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A Moral Argument Against God's Existence

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  • Originally posted by Jichard View Post
    This was already addressed repeatedly. For example:

    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).
    Right and as I have been saying this is a complete non sequitur. It does not follow that because there are moral reasons for actions that, that necessarily leads to obligations. It simply doesn't, and you have yet to bridge the gap. But I will give to another opportunity. Present a syllogism that deductively makes your case.

    Same old equivocation on "authority":
    When I say authority Jichard, I simply mean you expect us to accept your theory on your say so. But hey, you can redeem yourself - present your syllogism. Show us how moral obligations logically follow from moral reasons.
    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


    • Originally posted by seer View Post
      Right and as I have been saying this is a complete non sequitur. It does not follow that because there are moral reasons for actions that, that necessarily leads to obligations. It simply doesn't, and you have yet to bridge the gap. But I will give to another opportunity. Present a syllogism that deductively makes your case.
      I already gave you the argument. Once again:
      "An important part of the debate about internal and external reasons has centered on ‘reactive attitudes’, or attitudes that we have towards agents in response to their behavior, of which blame is the paradigm. Some have observed in defense of Moral Rationalism, for example, that if an agent does something we consider morally wrong, then we blame (or resent) him. But blame, these philosophers claim, involves the judgment that the agent had reasons not to do what he did. Consequently blame is unwarranted when such judgments are unwarranted (Nagel 1970, Smith 1994). Therefore, since moral wrongdoing is sufficient to warrant blame, moral obligations must entail reasons (section 2.3)."

      By the way, this is trivial conceptual truth: "one is morally obligated to not do what is morally wrong". I think it says a lot that you overlooked this in your zeal to your apologetic position.

      You can stop pretending otherwise.

      When I say authority Jichard, I simply mean you expect us to accept your theory on your say so.
      Which is a misrepresentation, since I don't expect you to accept moral realism. I've already made it clear that I think you're a moral subjectivist and that you will never accept anything you think is inconvenient for you apologetic goals. Furthermore, I actually argued for the claims I made; I didn't expect people to accept them just because I said them. That's just something you made up.

      But hey, you can redeem yourself - present your syllogism. Show us how moral obligations logically follow from moral reasons.
      Arguments don't need to be formalized as deductive syllogisms, seer. Stop moving the goalposts. And even if I did formalize it, you'd just do what you've been consistently doing: reject a claim (such as a premise) out-of-hand for the sake of your apologetic goals.
      "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


      • Originally posted by Jichard View Post
        Arguments don't need to be formalized as deductive syllogisms, seer. Stop moving the goalposts. And even if I did formalize it, you'd just do what you've been consistently doing: reject a claim (such as a premise) out-of-hand for the sake of your apologetic goals.
        Didn't think so...
        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


        • Originally posted by Quantum Weirdness View Post
          Ok, so what are these reasons then?
          I stated them already:
          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).

          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?
          I would need to know the details of the situation, so that I could know what level of harm resulted from the assassination, what other available options the assassins had, and so on. In ethics, much as in science, details often matter, even if one can make help rules-of-thumb or general statements that apply in most situations one would encounter.

          For example: a general statement / rule-of-thumb that would apply here is that "assassinations are morally wrong because they harm the person being assassinated". Is that always true? No, just as the statement "if something is a four-legged, barking mammal, then it's a dog". But it is a decent place to start and begin filling in further details. For example, was the assassination the only viable way to prevent Seetahal from slaughtering numerous other people? So feel free to provide the relevant details.

          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?
          Then it's still a form of moral subjectivism. 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. This is so even if God's commands are based on his purposes and nature. A command based on purposes/nature is still a command, and the attitude expressed by that command is still an attitude even if that attitude is connected to God's nature/purposes. So it'd still fit the standard definition of moral subjectivism. To give a the non-technical, Wikipedia definition:

          This is line with the standard accounts for more reputable sources.

          Anyway, I don't take the purpose point to be relevant: just because a deity makes X for a given purpose, doesn't mean X has a moral reason to follow that deity's commands (even if those commands are based on that deity's nature and purposes).

          For example, suppose a vicious, psychopathic deity makes humans because it wants humans to suffer and rape each other for the lulz. This deity then commands that humans rape for the lulz, which is a command based on the deity's psychopathic nature and it's purpose in making humans. Do humans now have a moral obligation to rape for the lulz? No. To say otherwise is to take an implausible might makes right position, where if a deity is powerful enough to make humans for a given purpose, then it's commands determine people's moral obligations. It also reduces morality to simply following the orders of the powerful, as opposed to having any concern for other's.

          Really, when I'm trying to figure out what's morally good, morally wrong, etc. for me to do (ex: to give to charity, or to volunteer), I really couldn't care less what God commands. For example, if God commands I hurt people, then doesn't give me a moral reason to hurt people. And if God isn't around to command me to help people, I still have a moral reason to help people.
          Last edited by Jichard; 04-24-2015, 03:19 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


          • As far as I can see--which may not be much--there is not any atheist who can provide an irrefutable argument why any given act is morally good. By irrefutable argument, I mean that any perfectly reasonable being accepts the argument as such after he goes through it carefully and thoroughly.
            The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

            [T]he truth Iím after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -ó Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Jichard View Post
              Originally posted by GDon
              What is an example of an obligation that does not derive entirely from God's commands?
              Any moral obligation people actually have. For example: the moral obligation not to rape people for the lulz.
              Wouldn't that be covered by "love your neighbour as yourself" and "don't do to others"? Wouldn't you derive, from those commands, that there is a moral obligation not to rape people for the lulz?

              Originally posted by Jichard View Post
              What's under consideration here is ordinary moral obligation (or the moral obligations or ordinary morality). Those aren't dependent on God's commands, as Maitzen notes:
              "In any case, however, Jordan is correct that ordinary morality sometime 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."

              If resorts to saying that moral obligations only derive from God's commands, then one has forfeited ordinary morality in favor of a subjectivist position. And that's Maitzen point: one ends up having to forfeit ordinary morality (and it's obligations) to maintain one's position on God's existence.
              I don't understand what is meant by "ordinary morality", I'm afraid. It sounds like it means "the moral things we do that God doesn't directly command", please correct me if I am wrong. But if I am ignorant of what God commands, it doesn't mean that God doesn't command it. An atheist can follow God's will, even if they are unaware that a God exists. I don't see how that makes a moral argument against God's existence.
              Last edited by GakuseiDon; 04-24-2015, 08:43 PM.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
                As far as I can see--which may not be much--there is not any atheist who can provide an irrefutable argument why any given act is morally good. By irrefutable argument, I mean that any perfectly reasonable being accepts the argument as such after he goes through it carefully and thoroughly.
                The problem you are having is that you are stuck on the belief that morals are objective realities in and of themselves. Morals are created by man, they don't exist as realities somewhere out there in cyberspace. We as a society determine what is good and what is bad and we do this by logic and come to an understanding of what is in our best interest as an orderly and peaceful society and in turn what is in the best interest of individuals in general living together within that orderly and peaceful society. You think it is good that you should not be killed, then logically it is also good that you should not kill another. You think it is good that you should not be enslaved, then logically it is equally as good that no one else should be enslaved, etc etc. To treat others as you would have them treat you makes for both order and peace. The problem that theists have with this moral logic is that they are afraid that some people will get away with breaking these moral rules we impose on ourselves, that there will be no ultimate justice for them.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                  I stated them already:
                  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, why ought I follow either of these theories?

                  I would need to know the details of the situation, so that I could know what level of harm resulted from the assassination, what other available options the assassins had, and so on. In ethics, much as in science, details often matter, even if one can make help rules-of-thumb or general statements that apply in most situations one would encounter.

                  For example: a general statement / rule-of-thumb that would apply here is that "assassinations are morally wrong because they harm the person being assassinated". Is that always true? No, just as the statement "if something is a four-legged, barking mammal, then it's a dog". But it is a decent place to start and begin filling in further details. For example, was the assassination the only viable way to prevent Seetahal from slaughtering numerous other people? So feel free to provide the relevant details.
                  Regarding Seetahal, there really aren't much details. They made a possible link to a gang here but no arrests so far (and not likely to be any).


                  Then it's still a form of moral subjectivism. 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. This is so even if God's commands are based on his purposes and nature. A command based on purposes/nature is still a command, and the attitude expressed by that command is still an attitude even if that attitude is connected to God's nature/purposes. So it'd still fit the standard definition of moral subjectivism. To give a the non-technical, Wikipedia definition:

                  This is line with the standard accounts for more reputable sources.
                  With regards to moral subjectivism and God, I actually don't mind it that much, since it still seems to allow for every person having objective moral duties.
                  EDIT: Need to clarify some stuff. I wrote moral objectivism after 'for' in the above sentence. The phrase that replaced 'moral objectivism' is what I mean by it.

                  Anyway, I don't take the purpose point to be relevant: just because a deity makes X for a given purpose, doesn't mean X has a moral reason to follow that deity's commands (even if those commands are based on that deity's nature and purposes).

                  For example, suppose a vicious, psychopathic deity makes humans because it wants humans to suffer and rape each other for the lulz. This deity then commands that humans rape for the lulz, which is a command based on the deity's psychopathic nature and it's purpose in making humans. Do humans now have a moral obligation to rape for the lulz? No. To say otherwise is to take an implausible might makes right position, where if a deity is powerful enough to make humans for a given purpose, then it's commands determine people's moral obligations.
                  Err yes you would. Also, nothing is necessarily intrinsically wrong with 'might makes right', especially if the mighty thing in question is kind and loving.* However, I will note that the specific case you mentioned above is neither kind nor loving.
                  I assume that might makes right means that the most powerful being gets to decide what is moral and what is not.

                  *-I'm not sure if you claimed that might makes right is wrong. Nevertheless, I wanted to clarify this.


                  It also reduces morality to simply following the orders of the powerful, as opposed to having any concern for other's.
                  Define 'morality'.

                  Really, when I'm trying to figure out what's morally good, morally wrong, etc. for me to do (ex: to give to charity, or to volunteer), I really couldn't care less what God commands. For example, if God commands I hurt people, then doesn't give me a moral reason to hurt people. And if God isn't around to command me to help people, I still have a moral reason to help people.
                  But why is any of that moral? If you want to say Virtue ethics and welfare utilitarianism, then why ought anybody follow that kind of instruction? There may be reasons to follow it, but there are other reasons to follow other systems as well. Why is this system objectively true?
                  Last edited by Quantum Weirdness; 04-25-2015, 08:12 AM.
                  -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

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                    And you just said, by fiat, which theistic views count as plausible or not, even though the theistic position you hold is just a wildly implausible of might makes right. That's nowhere near as plausible as the position held by Morriston or Swinburne.



                    No, I gave you examples, at which point you whined about name-dropping.



                    And your point fails for the reason I noted above.



                    No, it isn't that. I discharged my burden of proof when I supported my claim. What you did wasn't refusing to take the burden of proof. What you did was just discard what was written, out of hand, without addressing it. And you discarded it because it led to conclusions you didn't like. So really, you just refused to engage with the evidence.



                    Same old tactic. You'll just label whatever is provided as "unsubstantiated assertions", without bothering to address it. That's how you're playing the game, and that's how you avoid addressing any evidence provided. And even I cited the other passages in support of those claims, you'd just call those passages "unsupported assertions" as well. Because that's the game you're playing. You're just moving the goalposts.



                    You were already given them, with a summary. In fact, you had it quoted to and had the relevant paper linked for you.
                    http://www.hts.org.za/index.php/HTS/...ewFile/160/237



                    Addressed above.



                    You said:

                    So yes, you did claim that, thus excluding theists who don't define God as being omniscient or omnipotent.



                    Which is a red herring, since it has not bearing on the truth of the matter.

                    And please stop fallacious sliding from does not make an eternal difference to does not make a difference. It's the same sort of mistake William Lane Craig makes, and which Shelly Kagan dealt with. And of course it makes a difference, unless you think truth/falsity isn't a difference.



                    Which is a red herring, since it has not bearing on the truth of the matter.

                    And what you wrote is as irrelevant as saying:
                    On mathematical theorem X there are no consequences what so ever that do not already exist on mathematical theorem Y
                    as if that has any bearing on the truth or falsity of one theorem vs. another.



                    And I've detailed the mistakes in your reasoning there. It's based on your nonsensical application of notions like "greater" to properties.



                    I think you're still missing the point.

                    Take the statement:
                    A1 : The number 5 cannot be faster than the number 7, unless you think 5 is smaller than 7.
                    and:
                    A2 : The number 5 cannot be larger than the number 7, unless you think 5 is smaller than 7.

                    A2 is false. But it's at least somewhat sensible; I can understand what's being said. In contrast, A1 is gibberish since "faster" is not a notion that sensibly applies to relationships between numbers. A1 commits a category error, while A2 does not. That's the point I'm making to you. I'm not just claiming that your statement:
                    "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."
                    is false (like A1). I'm saying it's gibberish since "greater" (and "lesser") is not a notion that sensibly applies to the relationships between properties and particulars. So I take your whole discussion there to make no sense.



                    Speaking of properties are greater or lesser than their particulars, makes no sense on any view. It's nonsensical and founded on a category error. I've repeatedly asked you to provide an sensible account of "greatness" on which this applies, and you've provided none.

                    By the way: just because something is more fundamental than something else, doesn't make it greater. For example, my atoms are more fundamental constituents than I am doesn't somehow make them greater than me. Parts aren't somehow necessarily greater than the whole. You just seem to be using the notion of "greatness" willy-nilly, using it to entail whatever is convenient for you at the moment (whether it's being the grounds of moral obligation, or being more fundamental, or whatever).



                    Yes, it is equivocating since you're introducing (by definition) a new sense of "authority" and then acting as if that's equivalent to the sense of "authority" used in meta-ethics. It's akin to a creationist defining "scientific theory" as "educated guess", denying that there are any scientific theories apart from educated guesses, and then claiming that this shows that they haven't equivocated on the term "scientific theory". But of course the creationist equivocated. They equivocated between the notion of "scientific theory" used in science and the creationist's own notion of scientific theory. Just because this equivocation occurs via a definition doesn't make it any less of an equivocation. Same for your claim.



                    *Explicitly applies notions like "greater" in nonsensical ways, and fails to offer an account of "greatness" when asked to*



                    Once again, it undermines the reasoning for your claim. Which was the point.



                    I undermined your grounds for thinking that that moral obligations are not properties that apply to individuals.

                    And what was written can easily be re-stated as:
                    "If a morally aware subject is in a specific situation X he is morally obligated to do Y"
                    Same form as standard "he is ...", where the "..." states a property. For example: "he is colored purple". Still waiting for your non-special-pleading grounds for treating those cases differently.



                    And yet you don't accept that God has moral obligations? Are you denying that God is morally aware? Or is this just special pleading where you (once again), apply different claims to God than for other's?

                    Given what you wrote, what stops one from simply saying:
                    Morally aware deities have moral obligations on account of being morally aware.

                    .

                    For the statement to make sense "even if it was the case that no morally aware subject or group of subject (such as humanity) existed at all", then the statement would need to be rendered counterfactually, as opposed to being about things that actually exist. So the statement should have been instead phrased as:
                    "If a morally aware subject/group of subjects were in a specific situation X, he/she/it/they ought to do Y"
                    But framing the sentence counterfactually doesn't show that moral obligations can exist even if the people they apply to don't. For example, I could just as easily note that the following claim makes sense, even if it was the case that no bachelors (and unmarried males) existed at all:
                    "If a male were an unmarried male, that male would be a bachelor"
                    That doesn't change the fact that bachelorhood exists only if there are males around to have the property of being a bachelor.

                    Here's another way of looking at it: the consequent of your statement will need to be rendered as a truth-apt claim. One can then ask who that claim is about. Is the "he/she/it/they" at the actual world (so the consequent is about an actual person) or at a non-actual possible world (so the consequent is about a non-actualized person)? In either case, the consequent will be about a person and the obligation had by that person at that world where they exist (or would have existed, had they existed). So you still wouldn't haven't gotten out of the having the obligation exist alongside the person that has the obligation, whether it be an actual person in an actual world with an actual obligation or a counterfactual person in a counterfactual world with a counterfactual obligation.



                    And that's implausible. For example, epistemic reasons are a standard example of normative reasons that exist without need for coming from an authority figure. Same for reasons of self-interest.



                    My objection isn't that the consequences of your position are negative. It's that the consequences of your position are wildly implausible. I freely admit that something can be negative and plausible (ex: some people go through undeserved, involuntary suffering), or positive and implausible (ex: no one goes through undeserved, involuntary suffering). It just so happens that your position has implications that are about both negative and implausible, since on your position this follows:
                    We'd have a normative moral reason to follow the commands a vicious, psychopathic deity that commanded we rape, as long as we're that deity's creations and we're living in a world that deity created.
                    That's just might makes right nonsense, where morality reduces to doing whatever the mighty figure says, if that might figure was powerful enough to create one and the world one lives in. If you can see how that's implausible, then I doubt you could be argued out of much. You'd be committed to your position, come Hell or high water.



                    Doing something for X because you think God commanded is God-regarding, not X-regarding. You've substituted other-regarding (in the sense of the people who's one's actions, behavior, etc. benefit, harm, etc.) reasons with God-regarding obedience.

                    And it's not up to God doesn't decree metaphysically necessary truths, anymore that it's up to God to decree that "2 + 2 = 4". It is what it is, regardless of whether God is around to say anything or not. Unless you're denying that the relevant moral truths are metaphysically necessary?



                    Unless you're resorting to moral subjectivism (in the form of a sensibility theory), pointing out that our moral sensibilities would have been different has no bearing on the truth or falsity of moral claims (such as claims regarding moral obligations). It'd be akin to pointing out that God could have made u with different capacities for forming mathematical judgments, as if that has any bearing on which mathematical statements were actually true. Just because God might have the power to manipulate humans into false mathematical and moral beliefs, doesn't mean that God somehow changes which mathematical and moral beliefs are true or false.



                    You made a claim about normative reasons. And since epistemic reasons are a type of normative reasons, I can cite them in rebutting your claim about normative reasons.



                    They are normative, since they admit of success and failure, and one can make genuine mistakes regarding them.



                    What you just mentioned above isn't some commitment of naturalism. It's instead a variety of reasons internalism. And naturalists don't have to be reasons internalist, let alone do atheists have to be reasons internalist (hint: "not a theist" =/= "a naturalist"). They can be reasons externalists. And on reasons externalism for epistemic reasons, one can have an epistemic reason to believe X, even if one has no interest in believing true claims. For example, the reason can arise from (or be constituted by) the relevant evidence, as opposed to one's interest. You've provided no argument for thinking that naturalism entails otherwise. Really, how does the fact that "only natural things have, and do, exist" imply that "one can have epistemic reasons only if those reasons square with what one is interested in"?



                    The claim is vacuous because you go on to define good in terms of what God is, leading to the claim that "God is what God is". Learning more about what God is does not change the fact that the claim is vacuous. For example, suppose I define "slok" as being what Nimrod said slok is, where Nimrod defines "slok" as being whatever Sarah is. I then go around claiming that Sarah is slok. My position is vacuous, and amount to saying that "Sarah is what Sarah is". Even if I find out more info about Sarah, that still doesn't change the fact that my claim is still an utterly vacuous "Sarah is what Sarah is", a claim which would be true regardless of how Sarah is. The claim only tells me something trivial I could know without having any known or investigated Sarah.

                    And your claim really was that God is what God is:
                    And sorry, but that is an empty tautology. Any statement of the form "X is what X is" amounts to an empty tautology. One can know it's true without any substantive investigation or any deep conceptual analysis or any metaphysical reflection.



                    And I know open theists (or people who claim to be open theists) who deny omniscience.



                    You said:

                    That rules out open theists who don't think God is omniscient. It also rules out polytheists (and henotheism and monolatrists) who don't think any deities are omnipotent or omniscience. Not to mention



                    So you'd recognize as "God" a dystheist's God, such as a dystheist who believes that God is evil? Or maybe you define God as include just the attribute you find positive?

                    The issue wasn't that you said that they couldn't list additional features, but that you said that they had to hold to specific features you listed as apart of your conception of God ("omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, being immaterial and personal"), otherwise you wouldn't recognize their notion as being that of God. Hence my example of open theists.



                    Which is what I said you were doing.
                    I'm going to bow out of this discussion. I simply don't have enough motivation to keep responding to posts of gargantuan sizes like these.
                    ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Quantum Weirdness View Post
                      Ok, why ought I follow either of these theories?
                      Because morals are in the best interest of human society and therefore, being that you are human, morals are in your own best interests as well. Put another way: Treating others as you would have them treat you is in everybodys best interests.

                      With regards to moral subjectivism and God, I actually don't mind it that much, since it still seems to allow for every person having objective moral duties.
                      Yes, and the problem for theists is that a God is no longer necessary if morals are not objective things in themselves, if they are subjective.



                      Err yes you would. Also, nothing is necessarily intrinsically wrong with 'might makes right', especially if the mighty thing in question is kind and loving.* However, I will note that the specific case you mentioned above is neither kind nor loving.
                      I assume that might makes right means that the most powerful being gets to decide what is moral and what is not.
                      If might makes right and morals are that which gets to be decided upon, then, though you may find nothing wrong with it, morals are not objective. You also can not define God as moral if, for God, morals are subjective.





                      Define 'morality'.
                      Morality is an abstract concept, a system of conduct pertaining to human interalationships. If an objective moral system did not exist, as you believe it does, then we would create one.


                      But why is any of that moral?
                      What you mean to ask is why is any of that right. Your answer, or the theists answer, is that what makes a thing right or wrong, or what is good and what is evil, is dependent on God. So ask yourself, if God did not exist would you then accept that murder, rape, torture, theft, love, compassion, kindness, etc etc should be categorized in such a way, or would you be indifferent to such precepts because they are human decisions?

                      If you want to say Virtue ethics and welfare utilitarianism, then why ought anybody follow that kind of instruction? There may be reasons to follow it, but there are other reasons to follow other systems as well. Why is this system objectively true?
                      Morals are not objectively true, accept in the sense that they are in the best interests of human society.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by JimL View Post

                        What you mean to ask is why is any of that right. Your answer, or the theists answer, is that what makes a thing right or wrong, or what is good and what is evil, is dependent on God. So ask yourself, if God did not exist would you then accept that murder, rape, torture, theft, love, compassion, kindness, etc etc should be categorized in such a way, or would you be indifferent to such precepts because they are human decisions?
                        Of course the Christian would say that we even have a moral sense in the first place because we are created in the image of God, a moral Creator. You would say that our moral sense is just an accidental by product of the forces of nature, therefore things like rape and murder are not wrong in themselves, just wrong under certain conditions, when they are not conducive to the cohesion of a society. But when something like murder is conducive to the cohesion of a society - like killing dissidents in Mao's China, then it is a moral good.


                        Morals are not objectively true, accept in the sense that they are in the best interests of human society.
                        That makes no sense. Who decides what the "best interests" of society are? You, me, the Communists, ISIS?
                        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


                        • Originally posted by seer View Post
                          Of course the Christian would say that we even have a moral sense in the first place because we are created in the image of God, a moral Creator.
                          That is understood, but that was not my point. The point of my question was that even if God did not exist would you as a secularist and humankind in general, still have a moral sense. Of course you would. So your argument that morals need be objective to have any meaning is contradicted.

                          You would say that our moral sense is just an accidental by product of the forces of nature, therefore things like rape and murder are not wrong in themselves, just wrong under certain conditions, when they are not conducive to the cohesion of a society.
                          Not sure what you mean by "accidental". If you mean that a moral sense is an "accident" in the sense that it is naturally derived by man through logic as being in the best interests of humanity in general, then yes morals would be an accidental by product of nature. If they are correct in their subjective thinking that a moral against murder is in the overall best interests of humanity, both as a society and as individuals, then such a moral would be objective by nature.
                          But when something like murder is conducive to the cohesion of a society - like killing dissidents in Mao's China, then it is a moral good.
                          Who says that Mao, or Hitler, or Stalin or any of the other tyrants were morally good.



                          That makes no sense. Who decides what the "best interests" of society are? You, me, the Communists, ISIS?
                          In the end the burden is on all of us to decide.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by JimL View Post
                            That is understood, but that was not my point. The point of my question was that even if God did not exist would you as a secularist and humankind in general, still have a moral sense. Of course you would. So your argument that morals need be objective to have any meaning is contradicted.
                            What do you mean by meaning? How do ethics have meaning in your world? How do you have meaning?


                            Not sure what you mean by "accidental". If you mean that a moral sense is an "accident" in the sense that it is naturally derived by man through logic as being in the best interests of humanity in general, then yes morals would be an accidental by product of nature. If they are correct in their subjective thinking that a moral against murder is in the overall best interests of humanity, both as a society and as individuals, then such a moral would be objective by nature.
                            Again who decides what the best interest of humanity is? You have one opinion, the Communists another and ISIS another. And why is the best interest of of humanity the goal. It is all quite subjective.

                            Who says that Mao, or Hitler, or Stalin or any of the other tyrants were morally good.
                            But of course these tyrants are morally good if they define themselves that way. It is all relative - right.

                            In the end the burden is on all of us to decide.
                            Who is us? The jihadists?
                            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


                            • Originally posted by seer View Post
                              What do you mean by meaning? How do ethics have meaning in your world? How do you have meaning?
                              Well if you would just be honest with yourself and answer the question you could figure out what is meant by meaning all by yourself. If there were no God would you choose to live in a world with moral system, or in a world where there is no sense of right or wrong? Of course the answer is that you would rather live in a world that had a moral system. So the question is why, and the answer is because a moral system is in your best interest, and in the best interests of a more peaceful and orderly society in general, in the here and now. Thats what I mean by meaning.



                              Again who decides what the best interest of humanity is? You have one opinion, the Communists another and ISIS another. And why is the best interest of of humanity the goal. It is all quite subjective.
                              No, it is not all quite subjective, it is actually objective fact that if you don't want to be murdered, raped, robbed etc. etc. then murder, rape, theft etc etc. should be characterized as immoral behavior and outlawed as such in the best interest of all.


                              But of course these tyrants are morally good if they define themselves that way. It is all relative - right.
                              No, tyrannical psychopaths have no concern for morality, and usually end up as the victim of their own immoral actions. But even tyrannically run societies have morals systems, its just that the tyrants don't follow the same rules.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by JimL View Post
                                Well if you would just be honest with yourself and answer the question you could figure out what is meant by meaning all by yourself. If there were no God would you choose to live in a world with moral system, or in a world where there is no sense of right or wrong? Of course the answer is that you would rather live in a world that had a moral system. So the question is why, and the answer is because a moral system is in your best interest, and in the best interests of a more peaceful and orderly society in general, in the here and now. Thats what I mean by meaning.
                                But again Jim, who defines right or wrong? The history of man is one of conflict over ethical and political views. And of course I would want live in a world that is not dangerous to my life - but that basic animal instinct does not tell me anything about right or wrong. Even the least intelligent creatures want to survive.


                                No, it is not all quite subjective, it is actually objective fact that if you don't want to be murdered, raped, robbed etc. etc. then murder, rape, theft etc etc. should be characterized as immoral behavior and outlawed as such in the best interest of all.
                                Of course it is subjective Jim, the idea of "the best interest of all" is subjective.


                                No, tyrannical psychopaths have no concern for morality, and usually end up as the victim of their own immoral actions. But even tyrannically run societies have morals systems, its just that the tyrants don't follow the same rules.
                                I'm glad you agree that ethics are relative.
                                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

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