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Absurd Theologians and Atheists
Posted: 26 February 2007 12:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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Plato’s dialogue Euthyphro-I have read it and your missing the point.  Rape is not wrong because God says its wrong, rape is wrong because it goes against God’s character, therefore God could never make rape okay because he would be contradicting his own principles. 

I will check out Spong’s thing

Again, I would like someone to explain morality from within based on a pleasure/pain principle.

Some cultures take pleasure in loving their neighbor while others take pleasure in eating their neighbor, both presuppositions are correct under a morality from within basis.

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Posted: 26 February 2007 02:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”]Plato’s dialogue Euthyphro-I have read it and your missing the point.  Rape is not wrong because God says its wrong, rape is wrong because it goes against God’s character, therefore God could never make rape okay because he would be contradicting his own principles.

Well, no, actually you are missing the point.

The point is that The Divine Command Theory (or any theory that tries to ground morality is God’s decisions, or will, or character) implies that morality is totally arbitrary.  Let’s take your Divine Character version.  Presumably it will go something like this:

An action X is wrong if and only if X goes against God’s character.
(They’ll be similar definitions of ‘right’ and ‘permisible.’)

So, on this theory, rape is wrong just because it goes against God’s character.  But now we must ask the question: Why does rape go against God’s character?  Does rape go against God’s character because it is wrong or is rape wrong because it goes against God’s character.

We have two choices here.  We can say (a) Rape goes against God’s character because it is wrong, or (b) Rape is wrong because it goes against God’s character. 

Only answer (b) is consistent with the Divine Character Theory of morality (DCT).  The DCT says that rape is wrong just because it goes against God’s character.  It’s the violation of God’s character that does the explaining here; it comes first, logically speaking.  In other words, if there was no violation of God’s character, there would be no wrongness (if Rape didn’t violate God’s character, it would not be wrong).  But answer (a) implies that the wrongness of rape comes first, logically speaking.  Rape is wrong and that explains why it goes against God’s character.  And this implies that, according to (a) rape is wrong completely independently of any violation of God’s character; again the wrongness comes first, logically.  Thus (a) is inconsistent with DCT.

So only (b) is consistent with DCT.  And indeed it is a nice concise account of DCT: rape is wrong because it violates God’s character.  But (b) does not provide us with an answer to why an action violates God’s character.  I guess we just have to take it for granted.  In any event, whether any action does violate God’s character is going to be totally arbitrary, from a moral point of view.  Why does rape violate God’s character?  Well, it can’t be because Rape is wrong; rape is not wrong until and unless it violates God’s character (if it didn’t violate God’s character it wouldn’t be wrong).  NO action is wrong unless and until it violates God’s character.  Thus, from a moral perspective, whether an action violates God’s characater is totally arbitrary (an action does not violate God’s character because it is wrong, but for some other unspecified reason).

Thus, if DCT is true, morality is totally arbitrary; the fact that rape is wrong depends on the morally arbitrary fact that it violates God’s character. 

One more point:  Whether God can contradict his own principles is totally irrelevant to the question of whether God is the source of an objective, non-arbitrary morality.  Presumably even a serial killer might not contradict his own principles.  That someone might be steadfastly committed to a set of principles does nothing to gurantee that those prinicples really are good ones.

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What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
-Ivan Karamazov

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Posted: 26 February 2007 02:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”]Plato’s dialogue Euthyphro-I have read it and your missing the point.  Rape is not wrong because God says its wrong, rape is wrong because it goes against God’s character, therefore God could never make rape okay because he would be contradicting his own principles. 

I will check out Spong’s thing

Again, I would like someone to explain morality from within based on a pleasure/pain principle.

Some cultures take pleasure in loving their neighbor while others take pleasure in eating their neighbor, both presuppositions are correct under a morality from within basis.

I would disagree strongly with this last.  The example given is one of culturally imposed morality.  Morality from within is not “whatever feels good,” nor is it “whatever feels good with deference to the Golden Rule,” and it certainly is not “whatever my culture accepts as moral.”  (Ruth Benedict gives an example of a culture based on treachery.)  Morality from within is what many of the Socratic dialogues are pointing to—it cannot be defined linguistically or conceptually but rather is an inner state of recognition.

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Posted: 26 February 2007 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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So only (b) is consistent with DCT. And indeed it is a nice concise account of DCT: rape is wrong because it violates God’s character. But (b) does not provide us with an answer to why an action violates God’s character. I guess we just have to take it for granted. In any event, whether any action does violate God’s character is going to be totally arbitrary, from a moral point of view. Why does rape violate God’s character? Well, it can’t be because Rape is wrong; rape is not wrong until and unless it violates God’s character (if it didn’t violate God’s character it wouldn’t be wrong). NO action is wrong unless and until it violates God’s character. Thus, from a moral perspective, whether an action violates God’s character is totally arbitrary (an action does not violate God’s character because it is wrong, but for some other unspecified reason).

Thus, if DCT is true, morality is totally arbitrary; the fact that rape is wrong depends on the morally arbitrary fact that it violates God’s character.

One more point: Whether God can contradict his own principles is totally irrelevant to the question of whether God is the source of an objective, non-arbitrary morality. Presumably even a serial killer might not contradict his own principles. That someone might be steadfastly committed to a set of principles does nothing to gurantee that those prinicples really are good ones.

Arbitrary (dictionary definition)
1 : depending on individual discretion (as of a judge) and not fixed by law <the manner of punishment is arbitrary>

3 a : based on or determined by individual preference or convenience rather than by necessity or the intrinsic nature of something <an arbitrary standard>

I can agree that DCT is arbitrary according to definition one and don’t see what the problem is with that.  If Christian theistic premises are correct, the creator of the universe would also be the creator of law and, since he set in motion the mechanistic aspects of creation, he would also set in motion the moral ones.  However, if by arbitrary, you mean the third definition, I would argue that you are wrong.  An infinite and personal God ‘s character (the originator of the world) would determine the intrinsic nature and standards of something and, therefore, would be far from arbitrary.  Only a finite personality would make arbitrary decisions.  Which brings us around to the initial argument made by Fletch at the beginning of the forum.  Joad, earlier on, made the following statement

Theism is based on morality being external to mankind.
Atheism is based on morality being internal to mankind.

How can a morality based internally on mankind be anything but arbitrary according to both definitions.  If there is any disagreement between two individuals, how can the true morality be determined?  By what right do I tell another person he or she is wrong?  Secular philosophy has failed repeatedly, as does Harris in his book, to tell us how to go from an is to an ought.  How does an atheist establish an objective ethic for man?  As science changes over the ages because it is based on acceptance of evidence gathered from post hoc ergo prompter hoc hypothesis, so will morality, and that morality will be based on the arbitrary interpretation of facts by the individual.  The philosophy of ethics becomes a propaganda battle and a test to see what philosopher can impact other egos more potently.

Waltercat asks

Why can’t an atheist believe in a non-material realm?

Why can’t an atheist believe in an objective morality?

My response to him is by what axiom?  By what premise?  Tell me how this flows from your epistemology and your metaphysics because I don’t see how it can.  The enlightenment had to hold onto deist principles because it needed some kind of personal God to start with axioms that logically end with “we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights.”  I think Fletch’s point is that a Christian can look at Luther’s faults and point to the scriptures (and when Luther argues his anti-Semitic points, he stops using scriptural justification) and say he is not consistent with his belief, his faith here.  Where does an atheist point to say social Darwinism is wrong?  That question cannot be determined on the field of science.  It is indeed true that some men are more powerful than others are.  Why shouldn’t they use that power?  How does an atheist argue a superior man down from using his superiority in whatever way he sees fit?

Finally, The bible is not silent on rape and God tells us the manifold reasons why rape (or any sexual immorality) is wrong.  Just because morality comes from an infinite and personal God, doesn’t mean it comes without reason.  The reason is a reflection of the personality of God and, if God in infinite and creator of the world, that decisions can only be arbitrary according to the first definitions.  I think, however, when you are using it, you mean the second.  In any event, all atheist ethics would be arbitrary in both senses of the word.

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Posted: 26 February 2007 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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Silenus,

Welcome to the forum.

Finally, The bible is not silent on rape and God tells us the manifold reasons why rape (or any sexual immorality) is wrong.

Do you have any Biblical references to rape? I’m not aware of any prohibitions on rape.

Perhaps I wasn’t clear when I said:

Theism is based on morality being external to mankind.
Atheism is based on morality being internal to mankind.

I meant that the Theistic view is that man is INCAPABLE of morality. IE: No matter how obviously immoral an act might be, we can never understand why it is immoral. We must ask a non-human source.

philosophy has failed repeatedly, as does Harris in his book, to tell us how to go from an is to an ought.

That is because there is no ‘Ought’. Ought is a hypothetical. You can’t go to a hypothetical. We do not go from “is to ought’. We go from ‘was to is’.

morality will be based on the arbitrary interpretation of facts by the individual.

That is the essence of morality. If we give that up, we are stuck with blind obedience.

It is indeed true that some men are more powerful than others are. Why shouldn’t they use that power? How does an atheist argue a superior man down from using his superiority in whatever way he sees fit?

The simple answer is: Even the most powerful man must eat and sleep. A man can only exercise his power at his own risk.

How does an atheist establish an objective ethic for man?

He does that by beginning with ‘what is best for man’ rather than ‘what is best for God’.

If Christian theistic premises are correct,

In that case, morality is an absurdity. The Christian premise makes us nothing more than characters in a video game.

Mankind must find its own morality. It will always be in conflict with any externally imposed set of rules.

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Posted: 26 February 2007 11:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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[quote author=“silenus”]Arbitrary (dictionary definition)
1 : depending on individual discretion (as of a judge) and not fixed by law <the manner of punishment is arbitrary>

3 a : based on or determined by individual preference or convenience rather than by necessity or the intrinsic nature of something <an arbitrary standard>

I can agree that DCT is arbitrary according to definition one and don’t see what the problem is with that.  If Christian theistic premises are correct, the creator of the universe would also be the creator of law and, since he set in motion the mechanistic aspects of creation, he would also set in motion the moral ones.  However, if by arbitrary, you mean the third definition, I would argue that you are wrong.  An infinite and personal God ‘s character (the originator of the world) would determine the intrinsic nature and standards of something and, therefore, would be far from arbitrary.  Only a finite personality would make arbitrary decisions.  Which brings us around to the initial argument made by Fletch at the beginning of the forum.  Joad, earlier on, made the following statement.

Only a finite personality would make arbitrary opinions.  Hmmmm . . . .

But by your own account, God determines (or God’s character determines (these are the same aren’t they?)) the nature of moral standards.  Right?  But on what basis does God make his decisions? (or, to put it in terms of character, how is it determined what sort of character God will have?)

Let’s take the standard Divine COMMAND Theory to start (later we’ll take a look at the conclusions for the CHARACTER Theory).

Imagine:  God is sitting around at the beginning of the universe and has to decide which actions are Right and which are Wrong.  According to the COMMAND theory, an action is right just because God commands that we do it and an action is wrong just because God commands that we not do it.  So there God is wondering whether he ought to command that we rape or to command that we not rape (or to just shut up about the whole thing and leave it permisible).  How does he make his decision?

Well, here is one thing he CANNOT say: “You know, Rape is really really wrong; it is nasty and vile.  Thus I ought to command that humans not rape.  Alright, I’ll do it. . . “

This sort of thought is not open to God on the COMMAND theory because, prior to God’s command on the subject, rape is neither right nor wrong.  No action has any moral properties unless and until God makes some kind of command regarding them.  So God’s decisions about which actions to command us to do and which to command that we not do CANNOT be made on the basis of which actions are right and which are wrong.  If the COMMAND theory is true, actions are neither right nor wrong prior to God’s commands.

Now, because of this, if God had so chosen, He could have made rape obligatory just by issuing the following command: “Thou shalt rape.”  I’ll assume that you are correct and that God did NOT issue this command.  Well, why didn’t he?  It CANNOT be that he chose to make rape immoral because it is wrong, since prior to his commands, things could have gone either way.  In other words, nothing gurantees or assures that God had to command that we not rape.  At least nothing as far as morality is concerned.  In other words, there is no moral principle that forced God to make rape wrong. 

There is no necessity that forces God to issue the commands that he makes.  From a moral perspective, his decisions must be totally arbitrary.  Suppose God had decided to command that humans rape.  Would he thereby have violated some moral necessity?  Not according to the COMMAND theory.  On the COMMAND theory, moral properties are totally determined by God’s commands.  There is no moral necessity apart from God’s commands.  Thus if He had issued the command that we rape, He would not have violated any moral necessity.  Ergo, His commands are 100% arbitary from a moral perspective; He could have chosen any set of commands he liked, it was totally up to Him.  So morality itself is ultimately arbitrary.  The moral laws are determined by God’s arbitrary decisions rather than by necessity.

Much the same can be said about the DIVINE CHARACTER THEORY. Whether or not an action violates God’s character is 100% arbitrary from a moral perspective.  On the CHARACTER theory, it could have turned out that rape does not contradict God’s character.  If rape hadn’t contradicted God’s character, rape would not be wrong, at least on this view.  But nothing gurantees that God’s character will be such that rape violates it.  Another way of saying this is that the supposition that Rape does not vioalte God’s character does not involve a contradiction or any other violation of a necessity.  In other word’s, God’s character could have been otherwise.  That it is as it is is an accident, totally arbitrary from a moral perspective.

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What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
-Ivan Karamazov

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Posted: 26 February 2007 01:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”] Rape is not wrong because God says its wrong, rape is wrong because it goes against God’s character…etc etc .

What, would you say, IS God’s character, exactly? From what I can discern it’s remarkably petty, spiteful and - to say the very least - embarrassingly juvenile.

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Posted: 26 February 2007 02:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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I am going to assert that you are still making your point by thinking of a persona that is finite, not infinite.  It does make a difference because an infinite personal God does not fit into your anecdote for how God issues commands.  God’s creation of the universe wasn’t without purpose.  Your anecdote assumes a God who simply created the world out of boredom.  Your picture of God doesn’t match my assertions of God.  The God you used in your argument has no will, nor point in creating the world.  The God you pictured created in the same manner I (being a poor card player) would play Texas Hold’em.  I will admit that when I play cards I do kinda of sit back from time to time and wonder should I do action A or action B and just decide randomly.

Bear with me for a moment as I play this out . . .

If a person sits down and decided to make a clock, he chooses his parts and his designs to best accomplish that purpose.  As he deliberates, we would call none of his decisions or actions arbitrary under definition 3 because he is choosing the parts that would make the clock function (his decisions are guided by the intrinsic nature involved in the aspects of keeping time and what things need to happen to make a clock that does that).  His purpose guides his decisions.

Now, back to God.  You are right to say that command and character theory say that it is wrong because God says it is.  However, it is wrong to call them arbitrary because of this.  At least under the third definition.  God’s purpose in creating the world is to glorify Himself.  His acts of creation, including the moral law, are all acts that glorify and are (in essence) fingerprints of His character.  I cannot draw a picture of a bird and say it’s a self-portrait (unless I’m speaking figuratively).  He designs the universe to be a picture, an image of Himself and His being, His essence.  Rape is wrong because it goes against His character and does not fit the purpose of the universe i.e. to glorify Himself.  Form follows function.  The moral code, the law of gravity, the use of reason, the universe and all that is in it, and the redemption of sinful man all exist to serve the purpose, the glorification of He who is the creator of all things.

But, let me for a second turn the interrogation lamp around to the other side of the table.  According to all I have read and heard from an atheist viewpoint, there is nothing to keep your side of the debate free of your own accusation.  I do not see how you start with your premise of the internality of morality and not diagnose yourself as believing in an arbitrary morality.  You call something good because if fits your own perception of the purpose and workings of the world.  I’m not saying atheists determine morality on whim; I don’t believe being an atheist is the same as being dense.  But, without any standard outside of yourself for morality, (and I won’t grant you that the world gives you one until you prove Hume wrong and go from an is to an ought) how does the end result in anything other than an arbitrary mode of deciding.

Earlier on Joad posted this . . .

When an Atheist says that murder is immoral, he is creating a standard based on human experience and understanding of what is best for humans.

There is a problem here and it is a great illustration of begging the question and jumping from an is to an ought without axiomatic cause.  It takes a standard of morality to determine what is best for mankind.  The decision that something is immoral cannot be decided until it has been decided what is best for mankind.  If an atheist starts with murder is wrong because it is not best for mankind, I must ask, by what standard of morality?  Where are your premises?  What is your basis?  Is it just your human experience and understanding that determines what is best?  But my experience differs from yours.  My understanding is different than yours.  How does a universal BEST emerge from your personal understanding and experience.  I ask again, what are you premises?

I’ve noticed throughout all these posts that Fletch and I have consistently answered questions and put our cards on the table.  I’m fine with that; I’ll assume we’re sitting closest to the dealer.  But, we’ve ante’d up and we’ve shown our hand.  Don’t you think it’s your turn.  Fletch and I have posted numerous questions, none of which have been dealt with.  I’m happy to answer questions, but a conversation should flow both ways.

-Silenus

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Posted: 26 February 2007 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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I didn’t see your response before I posted my last one . . . I’ll try to respond to your comments next time I post.  thanks for answering some of my questions.

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Posted: 26 February 2007 02:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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I’d also like to comment on Silenus’ post about how morals/ethics are essentially meaningless without a deity to give them weight.

This seems to me just another example of the type of intellectual abdication which characterises religious ‘thought’: How can you possibly have a ‘real’ moral code when all you have at your disposal is your pitiful human brain? Clearly it’s impossible for us to think for (or govern) ourselves - everything’s far too complicated. Apparently the only sensible course of action is to cleave to the bastardised and heavily edited opinings of a peculiar Bronze Age culture whose grasp of the world around them could most charitably be described as ‘naive’. That way truth lies, eh? Please.

The ‘God did it’ approach to discussion is so maddeningly apathetic it’s practically supine. There’s no real effort to reach a conclusion or even to honestly address the question - whether it be the creation of the Universe or the advent of life. Instead we are essentially told to stop looking, stop thinking and just believe that the answers to humanity’s most important questions are not only solved, but were solved before we invented shoes.

May I suggest to all those whose curiosity IS satisfied by the Bible that they kindly huddle back inside their churches, so as to not get in the way of those who are honestly and diligently working to expand humanity’s understanding of the Universe.

[ Edited: 26 February 2007 05:44 PM by ]
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Posted: 26 February 2007 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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[quote author=“silenus”]I’ve noticed throughout all these posts that Fletch and I have consistently answered questions and put our cards on the table.  I’m fine with that; I’ll assume we’re sitting closest to the dealer.  But, we’ve ante’d up and we’ve shown our hand.  Don’t you think it’s your turn.  Fletch and I have posted numerous questions, none of which have been dealt with.  I’m happy to answer questions, but a conversation should flow both ways.

-Silenus

There is a difference between pretending to answer questions and really answering them.  Earlier I asked Fletch why an atheist cannot believe in an non-material realm.  He has not yet responded in any way.  You pretended to respond.  Here is what you said:

My response to him is by what axiom? By what premise? Tell me how this flows from your epistemology and your metaphysics because I don’t see how it can. The enlightenment had to hold onto deist principles because it needed some kind of personal God to start with axioms that logically end with “we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights.” I think Fletch’s point is that a Christian can look at Luther’s faults and point to the scriptures (and when Luther argues his anti-Semitic points, he stops using scriptural justification) and say he is not consistent with his belief, his faith here. Where does an atheist point to say social Darwinism is wrong? That question cannot be determined on the field of science. It is indeed true that some men are more powerful than others are. Why shouldn’t they use that power? How does an atheist argue a superior man down from using his superiority in whatever way he sees fit?

There is not much useful to respond to here.  What you need to do is educate yourself about the nature of atheism and about non-western religions.  As has been pointed out in this forum, many Buddhists are atheists, they do not believe in a all-powerful, wholly good, creator being.  Yet they definitely do believe in a spiritual realm.  So there is indeed no reason that an atheist cannot believe in something non-material.  You have not even begun to argue anything to the contrary.

Please do not resort to unfounded attacks on all atheists, not even all atheists on this forum.  It will get you nowhere and it makes you look stupid.

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What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
-Ivan Karamazov

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Posted: 26 February 2007 04:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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Now on to the business at hand.

Right, PURPOSE . . . God has a DIVINE PURPOSE.  And this is supposed to make morality non-arbitrary.

But it really does no such thing.  Let’s grant that God does have a purpose in creating the universe and let’s furhter grant that God’s purpose is to glorify himself.  Two points need to be made:
First:  A normal rational person, upon hearing that this is the purpose behind the existence of the universe ought to ask the following question:  Why should I care?  Why should I care about glorifying someone so megalomaniacal that he creates an entire universe just to increase his own glory.  Imagine a human being, a US President say, who says that we need to build the most magnificent monument the world has ever seen, all for the purpose of glorifing himself.  Most Americans would correctly conclude that this President is no longer fit for office and begin talking about impeachment.

Nou you tell me that God’s great DIVINE PLAN is to glorify himself.  My response:  WOW, What a huge wast of time!!

Point 2:  I’ll grant that God does have this megalomaniacal plan.  It is easy to grant because it matters not in the least.  We must still ask the question:  Why is this God’s plan?  Why is this His purpose?  And of course there is no non-arbitrary answer to this question.  Nothing necessitates this purpose.  God could have had a different purpose.  He could have created the universe to glorify his wife, or just on a whim, or because he lost a bet, or because he wanted to watch the evolution of e. coli.

Sure, His commands issue from His purpose, but His purpose could have been other than it is and, in that event, His commands would have been different.  And that this is his purpose is completely arbitrary; again, nothing gurantees that His purpose had to be self-glorification.  Thus, once again, we see that his commands, too, are arbitary (because flowing from an arbitrary purpose) and thus, again, that morality itself is arbitrary.

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What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
-Ivan Karamazov

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Posted: 26 February 2007 04:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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[quote author=“silenus”]But, let me for a second turn the interrogation lamp around to the other side of the table.  According to all I have read and heard from an atheist viewpoint, there is nothing to keep your side of the debate free of your own accusation.  I do not see how you start with your premise of the internality of morality and not diagnose yourself as believing in an arbitrary morality.  You call something good because if fits your own perception of the purpose and workings of the world.  I’m not saying atheists determine morality on whim; I don’t believe being an atheist is the same as being dense.  But, without any standard outside of yourself for morality, (and I won’t grant you that the world gives you one until you prove Hume wrong and go from an is to an ought) how does the end result in anything other than an arbitrary mode of deciding.

I am an atheist who does not believe in what you call an internal morality.  I think morality is external, objective, and non-arbitrary.  You are quite correct in you observation that the atheist has a difficult time accounting for such a morality.  I couldn’t agree more.  My point in the above posts has been to demonstrate that the problem looms equally large for the theist.  The theist has no account of how morality can be non-arbitrary.  All that theists have is an idea which, when you dig into it just a bit, completely falls apart as an account of objective morality.  In reality, theism in no way helps us understand the source of objective morality.

You are correct to find the existence of objective moral rules mysterious.  Many agree.  However, the attempt to ground morality in God’s will is an abysmal failure.  But the search continues.  You can join in, all you need to do is let go of the excess theological baggage weighing you down.

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What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
-Ivan Karamazov

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Posted: 27 February 2007 12:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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Wow, I wasn’t able to go on at all after 1230 P.M yesterday, this is the first time I was able to get on since then.  I can’t keep up with everyone here, I still will comment but If I don’t respond to you, its not like I’m ignoring you.  Well the first bell just went off and I have to teach my students.  We are on “New Imperialism”.  On a side note I love it how Atheist and the enlightenment claim victory over slavery when the Berlin Conference was just another tool by Europeans to keep slavery intact.

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Posted: 27 February 2007 06:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”]On a side note I love it how Atheist and the enlightenment claim victory over slavery when the Berlin Conference was just another tool by Europeans to keep slavery intact.

Egads!  Here we go again scapegoating the atheists for society’s problems.  News flash!  Atheists cannot claim credit for anything good or bad in Western society since Christians don’t allow it to exist in the open.  You’re also giving atheists far too much credit for the abysmally small number of people they represent.  Sort of like the campaign to blame welfare mothers for the waste in the US government. 

Admit it, you don’t like atheists so you’ll look for and create any reason, plausible or not, to support your dislike.  It’s a very effective technique to keep your opponent on the defensive with rumors and false allegations so that he spends more time refuting and defending himself, which, in your mind, means less time attacking you.  Then when your opponent gives up the fight out of either disgust or weariness, you claim victory.

However, on this forum we atheists are more aware of these hollow tactics, and you’ll need more substance to your arguments than excuses on why you can’t repsond because of time restrictions.  Since you seem to be a teacher you should be well aware that time constraints are not a valid excuse for overdue or incomplete assignments, nor is this excuse welcome here.

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“All extremists should be killed!” - neighbor’s bumper sticker

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