Morality Without God?

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Re: Morality Without God?

#301

Post by Spock » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:05 pm

The Protector wrote: Dom can get a little feisty. He does it with his fellow Christians on this forum too, not just atheists. Yeah, I find it a little off-putting too, but don't take it too personally. That's just how he is.
I have no problem with anyone being "feisty." On the contrary, I prefer discourse with "feisty" people. Indeed, for years I called myself the "Feisty Administrator" on my own forum. Unfortunately, we are not talking about that. We are talking about his grossly immoral and ignorant attacks on what I supposedly "don't know. " That's not "feisty" - that is blatantly rude and fallacious.
The Protector wrote: I hope I can address your argument soon. I'm working on my doctorate right now and I'm waist-deep in busy-ness, I'm afraid. I have no education in formal logic or philosophy, though, so I'm afraid I'll have to ask that you be patient with me.
I hope you can too! I'll be gone for the weekend (leaving tomorrow morning), so I probably won't be responding till Monday. You have plenty of time to formulate a reasoned response.

As for your lack of "formal education in philosphy" - I'm glad to hear that. Philosophy is either self-evident or worthless - or worse, it adds to the confusion and creates brambles of words folks with bad arguments can hide under. I used to be intimidated by the philosophical mumbo-jumbo until I realized that the philosophers themselves often don't even know what they mean.

And don't worry about patience - I have no greater delight than finding a person sincerely interested in rational discourse. I have no pretensions of any "superior knowledge." If my arguments are not self-evident, then they are not worth much.
Last edited by Spock on Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Morality Without God?

#302

Post by RickD » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:05 pm

Spock wrote:
RickD wrote: Spock, That's just domokunrox way of showing his love for you. "Fool" is a term of endearment. y#-o
He would do well to try to conform his expressions of "love" to something that is consistent with his beliefs, don't you think?

Matthew 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

1 Peter 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

Domo has put himself to shame by the false and absurd assertions he has thrown at me.
Spock, check your pm's.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
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Re: Morality Without God?

#303

Post by Spock » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:08 pm

RickD wrote: Spock, check your pm's.
Done. Thanks!
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Re: Morality Without God?

#304

Post by jlay » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:41 pm

How is it possible that a Christian forum could allow such behavior? Has no one here ever read the Bible?
The Bible? You mean the same book that is under attack by you?
Your attack on my sincerity seems immoral to me, and I think you can easily understand why. All you need to do is apply the Golden Rule. How would you feel if I suggested similar things about you?
It's not an attack. That's nonsense and you know it. Just being candid. I am applying the golden rule. I would want you to tell me exactly how you feel. You did. I don't feel attacked.
I don't think that is true. As far as I can tell, no one here has ever seen an argument like my argument for objective morality without God. If you had, you would have a prepared response. As it is, no one yet has touched my argument
I tell you what let's do. I have a friend who is a philosophy phd. I am not. I will run your OM without God argument by him, since you guys speak the same language. And we'll see if it is original or not. If so, then congrats are in order. :clap:
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Morality Without God?

#305

Post by Spock » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:50 pm

jlay wrote:
How is it possible that a Christian forum could allow such behavior? Has no one here ever read the Bible?
The Bible? You mean the same book that is under attack by you?
I am not attacking the Bible. I am stating my understanding which you interpret as an attack on your beliefs concerning the Bible. There is a world of difference. Christians hold many different views of the Bible.
jlay wrote:
Your attack on my sincerity seems immoral to me, and I think you can easily understand why. All you need to do is apply the Golden Rule. How would you feel if I suggested similar things about you?
It's not an attack. Just being candid. I am applying the golden rule. I would want you to tell me exactly how you feel. You did. I don't feel attacked.
OK - that's good to hear. I'll freely tell you what I think. I tend to hold back a lot because most folks don't really want to be confronted with the truth and they react with craziness which I try to avoid. So I will honor you by treating you as a mature adult interested in rational discourse who doesn't need to be treated with "kid gloves." That should make our conversations much more interesting and fruitful.
Last edited by Spock on Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Morality Without God?

#306

Post by Spock » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:55 pm

jlay wrote:I tell you what let's do. I have a friend who is a philosophy phd. I am not. I will run your OM without God argument by him, since you guys speak the same language. And we'll see if it is original or not. If so, then congrats are in order. :clap:
Sounds great! Will you be directing him to this thread, or are you going to try to formulate my argument yourself? If the latter, it would be good if you posted your formulation here so I could tell you if it is accurate. And that would be a good thing anyway, since the first step in any discourse is to come to an agreement on the precise argument that is to be discussed. I am in process right now of reformulating the whole argument for clarity and to avoid misunderstandings that I have seen arise here and elsewhere. If I finish it today I will post it so you will have an accurate representation of my argument.
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Re: Morality Without God?

#307

Post by jlay » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:15 pm

I was looking back through the thread, but I couldn't find anything that summarized your argument. I did find a lot regarding your opposition to Craig's position. You are welcome to provide a link.
I am not attacking the Bible. I am stating my understanding which you interpret as an attack on your beliefs concerning the Bible. There is a world of difference. Christians hold many different views of the Bible.
You say I am attacking you. I say you are attacking the Bible. Que sara, sara.
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Re: Morality Without God?

#308

Post by Spock » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:49 pm

jlay wrote:I was looking back through the thread, but I couldn't find anything that summarized your argument. I did find a lot regarding your opposition to Craig's position. You are welcome to provide a link.
Here is my latest version of my argument. I just posted it on my blog under the title The Golden Rule and the Foundation of Objective Morality. Here it is, sans the nice formatting of my blog:

The "Moral Argument for God" asserts that there would be no moral truths if there were no God. Here is how prominent Christian apologist William Lane Craig formulates the argument:

1) If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
2) Objective moral values and duties do exist.
3) Therefore, God exists.

His argument is flawed because he conflates the idea of "moral values" with "moral duties." The concept of "duty" secretly imports his conclusion because it implies the existence of social norms and laws which require a legislative agent whereas our moral intuitions are based on what we think is right or wrong regardless of such things. Our moral intuitions are based entirely on the nature of the action itself and its effect on sentient beings. They have absolutely nothing to do with social norms or duties. This is self-evident because any social norm is itself subject to moral judgment. They can be moral or immoral. Dr. Craig's error is evident from a simple review of Webster's definition of duty which depends critically on legislative agents like parents, superiors, civil laws, and institutions like the military:

1: conduct due to parents and superiors
2a: obligatory tasks, conduct, service, or functions that arise from one's position
2b: (1) assigned service or business (2) : active military service (3) : a period of being on duty
3a: a moral or legal obligation
3b: the force of moral obligation

Another fundamental flaw in Dr. Craig's argument is his disjunction between moral ontology and moral epistemology. Here is how he expresses it in his article Keeping Moral Epistemology and Moral Ontology Distinct:
I’m convinced that keeping the distinction between moral epistemology and moral ontology clear is the most important task in formulating and defending a moral argument for God’s existence of the type I defend. A proponent of that argument will agree quite readily (and even insist) that we do not need to know or even believe that God exists in order to discern objective moral values or to recognize our moral duties. Affirming the ontological foundations of objective moral values and duties in God similarly says nothing about how we come to know those values and duties. The theist can be genuinely open to whatever epistemological theories his secular counterpart proposes for how we come to know objective values and duties.
Dr. Craig's essential error is his idea that "the ontological foundations of objective moral values and duties in God ... says nothing about how we come to know those values and duties." This is absurd for two reasons. First, we would never be talking about the abstract philosophical "ontological foundations" of moral values if we didn't already have a compelling epistemological foundation for how we know them. Second, epistemology and ontology are mutually dependent as explained by Hugh G. Gauch, Jr. his book Scientific Method in Practice (quote available online):
In ordinary discourse, ontology, epistemology, and logic are reasonably distinct and recognizable topics within philosophy. But at the point where discourse begins, those topics fuse together. The reason is that epistemology presumes ontology, because what we know depends on what exists. But also ontology presumes epistemology, because what we can become aware of depends on our sensory and cognitive faculties. And logic is operating in any rational discourse.
It is impossible to understand the objective ground of morality (ontology) without understanding how we know if something is moral (epistemology). The two aspects must be fully unified in any intellectually satisfying theory of morality. And so the fundamental question is this: How do we know if something is moral? The answer, with which Dr. Craig appears to agree when he says he would "appeal to all the same mechanisms that you appeal to in order to explain how you know" the truth of moral values, is the Golden Rule. That is how any sentient being determines if something is moral. We put ourselves in the place of the other and ask if we would want to be subject to our own actions. This is the principle of moral symmetry. So why is it so important for Dr. Craig to keep moral ontology separate from moral epistemology? It is because he desires to use moral values to prove the existence of God and so must hide the root of our moral intuitions which obviously have nothing to do with any god. He attempts to ground moral values ontologically in "God's commands." This is called the Divine Command Theory. It is fraught with fatal philosophical problems and is, in my estimation, fundamentally irrational because it breaks the connection between the nature of an action, what it is (moral ontology), and how we know if it is right or wrong (moral epistemology).

A Complete theory of Objective Morality
The philosophical clouds of confusion quickly disperse when we simply appeal to the Golden Rule, the root of our moral intuitions. It is an objective rule because it is based on an objective principle of moral symmetry which constrains any morally valid statement concerning person A and person B to be invariant under an interchange of the two persons, everything else being equal. Specifically:

Person A can discern if action X affecting person B is moral if person A would be willing to be subject to action X by person B (everything else being equal).

This statement is symmetric under an interchange of person A and person B. It is an objective way for anyone to know if there actions are moral. The same formula can be written to objectively define the moral value of any action X:

An action X by person A affecting person B is moral if and only if person A would be willing to be subject to action X by person B (everything else being equal).

It is an objective standard because it's truth value does not depend on any particular individual (confusions relating to the subjective "willingness" of person A will be dealt with in a future article). It is a satisfying theory of morality because it tells us why something is moral. It is nothing but a precise formulation of the Golden Rule, the most universal moral principle, explained in terms of moral symmetry. It is analogous to the symmetry constraints used to derived fundamental laws of physics. For example, the law of conservation of angular momentum can be derived from the rotational symmetry of space by Noether's Theorem. It is also similar to the Pauli Exclusion Principle which imposes a symmetry constraint on the quantum state vector and so explains the structure of the atom. Thus our deepest moral intuitions are formally similar to the logic that led to our greatest insights into the fundamental nature of physical reality.

There is much more to say (involving love, for example) and many details to work out (such as objections involving psychopaths and masochists, the meaning of "everything else being equal, etc.) which will be the subject of a series of articles. But nothing can detract from the profound depth, beauty, and simplicity of this line of reasoning to understand the root and reality of our moral intuitions. I am confident that this argument will yield an intellectually satisfying and robust theory of objective morality.
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Re: Morality Without God?

#309

Post by Byblos » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:07 pm

I think everyone needs to step back a bit and re-evaluate how they intend to respond in this thread because frankly there has been a lot of confusion, a lot of assumptions and misconceptions, a lot unnecessary and baseless attacks, and of lot of things other than addressing the main points brought by Spock. Butterfly I'm not dismissing your arguments, it's just that first we must deal with Spock's argument before we get to yours so bear with me please. On a side note, I totally agree with you and I think most would that personal experiences have nothing to do with the validity of one's arguments but since Rickd clarified that he was referring to another thread I think this issue can be put to rest.

Now as for your argument Spock, first let me be clear it is nothing new. The fact that you haven't been challenged on it (and I would even dispute that) doesn't mean there is no challenge against it (considering it smacks of Kantian moral philosophy). In fact it is quite simple really so let's get to it. Here's a summary of your position as defined by you earlier:

First you quote Gauch's book "Scientific Method in Practice" to show that ontology, epistemology, and logic are interconnected:
Gauch wrote:In ordinary discourse, ontology, epistemology, and logic are reasonably distinct and recognizable topics within philosophy. But at the point where discourse begins, those topics fuse together. The reason is that epistemology presumes ontology, because what we know depends on what exists. But also ontology presumes epistemology, because what we can become aware of depends on our sensory and cognitive faculties. And logic is operating in any rational discourse.
Then you use the same principle to define the golden rule:
He wrote:A complete theory of morality is no different than a complete theory of arithmetic in the sense that any complete theory must fully unify ontology, epistemology, logic, and practice.

My conception of objective truth is analogous to inertial frames of reference in relativistic physics. Though observers in different frames will see things differently, there are objective rules to transform from one to the other so that the objective facts concerning events in space-time can be discerned by all observers. This is what makes the Golden Rule objective. It tells us to put ourselves in the place of the other. This is a moral symmetry - any moral statement involving persons A and B must be symmetric under an interchange between those two people. Simply stated, it would be logically inconsistent to apply one standard to person A and a different standard to person B, everything else being equal. The principle of moral symmetry is analogous to the symmetry principles used in physics to derive fundamental universal laws such as the conservation of angular momentum which is implied by the rotational symmetry of space by Noether's theorem. This reveals the profound depth, beauty, and completeness of this theory of objective morality. It is based on the same kind of objective principles we use to derive the laws of physics.
Now there are several assertions made in this formulation that are very problematic for you. First you assert that a complete theory of morality is no different than a complete theory of arithmetic. I'm glad at least you said arithmetic and not mathematics in general but I suspect that was intentional on your part since you may well know a complete theory of mathematics doesn't exist. In fact, you seem to be putting a lot of faith (forgive the pun) in scientific objectivity, which no philosopher of science worth her weight would ever utter. To say the least about the objectivity of the mathematics underpinning the physics which most non-theist mathematics philosophers would vehemently disagree with.

Okay, enough pontificating. Basically your complete moral theory rests on the assertion that moral symmetry is universally applicable and that is precisely where your theory fails. You have no basis whatsoever to assert that moral symmetry should be applied universally. Says who. Because we can observe symmetry in science, in physics, in biology, in nature? My question to you is well, so what? The scientific symmetries you use as analogies are largely due to a set of universal constants. I.e. no will, no intent, no rationality. They simply are what they are (of course, without going into all kinds of rabbit trails such as the anthropic principle, the fine-tuning of the universe, etc, etc). We'll leave those for a different thread). If we know anything about human nature it is that we are unpredictable creatures. To apply any kind of symmetry to us is simply counter-intuitive and basically illogical. So to begin with, I categorically reject your assertion that moral symmetry is universally applicable based on both baseless assertions as well as rationality. Given that you haven't convinced me of the only axiom you built your theory upon, your entire theory can be dismissed. You simply have no basis to assert that the Golden Rule is (or even ought to be) applied universally. I'm certain you will disagree with this but what I argued is certainly based in reason and logic so your disagreement is nothing more than a personal opinion. Now of course you can argue that to NOT consider the GR universally bindable is irrational but I could use the same exact argument against it. Besides which, you will have to first define what a rational argument is and why universal GR falls under it, as opposed, for example, to the principal of kill or be killed. That argument carries as much rationality, if not more.

Having dismissed your argument that objective morality can be defined without God, now we can progress to the God of the Bible and whether or not we are in a position to judge Him by what learn from the Bible about God's character. In order to even begin doing so, first we have to make some assumptions, for example, that the God of the Bible is the only God we are addressing, that He is timeless, omnipotent, omniscient, etc etc. If we are to assume such a deity then it stands to reason that God knows the end from the beginning (whatever that means to a timeless being). Another assumption we have to make is that if the God of the Bible exists (in fact he is said to BE existsance itself but I digress) then it also stands to reason that Jesus is also whi he claimed to be and that life after death is a forgone conclusion. In other words, death, physical death, is not the end but the beginning. So having made all these assumptions, now I can ask you and Butterfly, exactly on what basis do you judge God? Butterfly, I asked you this question before and I believe you answered along the lines that you can judge God by the same rules he set out to judge us by. Now on the surface that's a fair argument, except we are finite being and certainly not omniscient. So my question to you is how exactly do you know what God's intentions are? More importantly, how exactly do you know all those so-called atrocities sanctioned by God as you claim were not intended for the betterment of those who died including women and children? How exactly do you know they're not in a better place now and the reason they were allowed to be killed is to actually save them from eternal damnation? The fact is you can't, no one can. That is precisely why God cannot be judged by the same standards by which we are judged or to judge others. We do not see the full picture where He does so when he command killing a wicked people such as the Caananites you can rest assured He fully knows why and what the outcome is whereas we don't so it's best that we not speculate.

As for your assertion that the Bible is sexist and discriminates against women, I would ask you the same exact question. How exactly do you know that without the events having transpired precisely as they did in the Bible that sexism would not be much more rampant today? The fact is that you don't. For all we know women enjoy much less discrimination today because of, not despite, the events described in the Bible. Another question I would ask you is please show me where women of the time complained about discrimination (as in equality with men). You know why you can't? Because women of the time did not think the way you do today. You project modern day ideas onto a society from 2 millennia ago and you expects events of the time to conform to your standards of today. Talk about being irrational.

Bottom line is, while it's certainly been entertaining in this thread and others, neither of you brings anything new to the table.
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Re: Morality Without God?

#310

Post by Spock » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:11 pm

Byblos wrote:Now as for your argument Spock, first let me be clear it is nothing new. The fact that you haven't been challenged on it (and I would even dispute that) doesn't mean there is no challenge against it (considering it smacks of Kantian moral philosophy). In fact it is quite simple really so let's get to it.
Hey there Byblos,

Thanks for the reasoned response. I really appreciate it. While I agree that the fact it has not been challenged does not imply anything about its validity, I can't agree that it is "nothing new." It would have helped if you had supported your assertion by citing some literature that deals with it. As it turns out, the Golden Rule has been largely ignored by philosophers. Little has been written on it pro or con.
Byblos wrote: Here's a summary of your position as defined by you earlier:

First you quote Gauch's book "Scientific Method in Practice" to show that ontology, epistemology, and logic are interconnected:
Gauch wrote:In ordinary discourse, ontology, epistemology, and logic are reasonably distinct and recognizable topics within philosophy. But at the point where discourse begins, those topics fuse together. The reason is that epistemology presumes ontology, because what we know depends on what exists. But also ontology presumes epistemology, because what we can become aware of depends on our sensory and cognitive faculties. And logic is operating in any rational discourse.
Then you use the same principle to define the golden rule:
A complete theory of morality is no different than a complete theory of arithmetic in the sense that any complete theory must fully unify ontology, epistemology, logic, and practice.

My conception of objective truth is analogous to inertial frames of reference in relativistic physics. Though observers in different frames will see things differently, there are objective rules to transform from one to the other so that the objective facts concerning events in space-time can be discerned by all observers. This is what makes the Golden Rule objective. It tells us to put ourselves in the place of the other. This is a moral symmetry - any moral statement involving persons A and B must be symmetric under an interchange between those two people. Simply stated, it would be logically inconsistent to apply one standard to person A and a different standard to person B, everything else being equal. The principle of moral symmetry is analogous to the symmetry principles used in physics to derive fundamental universal laws such as the conservation of angular momentum which is implied by the rotational symmetry of space by Noether's theorem. This reveals the profound depth, beauty, and completeness of this theory of objective morality. It is based on the same kind of objective principles we use to derive the laws of physics.
Now there are several assertions made in this formulation that are very problematic for you. First you assert that a complete theory of morality is no different than a complete theory of arithmetic. I'm glad at least you said arithmetic and not mathematics in general but I suspect that was intentional on your part since you may well know a complete theory of mathematics doesn't exist. In fact, you seem to be putting a lot of faith (forgive the pun) in scientific objectivity, which no philosopher of science worth her weight would ever utter. To say the least about the objectivity of the mathematics underpinning the physics which most non-theist mathematics philosophers would vehemently disagree with.
I don't know what you mean by a "complete theory of mathematics." Do you mean an exhaustive theory of mathematics that includes any theorem that will ever be proven? Or perhaps a philosophical foundation of mathematics based on a few axioms and logic like Principia Mathematica by Alfred Whitehead and Bertrand Russel? It would help if you defined your terms. At first I thought you were talking about Godel's incompleteness theorem since that proves that arithmetic is not complete in the sense that there are always true statements that cannot be proven from any given set of axioms. In any case, I was not talking about those kinds of completeness. As I stated, I was talking about a "complete theory" in the sense that it unifies the ontological, epistemological, and practical aspects of our understanding of morality. I thought that was obvious since I explicitly stated it.

As for my supposed "faith" in "scientific realism" - where did you get that idea? It would be better if you did not jump to such conclusions without defining what you mean, the reason you came to that conclusion, and asking me what I think. It almost seems like you said it so you could dismiss me as someone who "no philosopher of science worth her weight" would take seriously, and that would just be a sophisticated way to commit a very unsophisticated fallacy of poisoning the well. It is much too early in the conversation for such a dismissive suggestion to be justified.
Byblos wrote: Okay, enough pontificating. Basically your complete moral theory rests on the assertion that moral symmetry is universally applicable and that is precisely where your theory fails. You have no basis whatsoever to assert that moral symmetry should be applied universally. Says who. Because we can observe symmetry in science, in physics, in biology, in nature? My question to you is well, so what? The scientific symmetries you use as analogies are largely due to a set of universal constants. I.e. no will, no intent, no rationality. They simply are what they are (of course, without going into all kinds of rabbit trails such as the anthropic principle, the fine-tuning of the universe, etc, etc). We'll leave those for a different thread). If we know anything about human nature it is that we are unpredictable creatures. To apply any kind of symmetry to us is simply counter-intuitive and basically illogical. So to begin with, I categorically reject your assertion that moral symmetry is universally applicable based on both baseless assertions as well as rationality. Given that you haven't convinced me of the only axiom you built your theory upon, your entire theory can be dismissed. You simply have no basis to assert that the Golden Rule is (or even ought to be) applied universally. I'm certain you will disagree with this but what I argued is certainly based in reason and logic so your disagreement is nothing more than a personal opinion. Now of course you can argue that to NOT consider the GR universally bindable is irrational but I could use the same exact argument against it. Besides which, you will have to first define what a rational argument is and why universal GR falls under it, as opposed, for example, to the principal of kill or be killed. That argument carries as much rationality, if not more.
Your comment indicates a complete lack of understanding of my argument. I did not say that the symmetry rule applied to people. I said that the symmetry rule applies to any morally valid statement. Any moral statement concerning person A and person B must be symmetric under an interchange of the two persons. This is just an abstract formulation of the Golden Rule. We all know why it defines morality because it is based on the root of our moral intuitions. If you do not see this, then you need to explain how you actually determine if something is moral or immoral. It is my assertion that you use the Golden Rule.

My argument is not based on authority so your question of "Says who?" does not apply. I am explaining why we think something is moral or immoral. It is a theory of morality. But if you want a "says who" I can easily answer, though I shouldn't have to since this knowledge is universal. Can you reject the Golden Rule? Can you tell me that there should not be moral symmetry? If you do, then you reject the words of Christ and all the greatest moral teachers that have ever lived as well as every person on the planet who has a healthy sense of morality. That is "who says." Everyone.

Matthew 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Do you see what Christ said? The Golden Rule "sums up the law and the prophets." From a Christian perspective, the law and the prophets represent the prescriptive will of God - the Bible is the only verbal revelation we have of the "Divine Commands" that are the basis Dr. Craig's theory of the ontological basis of morality. This shows that the commands of God are themselves summed up in the Golden Rule.

Now there are a number of points that you did not address, let alone "dismiss." I showed two fundamental flaws in Dr. Craig's argument. First, he secretly (in a rather blatant way) imported his conclusion by conflating moral values with moral duties. Second, he made a false and fatal disjunction between moral ontology and moral epistemology. Do you have any criticism of these two points? I would be surprised if a person with your philosophical sophistication did not instantly dismiss Dr. Craig's argument.

What moral theory do you hold to? I need to know so I can test if your criticisms are consistent with your moral theory.

I will answer your other points in another post.

Thanks again for taking a moment to dismiss my argument. Now perhaps you will engage me in some serious discourse with a little less dismissiveness.

All the best,

Spock
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Re: Morality Without God?

#311

Post by Beanybag » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:47 pm

Hi there Spock. I like the way you post. Although it's not my place, I'll give you a brief rundown of the philosophy that I find most of them adhere to. There is a poster on here who is a professional philosopher as well, Jac, but I haven't seen him around here lately. Anyway, here is what he told me (in rough, very rough, terms, with probably some mistakes - wish me luck):

There philosophy assumes a form of dualism for the hard problem in that mental concepts are separate from physical reality. There are many ways to God from the idea of concepts, and Aristotelian Hylomorphism is the way Jac arrived at God. Essentially, the concepts point to a creator or simple cause in which we will find the perfection of ideas. From this, we take the idea of divine simplicity from Aquinas to conclude that God cannot be made up of parts, thus all perfect ideas are in fact one and the same. If we take goodness to be a form of perfection, we can see that morality is perfectly exemplified by God (in that God IS goodness, perfection, omnipotence, etc.). By also considering that God must hold the concept of 'personhood' or 'mental' as well as 'existence', we get that God is an existential person from whom all existence owes its namesake. By rationally examining 'things' as physical organizations that correspond to certain ideas, or natures, we can find the true nature of an object. Acting in accordance with a thing's nature is good, since it will be attempting to align ourselves with the natural law of God, which is perfect goodness. Perfection can only exist in God, however, since a thing cannot be its nature. Thus, even though we are people, we can never be perfect since we are not God, neither can any of our attributes. But we can see perfection in the mental nature of things, and by believing in the existence of this perfection, in God, we can be saved from imperfection and disorder. From here, we can somehow get to the Bible and Jesus, Jesus being God incarnate and the Bible being God's word. These are guides to acting in accordance to God's nature. Ordered, or morally good behavior, will be acting according to the nature of things, and vice versa. Thus, morality isn't derived by a consideration of the consequences of an action, considering the future, or by considering any type of utility. Simply, an action is good when it is in accordance with natural law. It is worth noting that ordered behavior will lead to ordered consequences, supposedly, and even if consequences are bad from ordered behavior, life on Earth is temporary and not the important thing to consider. I'm sure jlay or byblos can elaborate better than I can, though, and perhaps include bits of their own version.

Anyway, Byblos made this criticism: "You simply have no basis to assert that the Golden Rule is (or even ought to be) applied universally. "

I think you should take it more seriously. While you have reason to find objectivity in the practice of the golden rule, we see no objective prescriptive qualities in the theory. In other words, while your golden rule might be objectively measurable and symmetric in use, what reason do we have to accept it in the first place?

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Re: Morality Without God?

#312

Post by Spock » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:09 pm

Byblos wrote: Having dismissed your argument that objective morality can be defined without God, now we can progress to the God of the Bible and whether or not we are in a position to judge Him by what learn from the Bible about God's character. In order to even begin doing so, first we have to make some assumptions, for example, that the God of the Bible is the only God we are addressing, that He is timeless, omnipotent, omniscient, etc etc.
Hey there again Byblos,

Your assumptions are logically incoherent. A "timeless" being cannot "do" anything because actions are, by definition, temporal. Christian philosophers, especially Molonists like William Lane Craig, have tried to solve this problem by suggesting some things are "logically prior" but that doesn't help because the problem is one of a timeless being acting "before" time exists.

A similar irrationality is found in the concept of omniscience. If God has always known everything, then he is incapable of every making any decision or choice. He is more like a brute non-personal fact than a free "person" who has "chosen" anyone as the Bible says. The bottom line is that such philosophical speculations are entirely foreign to the Bible and inconsistent with it.
Byblos wrote: If we are to assume such a deity then it stands to reason that God knows the end from the beginning (whatever that means to a timeless being). Another assumption we have to make is that if the God of the Bible exists (in fact he is said to BE existsance itself but I digress) then it also stands to reason that Jesus is also whi he claimed to be and that life after death is a forgone conclusion. In other words, death, physical death, is not the end but the beginning. So having made all these assumptions, now I can ask you and Butterfly, exactly on what basis do you judge God? Butterfly, I asked you this question before and I believe you answered along the lines that you can judge God by the same rules he set out to judge us by. Now on the surface that's a fair argument, except we are finite being and certainly not omniscient. So my question to you is how exactly do you know what God's intentions are? More importantly, how exactly do you know all those so-called atrocities sanctioned by God as you claim were not intended for the betterment of those who died including women and children? How exactly do you know they're not in a better place now and the reason they were allowed to be killed is to actually save them from eternal damnation? The fact is you can't, no one can. That is precisely why God cannot be judged by the same standards by which we are judged or to judge others. We do not see the full picture where He does so when he command killing a wicked people such as the Caananites you can rest assured He fully knows why and what the outcome is whereas we don't so it's best that we not speculate.
We are not presuming to judge "God" - we are judging what a book written by men (whether inspired or not) says about God. If we cannot judge what the book says and means, then the book is utterly worthless because it would be meaningless. This applies to each person who claims to believe the Bible. The only way you or anyone can know anything about what the Bible means is to judge the meaning of the words written in it. So we have no choice - each person must judge what the Bible says and try to determine its meaning.

Now you have suggested the presupposition that anything that appears to contradict the idea that "God is good" must be rejected as a false perception due to our human limitations. That's fine, you can presume what you want. But how do you know that is the intention of God? If you had an authentically high view of Scripture, you would accept it as given and assume that the hyper-genius who wrote it had a purpose for including so many contradictions and moral abominations attributed to God. Perhaps God designed it that way to make the mind-killing scourge of biblical fundamentalism impossible for any honest and rational person. This way he could reveal his divine wisdom while confounding those who try to wrest it to their own purposes by foisting their false man-made doctrine of inerrancy upon it. There are many possibilities. It appears you simply adhere to the ones you have been taught. You need to think more independently.

As for your questions about unknowable things like "do you know they're not in a better place now" - such questions lead nowhere because they apply to any statement for or against the Bible.
Byblos wrote: As for your assertion that the Bible is sexist and discriminates against women, I would ask you the same exact question. How exactly do you know that without the events having transpired precisely as they did in the Bible that sexism would not be much more rampant today? The fact is that you don't. For all we know women enjoy much less discrimination today because of, not despite, the events described in the Bible. Another question I would ask you is please show me where women of the time complained about discrimination (as in equality with men). You know why you can't? Because women of the time did not think the way you do today. You project modern day ideas onto a society from 2 millennia ago and you expects events of the time to conform to your standards of today. Talk about being irrational.

Bottom line is, while it's certainly been entertaining in this thread and others, neither of you brings anything new to the table.
Many authors have argued for the idea that the Bible led to western advancements like science and the respect for individual worth. That may be true. It may be false. Know one knows, so it is moot. But one thing we do know. Women had to fight tooth and nail for basic human rights and they were vehemently opposed by Christians along the way. It took them 1900 years to get the vote and they are still struggling against male bias that is largely supported by the Bible. Your suggestion that "women enjoy much less discrimination today because of, not despite, the events described in the Bible" may be true, but it seems very unlikely given the outrageous history of Christian oppression of women. And we can test it by reading history. What do we see? Here is a sampling (I could fill volumes if I had the stomach for it). Behold what the Bible has taught the greatest leaders of the Christian church throughout the ages:
  1. "Every woman should be filled with shame by the thought that she is a woman." - Clement of Alexandria (150?-215?)
  2. "Woman is a temple built over a sewer, the gateway to the devil. Woman, you are the devil's doorway. You led astray one whom the devil would not dare attack directly. It was your fault that the Son of God had to die; you should always go in mourning and rags." - Tertullian (160?-220?)
  3. "Woman was merely man's helpmate, a function which pertains to her alone. She is not the image of God but as far as man is concerned, he is by himself the image of God." - Augustine (354-430)
  4. "If [women] become tired or even die, that does not matter. Let them die in childbirth--that is why they are there." -- Martin Luther
  5. "The word and works of God is quite clear, that women were made either to be wives or prostitutes." -- Luther
  6. "God created Adam master and lord of living creatures, but Eve spoilt all, when she persuaded him to set himself above God's will. 'Tis you women, with your tricks and artifices, that lead men into error." --Luther
  7. "Men have broad and large chests, and small narrow hips, and more understanding than women, who have but small and narrow breasts, and broad hips, to the end they should remain at home, sit still, keep house, and bear and bring up children." -- Luther
  8. "No gown worse becomes a woman than the desire to be wise." --Luther
  9. "What is the difference whether it is in a wife or a mother, it is still Eve the temptress that we must beware of in any woman... I fail to see what use woman can be to man, if one excludes the function of bearing children." -- Saint Augustine of Hippo, Church Father, Bishop of Hippo Regius, 354 – 430
  10. As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of woman comes from a defect in the active force or from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence. -- Thomas Aquinas, Saint, Doctor of the Church, 13th century
  11. Woman is a misbegotten man and has a faulty and defective nature in comparison to his. Therefore she is unsure in herself. What she cannot get, she seeks to obtain through lying and diabolical deceptions. And so, to put it briefly, one must be on one's guard with every woman, as if she were a poisonous snake and the horned devil. ... Thus in evil and perverse doings woman is cleverer, that is, slyer, than man. Her feelings drive woman toward every evil, just as reason impels man toward all good. -- St. Albertus Magnus, Dominican theologian and Doctor of the Church, 13th century
  12. In pain shall you bring forth children, woman, and you shall turn to your husband and he shall rule over you. And do you not know that you are Eve? God’s sentence hangs still over all your sex and His punishment weighs down upon you. You are the devil’s gateway; you are she who first violated the forbidden tree and broke the law of God. It was you who coaxed your way around him whom the devil had not the force to attack. With what ease you shattered that image of God: Man! Because of the death you merited, even the Son of God had to die... Woman, you are the gate to hell. -- Tertullian, 2nd-3rd century Churchfather
  13. John Wesley (1703-91): "Wife: Be content to be insignificant. What loss would it be to God or man had you never been born."
  14. Jerome (345?-420): "If it is good for a man not to touch a woman, then it is bad for him to touch one, for bad, and bad only, is the opposite of good."
  15. John Chrysostom (349-407): "Amongst all the savage beasts none is found so harmful as woman."
  16. John Calvin (1509-64): "Thus the woman, who had perversely exceeded her proper bounds, is forced back to her own position. She had, indeed, previously been subject to her husband, but that was a liberal and gentle subjection; now, however, she is cast into servitude."
This is, of course, a very small sampling. It shows how Christian MEN have taught Christians to think of women. Upon what did they base there revulsion and oppression of women? The Bible. Perhaps they had a false understanding and failed to follow the spirit of Christ. OK. What then does that say about the Church that they led down through the ages? Why should we believe anything they say or trust the book that we have received from them?
Last edited by Spock on Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Morality Without God?

#313

Post by Butterfly » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:10 pm

Byblos wrote: As for your assertion that the Bible is sexist and discriminates against women, I would ask you the same exact question. How exactly do you know that without the events having transpired precisely as they did in the Bible that sexism would not be much more rampant today? The fact is that you don't. For all we know women enjoy much less discrimination today because of, not despite, the events described in the Bible.

Hello Byblos,

Your first question asks how do I know that sexism wouldn't be much worse today if it wasn't for the Bible? Well, the truth is I don't, but that is not the point! The point is that the Bible DOES condone discrimination against women, they are not treated with equal human rights.

Saying it could be worse is sort of like saying, don't complain about being slapped by your husband, because it's worse in Muslim countries. Discrimination is always wrong, no matter to what degree it is practiced.
Byblos wrote:Another question I would ask you is please show me where women of the time complained about discrimination (as in equality with men). You know why you can't? Because women of the time did not think the way you do today. You project modern day ideas onto a society from 2 millennia ago and you expects events of the time to conform to your standards of today. Talk about being irrational.

Bottom line is, while it's certainly been entertaining in this thread and others, neither of you brings anything new to the table.
The reason that women didn't complain (as you say), is because we have no written records for the biblical time period. Men wrote the Bible, and as far as I know they wrote most of the other writings of the Bronze age, because women were not taught to be scribes nor were they generally educated. Women had no voice...which is still true in parts of the world today.

You are by no means an expert on how women think now, or thought then about being discriminated against. If equality wasn't an issue then why did Paul mention the fact that there was no male or female, Jew or Greek in Christ?

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Re: Morality Without God?

#314

Post by Spock » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:54 pm

Beanybag wrote:Hi there Spock. I like the way you post. Although it's not my place, I'll give you a brief rundown of the philosophy that I find most of them adhere to. There is a poster on here who is a professional philosopher as well, Jac, but I haven't seen him around here lately. Anyway, here is what he told me (in rough, very rough, terms, with probably some mistakes - wish me luck):
Hey there Beanybag! y)>-

Everyone has a place at my table. Your contribution is greatly appreciated.
Beanybag wrote: There philosophy assumes a form of dualism for the hard problem in that mental concepts are separate from physical reality. There are many ways to God from the idea of concepts, and Aristotelian Hylomorphism is the way Jac arrived at God. Essentially, the concepts point to a creator or simple cause in which we will find the perfection of ideas. From this, we take the idea of divine simplicity from Aquinas to conclude that God cannot be made up of parts, thus all perfect ideas are in fact one and the same. If we take goodness to be a form of perfection, we can see that morality is perfectly exemplified by God (in that God IS goodness, perfection, omnipotence, etc.). By also considering that God must hold the concept of 'personhood' or 'mental' as well as 'existence', we get that God is an existential person from whom all existence owes its namesake. By rationally examining 'things' as physical organizations that correspond to certain ideas, or natures, we can find the true nature of an object. Acting in accordance with a thing's nature is good, since it will be attempting to align ourselves with the natural law of God, which is perfect goodness. Perfection can only exist in God, however, since a thing cannot be its nature. Thus, even though we are people, we can never be perfect since we are not God, neither can any of our attributes. But we can see perfection in the mental nature of things, and by believing in the existence of this perfection, in God, we can be saved from imperfection and disorder. From here, we can somehow get to the Bible and Jesus, Jesus being God incarnate and the Bible being God's word. These are guides to acting in accordance to God's nature. Ordered, or morally good behavior, will be acting according to the nature of things, and vice versa. Thus, morality isn't derived by a consideration of the consequences of an action, considering the future, or by considering any type of utility. Simply, an action is good when it is in accordance with natural law. It is worth noting that ordered behavior will lead to ordered consequences, supposedly, and even if consequences are bad from ordered behavior, life on Earth is temporary and not the important thing to consider. I'm sure jlay or byblos can elaborate better than I can, though, and perhaps include bits of their own version.
That's a fascinating collection of speculative metaphysical concepts about "God." Unfortunately, I don't see how they fit with the God of the Bible and the "logic" connecting them is highly dubious, at best. I dismiss such medieval speculative theories out of hand because there is no way to determine if they even have meaning, let alone if they are "true." My metaphysics is sparse. I abhor unfounded inventions. I admit that there are profound philosophical questions relating to the foundation of knowledge (epistemology) but I don't see anything like a potential solution in such vain word games. It looks like kids finger-painting to me.

I can't see how anyone could accept the idea that "morality isn't derived by a consideration of the consequences of an action, considering the future, or by considering any type of utility. Simply, an action is good when it is in accordance with natural law." All our moral intuitions are based fundamentally on "a consideration of the consequences of an action." Saying that an "action is good when it is in accordance with natural law" appears to me to be entirely void of meaning and any connection with our moral intuitions. It looks like vain philosophy in all its glory.
Beanybag wrote: Anyway, Byblos made this criticism: "You simply have no basis to assert that the Golden Rule is (or even ought to be) applied universally. "
I never said it "ought to be applied universally." I am dismayed that no one can respond to what I actually write. That is a serious frustration. If someone wants to challenge something I wrote, they need to quote my exact words and show specifically what they want to challenge. Putting words in my mouth and calling that a refutation is absurd in the extreme (not that you did that).
Beanybag wrote: I think you should take it more seriously. While you have reason to find objectivity in the practice of the golden rule, we see no objective prescriptive qualities in the theory. In other words, while your golden rule might be objectively measurable and symmetric in use, what reason do we have to accept it in the first place?
Who said I wasn't taking it seriously?

I think you have failed to address my argument. It is not based on "objectivity in the practice of the golden rule." My argument is that the Golden Rule is objective because valid moral statements are objectively symmetric. It says something REAL about the nature of valid moral statements. Why do I have to constantly repeat myself? Byblos instantly dismissed my argument before understanding it, without attempting any rational discourse with me, and before he even checked with me to see if he understood it properly. That is not how serious intellectuals operate.

Now you ask "What reason do we have to accept the Golden Rule in the first place?". There are a number of reasons: First, we must start somewhere, so we look about and ask if there are any universal moral principles. Why do we look for universal moral principles? For the same reason we expect physical laws to be universal. We demand that our physical laws are not dependent upon the location of the observer. We don't really know if the physics on the moon is the same as on earth, but our theories are a lot simpler if we assume it is true, and in practice we find justification for that assumption. The same goes for our moral theory. Next, we look at moral phenomenology and ask ourselves "What is the actual process I go through to determine if something is moral or not?" The answer is obvious. Every child knows it. We know something is right or wrong if we ask ourselves "Would I like that done to me?". So we have motivation for assuming a symmetry must be at the heart of our moral intuitions, and we have a big clue that the Golden Rule is somehow fundamental to them, and we know that we apply the Golden Rule to access our moral intuitions. The rest is gravy.

Great chatting!

Spock
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Re: Morality Without God?

#315

Post by FlawedIntellect » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:41 pm

Greetings, Mister Spock. Or rather, someone who pretends to be Mister Spock. It is most peculiar that you join a forum like this as a character that is often regarded as being intelligent and rational. While I do not dispute this of the character, there are multiple ways to interpret someone joining a forum as such a character. One such example is that a person may try to take the appearance of being rational by associating themselves with the image of such a character. This does not however make anyone rational so much as a cosplayer dressing up as Spock and showing up at a debate. One can resemble Spock in appearance and speech pattern and yet still lack his attributes of logic and reason. This is not to accuse you of possessing an ulterior motive, however it can certainly be interpreted in such a way.

In any case, however, welcome to the forums.
Spock wrote: Your assumptions are logically incoherent. A "timeless" being cannot "do" anything because actions are, by definition, temporal. Christian philosophers, especially Molonists like William Lane Craig, have tried to solve this problem by suggesting some things are "logically prior" but that doesn't help because the problem is one of a timeless being acting "before" time exists.

A similar irrationality is found in the concept of omniscience. If God has always known everything, then he is incapable of every making any decision or choice. He is more like a brute non-personal fact than a free "person" who has "chosen" anyone as the Bible says. The bottom line is that such philosophical speculations are entirely foreign to the Bible and inconsistent with it.
On the contrary, timeless can simply mean not being bound by the limitations or requirements that time puts on things. So, a timeless being will be able to interact with the world about it without time having any effect upon it. The world where time exists, however, will be influenced. Time demands for things to have an origin. Time demands for things to be caused to have an effect. A timeless being, not being subject to time's requirements and limitations, can hence exist without need for being caused. Additionally, not being bound or influenced by time means that time will not have any effects on it like aging or changing. So, nothing inside of time affects it, and the necessity for a cause is unnecessary.
Spock wrote:We are not presuming to judge "God" - we are judging what a book written by men (whether inspired or not) says about God. If we cannot judge what the book says and means, then the book is utterly worthless because it would be meaningless. This applies to each person who claims to believe the Bible. The only way you or anyone can know anything about what the Bible means is to judge the meaning of the words written in it. So we have no choice - each person must judge what the Bible says and try to determine its meaning.

Now you have suggested the presupposition that anything that appears to contradict the idea that "God is good" must be rejected as a false perception due to our human limitations. That's fine, you can presume what you want. But how do you know that is the intention of God? If you had an authentically high view of Scripture, you would accept it as given and assume that the hyper-genius who wrote it had a purpose for including so many contradictions and moral abominations attributed to God. Perhaps God designed it that way to make the mind-killing scourge of biblical fundamentalism impossible for any honest and rational person. This way he could reveal his divine wisdom while confounding those who try to wrest it to their own purposes by foisting their false man-made doctrine of inerrancy upon it. There are many possibilities. It appears you simply adhere to the ones you have been taught. You need to think more independently.


God is good. He embodies goodness. Where there is an absence of God, there is evil. Quite simply, when God is at work, he exploits the actions of evil people to bring good to the benefit of people. When people do what's wrong, God takes advantage of the situation and spins it in a way that has a positive outcome and consequences for those that are evil. A good God does not leave his law unknown. He made his law known to us. We are subject to it, regardless of whether or not we want to be. God cannot just sit there and let things happen if he weren't to have consequences for the actions people make. Yet it's clear that there are eternal consequences for wrongdoing. So, it is clear that God is good by providing consequences and having a law that holds people accountable.

God is Justice. He is the judge and the one who executes consequences based on judgment. This judgment is made based upon the evidence of violations of the law. God is an objective law-giver. His role in our actions is to provide consequences for wrongdoings, not to strip us of our free will. That is the role he has chosen to take. The system is clear in that the actions of human beings are the responsibility of human beings.

You accuse him of genocide yet ignore that this was a consequence based on judgment. The peoples of Canaan violated the law, and God demanded justice. So he sent the Israelites as his means of justice. Unfortunately, the Israelites were not completely obedient, and it bit them in the butt later. You also forget that God requires that they be informed of their wrongdoing. This wasn't just a random act of violence. They violated a rule God set in place and God saw this, and delivered a consequence for it. The law was to show the sinfulness of the hearts of people, and hence also to show that the consequence for sin is death. This consequence applies to everyone.

God seeks to form a relationship with His creation and to free them from the need of judgment and consequences. He chose to write His message to us through generations upon generations of people from a primitive culture to pave the way for a deeper relationship between Himself and humanity. The people were not perfect. No one denies this. Through Jesus he fulfilled the law and its requirements, thus doing away with the need for the law of sin and death. However, people need to subject themselves to the new law. To do so, requires repentance and submission to Christ by appointing Him as authority over one's self.
Spock wrote:As for your questions about unknowable things like "do you know they're not in a better place now" - such questions lead nowhere because they reflect back onto you.
Spock wrote:
Byblos wrote: As for your assertion that the Bible is sexist and discriminates against women, I would ask you the same exact question. How exactly do you know that without the events having transpired precisely as they did in the Bible that sexism would not be much more rampant today? The fact is that you don't. For all we know women enjoy much less discrimination today because of, not despite, the events described in the Bible. Another question I would ask you is please show me where women of the time complained about discrimination (as in equality with men). You know why you can't? Because women of the time did not think the way you do today. You project modern day ideas onto a society from 2 millennia ago and you expects events of the time to conform to your standards of today. Talk about being irrational.

Bottom line is, while it's certainly been entertaining in this thread and others, neither of you brings anything new to the table.
Many authors have argued for the idea that the Bible led to western advancements like science and the respect for individual worth. That may be true. It may be false. Know one knows, so it is moot. But one thing we do know. Women had to fight tooth and nail for basic human rights and they were vehemently opposed by Christians along the way. It took them 1900 years to get the vote and they are still struggling against male bias that is largely supported by the Bible. Your suggestion that "women enjoy much less discrimination today because of, not despite, the events described in the Bible" may be true, but it seems very unlikely given the outrageous history of Christian oppression of women. And we can test it by reading history. What do we see? Here is a sampling (I could fill volumes if I had the stomach for it). Behold what the Bible has taught the greatest leaders of the Christian church throughout the ages:
  1. "Every woman should be filled with shame by the thought that she is a woman." - Clement of Alexandria (150?-215?)
  2. "Woman is a temple built over a sewer, the gateway to the devil. Woman, you are the devil's doorway. You led astray one whom the devil would not dare attack directly. It was your fault that the Son of God had to die; you should always go in mourning and rags." - Tertullian (160?-220?)
  3. "Woman was merely man's helpmate, a function which pertains to her alone. She is not the image of God but as far as man is concerned, he is by himself the image of God." - Augustine (354-430)
  4. "If [women] become tired or even die, that does not matter. Let them die in childbirth--that is why they are there." -- Martin Luther
  5. "The word and works of God is quite clear, that women were made either to be wives or prostitutes." -- Luther
  6. "God created Adam master and lord of living creatures, but Eve spoilt all, when she persuaded him to set himself above God's will. 'Tis you women, with your tricks and artifices, that lead men into error." --Luther
  7. "Men have broad and large chests, and small narrow hips, and more understanding than women, who have but small and narrow breasts, and broad hips, to the end they should remain at home, sit still, keep house, and bear and bring up children." -- Luther
  8. "No gown worse becomes a woman than the desire to be wise." --Luther
  9. "What is the difference whether it is in a wife or a mother, it is still Eve the temptress that we must beware of in any woman... I fail to see what use woman can be to man, if one excludes the function of bearing children." -- Saint Augustine of Hippo, Church Father, Bishop of Hippo Regius, 354 – 430
  10. As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of woman comes from a defect in the active force or from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence. -- Thomas Aquinas, Saint, Doctor of the Church, 13th century
  11. Woman is a misbegotten man and has a faulty and defective nature in comparison to his. Therefore she is unsure in herself. What she cannot get, she seeks to obtain through lying and diabolical deceptions. And so, to put it briefly, one must be on one's guard with every woman, as if she were a poisonous snake and the horned devil. ... Thus in evil and perverse doings woman is cleverer, that is, slyer, than man. Her feelings drive woman toward every evil, just as reason impels man toward all good. -- St. Albertus Magnus, Dominican theologian and Doctor of the Church, 13th century
  12. In pain shall you bring forth children, woman, and you shall turn to your husband and he shall rule over you. And do you not know that you are Eve? God’s sentence hangs still over all your sex and His punishment weighs down upon you. You are the devil’s gateway; you are she who first violated the forbidden tree and broke the law of God. It was you who coaxed your way around him whom the devil had not the force to attack. With what ease you shattered that image of God: Man! Because of the death you merited, even the Son of God had to die... Woman, you are the gate to hell. -- Tertullian, 2nd-3rd century Churchfather
  13. John Wesley (1703-91): "Wife: Be content to be insignificant. What loss would it be to God or man had you never been born."
  14. Jerome (345?-420): "If it is good for a man not to touch a woman, then it is bad for him to touch one, for bad, and bad only, is the opposite of good."
  15. John Chrysostom (349-407): "Amongst all the savage beasts none is found so harmful as woman."
  16. John Calvin (1509-64): "Thus the woman, who had perversely exceeded her proper bounds, is forced back to her own position. She had, indeed, previously been subject to her husband, but that was a liberal and gentle subjection; now, however, she is cast into servitude."
This is, of course, a very short list. It shows how Christian MEN have taught Christians to think of women. Upon what did they base there revulsion and oppression of women? The Bible. Perhaps they had a false understanding and failed to follow the spirit of Christ. OK. What then does that say about the Church that they led down through the ages? Why should we believe anything they say or trust the book that we have received from them?

I've noticed something. These people all contradicted the scripture.

Genesis 1:27-28 (NCV)
27So God created human beings in his image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female.28 God blessed them and said, "Have many children and grow in number. Fill the earth and be its master. Rule over the fish in the sea and over the birds in the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

Galatians 3:28(NCV)
28In Christ, there is no difference between Jew and Greek, slave and free person, male and female. You are all the same in Christ Jesus.

Deuteronomy 23:17-18(NCV)
17 No Israelite man or woman must ever become a temple prostitute.18 Do not bring a male or female prostitute's pay to the Temple of the Lord your God to pay what you have promised to the Lord, because the Lord your God hates prostitution.

So, if these people were paying any attention to scripture, why did they miss these?

Also, nowhere in scripture is the "masculine" sex considered perfect, physical or otherwise. In fact, considering most of the focal point of the scripture was men, it never hesitated to point out the flaws of men. Men were the ones that were most dealt with in terms of sexual immorality by the ancient Hebrew law.
I suggest you take a look at this link. http://christianthinktank.com/fem02b.html It had a lot to say on the accountability of men, not to mention many laws on sexual immorality were specifically aimed at men.

The misogynistic regard for women is a clear trait that is derived from Man's pride.

By the way, did anyone ever read Proverbs, in which Wisdom is personified as a woman? And how Solomon keeps referring to the ideal woman as someone who can actually accomplish things and work herself? See: http://christianthinktank.com/fem03c.html There are some nice quotes of scripture here and some great application of context.

You may find some stark contrast to what the above have been saying. It seems they haven't been paying attention to these texts. Does that mean that they aren't Christian? Perhaps not. Rather, that they were foolish and they failed to recognize what high esteem God held for both men and women.

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