of God, as opposed to how God must be defined, then your previous claims about "any plausible worldview that involves theism" hold now water. Theists who define God differently that you don't have to hold to your claims.

                    I also happen to think that unless a being is the source of every possible moral obligation, it follows that that being is not maximally great.
                    Which isn't actually the definition of maximal greatness offered by people like Plantinga, as you note.

                    IOW, being the source of all moral obligations is something I consider to be a necessary attribute of a maximally great being, regardless of what Plantinga may or may not think. If God is not the source of all moral obligations then it follows that a theoretical being that has all the attributes that God has + the attribute of being the source of all moral obligations is greater than God, which would make that being greater than God, and therefore itself God.
                    All of which shows that you can arbitrarily define a concept. That doesn't show that your concept has an existent referent, let alone that theists need to hold to your concept or that your concept's (supposed) referent is the source of all moral obligations. Otherwise, I could arbitrarily define the concept of an uber-dragon, where an uber-dragon is defined as being the source of all moral obligations. And then try to turn around and act as if anyone who believes in dragons must believe in the uber-dragon, and that my arbitrary definition shows that the uber-dragon is the source of all moral obligations.

                    Which logically means that I do not believe that there are moral obligations that are metaphysically necessary truths independent of the existence of God.
                    Then you're a moral subjectivist.

                    First of all, properties are not the same as obligations, so you're comparing apples and oranges.
                    To say that "X has a moral obligation" is to assign a property to X, just as saying "X has a particular size" is to assign a property to X.

                    The statement "God has moral obligations" is manifestly different from the statement "Jichard has the property of being human". Properties are things that are intrinsic to that beings nature, and so they cannot be greater than that being, unless you think properties exists independently of the stuff to which they're properties.
                    Your statement "they cannot be greater than that being" seems off-based. The relationship between a property and its particular is one of exemplification or instantiation, not one of being greater or lesser. You seem to be using some obscure notion of greatness, where there is some great hierarchy of greatness where properties aren't as great as their particulars. That makes no sense. Please provide a sensible, coherent definition of "greatness", if you're going to discuss greatness.

                    Also, you're wrong when you claim that "Properties are things that are intrinsic to that beings nature". First, you overlooked extrinsic properties, which aren't intrinsic. Second, the nature N of X is specified by listing the conditions necessary and sufficient for being X. However, X can have properties that are not apart of X's nature. For example, the nature of a bachelor is specified by "is an unmarried male". However, a bachelor can have additional properties that are not apart of this nature, such as being happy or loved. Properties that are not apart of a thing's nature are non-essential properties, while properties that are apart of thing's nature are essential properties. Your statement erroneously treated all properties a being essential.

                    Moral obligations on the other hands, exists outside, and independently of the entities that they bind,
                    You haven't shown any of that. In fact, it makes no sense. For example: it makes no sense to claim that Bob's moral obligation to do X existed before Bob existed.

                    and these moral obligations are authoritative to the beings to which they apply.
                    In a meta-ethical context, authority here is usually cashed out in terms of normative reasons, not because some great authority figure said something. So if moral reasons would account for why one has moral obligations.

                    In that sense they would be greater than God because they, or the source from which they derive, would be an authority over and above God. But since God is the highest possible authority, it follows that this position is nonsensical.
                    Once again, your notion of "greatness" here is nonsensical. "Authority" in a meta-ethical context is not about authority figures, or who's the greatest, or who's most powerful, or... That would be a subjectivist notion of authority, where authority is about the say-so of some powerful figure. Instead, "authority" in a meta-ethical context is about normative moral reasons. And those don't require an authority figure.

                    So, really, you're equivocating on the term "authority" between your subjectivist usage of the term, and the usage relevant to meta-ethics.

                    It is basically what I'm saying, but I deny that it is an empty tautology. "Good" should IMO be defined so that it corresponds to what the Bible tells goodness is, and what the Bible tells us is good is derived from God's nature.
                    That still simply "God is what God is", and that's a vacuous tautology. For example, if God turned out to be a vicious psychopath, then God would still be good, since God would still be what God is and you've defined "good" as being like God. Similarly so if God were an unconscious ham sandwich; your tautology would still apply.
                    "Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they [denialists] employ and identifying them publicly for what they are."

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by seer View Post
                      That is just silly. It does not follow that because we have moral reasons for acting that we have moral obligations.
                      No, on the standard analysis, moral obligations are accounted for in terms of moral reasons

                      I mean if I have morally evil reasons for acting does that mean that I am obligated to act badly?
                      Your post suggests that you are misreading what "moral reasons" means in this context. Specifically, you're conflating normative reasons with motivating reasons.

                      "Motivating reasons" are basically the motivation (or psychological explanation) for why someone did something. So, on this reading, saying I have reasons for stealing means that I have some sort of motivation for doing this, such as wanting to get money. This seems to be the use of "reasons" that you're employing when you say "morally evil reasons for acting", since you're treating reasons as explanations for action. This is not what philosopher's mean when discussing moral reasons (and other types of normative reasons).

                      Instead, philosopher's are interested in normative reasons. These are basically considerations that favor or justify something. So, on this reading, saying I have reasons for stealing means that I have some solid justification for stealing. Note that normative reasons are necessarily not the same as motivating reasons. For example, one's motivating reason can differ from a normative reason. So suppose I run a scientific experiment a certain way because I was drunk and wanted to use the experiment to make unicorns. That would be my motivating reason. But it wouldn't be a normative reason for running the experiment that way, since that is not a solid justification for running the experiment that way. Instead, the normative reason might be something like because running the experiment this way yields interpretable results that addresses an experimental question. ,

                      Now, in my discussion of moral reasons, I was discussing normative reasons, not motivating reasons. So you equivocated between those when you brought up motivating reasons. Pointing out to me that people can acting from moral evil, motivating reasons does nothing to address my point that moral obligations are accounted for in terms of normative moral reasons.

                      If you want some further introduction to the subject, see:or: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/reasons-just-vs-expl/



                      Just a general point on debate, seer: I've noticed something in years of online discussions with many apologists. These apologists often don't know the subjects they discuss very well. They only seem to learn about the subject up until the point where they think they can quote-mine something, distort it, etc. to argue against atheism or in favor of theism. This is pretty annoying for anyone who has a genuine interest in the subject.

                      And if men don't follow these moral obligations, as they often don't - what happens?
                      Red herring. Whether or not people act on their moral obligations, has no bearing on whether they have those moral obligations or in virtue of what they have those moral obligations. You might as well ask "And if men don't act in fitness-promoting ways, as they often don't - what happens?", as if that was objection to evolutionary accounts of fitness promoting behavior.

                      What I suspect you're trying to do is go on about how on my worldview, people aren't necessarily punished for not acting in a way they are morally obligated to. But I don't find that to be relevant. In fact, it's something I think a mature adult should be able to handle. Reality isn't some rosy well where the good guys win in the end and all the bad guys are punished. This isn't a Disney movie. It's especially misguided to think one has moral obligations only if one would be punished for not acting in a way one is morally obligated to. Even children know better to make that kind of argument from consequence.

                      Please expound.
                      Saying we have moral obligations because God says so is a form of divine command theory (DCT). DCT is a form of moral subjectivism. So saying we have moral obligations because God says so is a form of moral subjectivism.
                      Last edited by Jichard; 04-22-2015, 01:52 PM.
                      "Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they [denialists] employ and identifying them publicly for what they are."

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                        No, on the standard analysis, moral obligations are accounted for in terms of moral reasons
                        Whose reasoning? All this just seems to be an assertion. You still have not shown how you logically go from moral reasons to moral obligations

                        Red herring. Whether or not people act on their moral obligations, has no bearing on whether they have those moral obligations or in virtue of what they have those moral obligations. You might as well ask "And if men don't act in fitness-promoting ways, as they often don't - what happens?", as if that was objection to evolutionary accounts of fitness promoting behavior.

                        What I suspect you're trying to do is go on about how on my worldview, people aren't necessarily punished for not acting in a way they are morally obligated to. But I don't find that to be relevant. In fact, it's something I think a mature adult should be able to handle. Reality isn't some rosy well where the good guys win in the end and all the bad guys are punished. This isn't a Disney movie. It's especially misguided to think one has moral obligations only if one would be punished for not acting in a way one is morally obligated to. Even children know better.
                        It is not a red herring if moral obligations have no teeth. I mean you can assert that we have moral obligations, but what use is it?


                        Saying we have moral obligations because God says so is a form of divine command theory (DCT). DCT is a form of moral subjectivism. So saying we have moral obligations because God says so is a form of moral subjectivism.
                        If God's commands are the outward expression of His immutable moral character then how is that subjective? How would that subjective title not also apply to human ethical theories.
                        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


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by seer View Post
                          Whose reasoning?
                          Moral reasons, not reasoning. Wrong part of speech.

                          All this just seems to be an assertion. You still have not shown how you logically go from moral reasons to moral obligations
                          No, it's the standard account of moral obligations.

                          And you're just playing a game here. If I make claim X, you'll say that's an assertion. If provide Y to support X, then you'll claim that Y is an assertion. If I provide Z in support of Y, then you'll claim Z is an assertion. And so on, ad infinitum. What you're doing is just taking advantage of the problem of the regress, so you can reject (without reason) anything inconvenient for your position.

                          But I'll act as if you're actually open to arguments on this subject, even though I doubt that's the case. So here's a standard one:

                          You can play the game, now.

                          It is not a red herring if moral obligations have no teeth.
                          It's a red herring. And it's also an appeal to consequence, where you think a claims truth or falsity (in this case: truth of falsity regarding one's moral obligations) depends on positive or negative consequences.

                          I mean you can assert that we have moral obligations, but what use is it?
                          Same old tactic you tried on the other thread with regards to moral realism. You're going to get the same type of response:
                          Different positions answer different questions. So just as evolutionary theory need not be in the business of answering the question of whether or not one gets punished for not acting in fitness-promoting ways, an account of moral obligations need not be in the business of answering the question of whether or not one gets punished for not acting in ways one is morally obligated. An account of moral obligations answers a different set of meta-ethical questions. That doesn't mean such an account is uses useless, anymore than it means Cell Theory is useless."

                          If God's commands are the outward expression of His immutable moral character then how is that subjective?
                          It's subjective because it makes statements about moral obligations true or false in virtue of God's attitudes, as expressed in God's wishes.

                          Do you know what "moral subjectivism" is? If so, then tell me what it is.

                          How would that subjective title not also apply to human ethical theories.
                          Because humans can make ethical theories where statements about moral obligations are not true or false in virtue of an agent's (or agents') attitudes, just as humans can make scientific theories where statements about mammals are not true or false in virtue in virtue of an agent's (or agents') attitudes. So those would not be forms of moral objectivism.
                          "Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they [denialists] employ and identifying them publicly for what they are."

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                            Moral reasons, not reasoning. Wrong part of speech.



                            No, it's the standard account of moral obligations.

                            And you're just playing a game here. If I make claim X, you'll say that's an assertion. If provide Y to support X, then you'll claim that Y is an assertion. If I provide Z in support of Y, then you'll claim Z is an assertion. And so on, ad infinitum. What you're doing is just taking advantage of the problem of the regress, so you can reject (without reason) anything inconvenient for your position.

                            But I'll act as if you're actually open to arguments on this subject, even though I doubt that's the case. So here's a standard one:

                            You can play the game, now.
                            OK, explain the bolded. Or how this gets us to moral obligation.



                            It's a red herring. And it's also an appeal to consequence, where you think a claims truth or falsity (in this case: truth of falsity regarding one's moral obligations) depends on positive or negative consequences.
                            No it is about actual usefulness. What good is a moral theory when rejecting that theory has no meaning or consequence?


                            It's subjective because it makes statements about moral obligations true or false in virtue of God's attitudes, as expressed in God's wishes.



                            Because humans can make ethical theories where statements about moral obligations are not true or false in virtue of an agent's (or agents') attitudes, just as humans can make scientific theories where statements about mammals are not true or false in virtue in virtue of an agent's (or agents') attitudes. So those would not be forms of moral objectivism.
                            This just seems like double talk. If God has a moral opinion or moral theory it is subjective, but it is not when men do the same thing? I mean if God says X is wrong it is subjective but if man says X is wrong it isn't subjective?
                            Last edited by seer; 04-22-2015, 03:44 PM.
                            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


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by seer View Post
                              OK, explain the bolded. Or how this gets us to moral obligation.





                              No it is about actual usefulness. What good is a moral theory when rejecting that theory has no meaning or consequence?




                              This just seems like double talk. If God has a moral opinion or moral theory it is subjective, but it is not when men do the same thing? I mean if God says X is wrong it is subjective but if man says X is wrong it isn't subjective?
                              I believe his point seer, is that mans subjective idea of right and wrong is based on outside influences by which he subjectively, by reason, founds his opinion of what is right and what is wrong, Gods subjective opinion on the other hand is founded upon nothing other than Gods subjective wishes.

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                                The general analysis: we have moral obligations because there are moral reasons for actions, developing certain character traits, and so on. That's the standard analysis: obligations arise from reasons. And moral reasons are constituted by the properties/features discussed in welfare utilitarianism (ex: effects of well-being) and virtue ethics (ex: character traits like compassion).
                                Ok, so what are these reasons then? Let's say, a person wants to assassinate somebody in my country. In my country, most murderers get away with murder. The people who murdered Dana Seetahal got away. Most people agree it was an assassination i.e. somebody got paid. My question is: Was it morally wrong for the killer(s) to assassinate her? If it wasn't, why wasn't it?

                                By the way: saying we have moral obligations because God says so is a form of moral subjectivism.
                                But what if God gave us purpose for existing in our life here? And proclaimed his commands based on his purpose for us and his nature?
                                Last edited by Quantum Weirdness; 04-22-2015, 08:27 PM.
                                -The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
                                Sir James Jeans

                                -This most beautiful system (The Universe) could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.All variety of created objects which represent order and Life in the Universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the Lord God.
                                Sir Isaac Newton

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