Morality Without God?

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Re: Morality Without God?

#316

Post by Spock » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:57 pm

FlawedIntellect wrote: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.
Hey there FlawedIntellect,

Thank you for the welcome.

I chose the persona of Spock with the hope that it would evoke a sense of logic, since that was feature sorely lacking in the comments I reviewed before joining. Nothing more, nothing less. That was it.

And while we are speaking of forum names, there are a few ways one could interpret "FlawedIntellect." :ewink:
FlawedIntellect wrote:
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.
Your definition of "timeless" seems novel to me. Did you find it in the work of any published philosopher or did you just make it up off the cuff? It seems quite evident that your "timeless" being is really a being who acts in time. How then is he timeless? It sounds like you are confusing the idea that he is not subject to the ravages of time (like aging) with the entirely distinct concept that he is timeless.

The philosophical problems with the concept of a timeless personal god are well known and have been discussed extensively in the literature. William Lane Craig responded to this criticism in his article Divine Timelessness and Personhood published in the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Vol. 43, No. 2 (Apr., 1998), pp. 109-124 which he opens with the following words:
It is frequently alleged by detractors of divine timelessness that the concept of a timeless person is incoherent, that the properties essential to personhood cannot be exemplified timelessly. Since it is essential to theism that God be personal, it follows that God cannot be timeless. Thus, if God exists, He is temporal.

In effect these opponents of divine timelessness are arguing that the following two propositions are broadly logically incompatible:
1. God is timeless.
2. God is personal.
In order to demonstrate this, these philosophers try to show that it is necessarily true that
3. If God is timeless, He does not exemplify properties x, y, z.
4. If God does not exemplify properties x, y, z, He is not personal.
Where x, y, z are replaced by certain specified properties.
He then lays out the challenges he wants to defeat:
The answer to that question will, of course, depend on one's concept of personhood and the conditions laid down for something's being a person. Typically detractors of divine timelessness propose certain criteria which serve as necessary conditions of personhood and then seek to show that a timeless being fails to meet these standards. In his helpful survey of this issue, Yates observes that these criteria tend to fall into three broad groups: (1) criteria based on states of consciousness, (2) criteria based on intentionality, and (3) criteria based on inter-personal relations. 3 Defenders of divine timelessness might choose to challenge the adequacy of the proposed criteria by arguing that they are not necessary conditions of personhood, thus in effect undercutting(4 ) - a not unpromising strategy in light of the difficulty of defining personhood, which stirs debates in applied ethics over beginning and end of life issues and in the field of artificial intelligence. More often, however, proponents of timelessness have sought to show that God as they conceive Him can in fact meet the conditions stipulated, however incorrect they may be, thus undercutting( 3). Let us consider these questions with respect to each of the three types of criteria proposed.
His article is filled with philopholistical mumbo-jumbo that I find quite ridiculous. It is most certainly not related to anything concerning the Biblical God. It's all vain philosophy. For example:
Although God's timeless volitions are not the result of decisions taken at any point in time, nonetheless they are freely willed, as is evident from the fact that there are worlds in which God does create a universe and in such worlds nothing external to God determines His volition to create. Thus, God can be truly said to have efficacious and free volitions timelessly.
So obviously, I am amongst those philosophers who reject his philopholistic rationalizations of fundamentally incoherent presumptions based on wild metaphysical speculations. It is all absurd. Patently absurd.
FlawedIntellect wrote: 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.
Nice ideas, but God's law is demonstrably NOT good. Bible believing folks in this thread have explicitly stated this fact. You can review this thread and see for yourself.
FlawedIntellect wrote: 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.
It is impossible to say that "God is justice" because he frequently does things that are not just by the standard definition of the word. For example, if he said he was going to punish me for adultery and murder, I would tell him he is unjust because he let David commit those sins without receiving the punishment God's Law demands. No judge can judge me for crimes he let others commit and be called "just."
FlawedIntellect wrote: 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.
Slaughtering babies is "justice"? Is that what the Bible has taught you?

Have you ever considered the irony of condemning the Canaanites as moral reprobates because they may have sacrificed some of their children? They were so terrible wicked for killing their children, God finally had to send in his people to do it for them! Doesn't it seem rather odd to say that the Canaanites were killing some of their babies contrary to God's will while the Israelites killed them all in accordance with God's will?
FlawedIntellect wrote: 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?
They were the PRIMARY CHURCH FATHERS who established the creeds and doctrines that all orthodox Christians believe. If they were such biblical idiots, maybe we should question everything they handed down to us, including the Bible.

But one correction - Galatians 3:28 says nothing about equality of women in practice. Note that is speaks also of "no slave nor free." Do you think that meant the Christian slaves no longer were in chains? This is a near UNIVERSAL error propagated by Christian apologists. It is inexcusable. It makes me despair for their intellects (or worse, their honesty).
FlawedIntellect wrote: The misogynistic regard for women is a clear trait that is derived from Man's pride.
Yes, and it saturates the Bible from beginning to end. It is based on the fundamentally male image of God, not just as a single male, but a Trinity of males consisting of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This male God stands at the head of a hierarchy of male authority that puts women at the bottom:

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.
The sexism of the Bible cannot be denied without denying its fundamental theological view of God and his relation to humans:

Male Ruler: God
Male Ruler: Christ
Male Ruler: Man
Female Subject: Woman

The Bible begins with sexism. The creation myth blames the woman for all the sin in the world and says God himself placed two curses upon her: 1) the pain of childbirth and 2) male domination:

Genesis 3:16 To the woman he said, "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."

This verse cannot be explained away because its plain meaning is confirmed and applied in the New Testament where it is used as a justification for why women are not allowed to teach or have authority over men in Christian churches:

1 Timothy 2:11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. 12 I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.

Women are not allowed to teach because 1) males have primacy because Adam was created first and 2) women are not reliable teachers because they are easily deceived, like Eve. And it completes the picture of the creation myth when it says "woman will be saved through childbearing."

Now when this was shared earlier on this forum, someone tried to deny the plain teaching of the Bible by asserting that I was totally wrong because Romans 5 says that our sinful condition was due to Adam. Such sophistry is patently absurd. If you want to press that point, you must contradict 1 Tim 2:11-14. The proper biblical solution is always HARMONY which means that you must accept and harmonize, not obviate, the contrary passages. It is no argument against the obvious sexism taught in Scripture.

FlawedIntellect wrote: 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 bet I read that. It was one of my favorite passages when I was a Christian. Although there was a little cognitive dissonance with the female image applied to Christ.

Great chatting,

Spock
Last edited by Spock on Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Morality Without God?

#317

Post by neo-x » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:10 pm

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.
Spock, I'm not a WLC fan, so I am not going to dive into the defensive of what he has to say, but I will just remark a few things.

1. Morals values can exist without the interference or need of God.
2. People can be moral without God.

As you yourself said, your argument is an abstract take on the golden rule it-self. I have nothing against the golden rule. In fact the golden rule appears everywhere, almost in every major religion, one way or the other. But to claim objectivity is an entire different thing. I am not sure as to how successful your assertion really is? perhaps you can further expound on this: "valid moral statements are objectively symmetric".

The golden rule posits a symmetrical construct but the symmetrical construct is only universal or natural (as in it appears elsewhere) but not objective. Universality does not entail or equate objectivity.

1. Why does the symmetry of valid morals within the golden rule, be considered objective because of its symmetry?

2. How do you define objective?

3. How do you distinguish between universality and objectivity?

4. What do you mean by "valid", what makes a moral more valid than the other or not?

5. Noether's discovery is remarkable indeed for she saw that the laws of physics are consequences of underlying symmetries but the thing is how do we translate this when we jump into metaphysics? Plus, your statement "all things being equal" shares a remarkable resemblance to the postulate as given in Noether's time-translation symmetry, which is the direct consequence for the law of conservation of energy i.e That all things being equal under symmetry would produce the same results regardless of a point of time or space. My question is how much of this can be translated in terms of the golden rule as far as symmetry is concerned and how does it become objective?

6. What derives symmetry in the construct of the golden rule in the first place? how do you see that.

These are my questions for your presented argument, there may be more as we discuss more.

Btw, I might not be posting on the weekend, and I guess neither are you.
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


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Re: Morality Without God?

#318

Post by Spock » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:28 am

neo-x wrote:
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.
Spock, I'm not a WLC fan, so I am not going to dive into the defensive of what he has to say, but I will just remark a few things.

1. Morals values can exist without the interference or need of God.
2. People can be moral without God.
Hey there neo-x, Image

Thanks for your magnificent post! It is a breath of fresh air to have someone present such relevant comments and cogent questions so clearly. This coheres well with the fact that you are not a WLC fan. I'd be quite surprised if you were.

It looks like we have much agreement. We agree that morality is objective, and we agree that it need not be grounded in a god concept. So what is its ground? What makes it true? That is the question I think I've answered.
neo-x wrote: As you yourself said, your argument is an abstract take on the golden rule it-self. I have nothing against the golden rule. In fact the golden rule appears everywhere, almost in every major religion, one way or the other. But to claim objectivity is an entire different thing. I am not sure as to how successful your assertion really is? perhaps you can further expound on this: "valid moral statements are objectively symmetric".

The golden rule posits a symmetrical construct but the symmetrical construct is only universal or natural (as in it appears elsewhere) but not objective. Universality does not entail or equate objectivity.

1. Why does the symmetry of valid morals within the golden rule, be considered objective because of its symmetry?
Excellent observations and question! Consider the principles we use in logic, which also are the foundation of "natural philosophy" (aka physics). Why do we think a fair six-sided die will show a given face 1/6th of the time? Because of an a priori assumption of indifference: there is no objective reason to prefer one face over another. Note the word "objective." This is the same underlying principle that we use when deriving the objective laws of physics from Noether's theorem. Wolfgang Pauli used this principle when he formulated the Exclusion Principle which explains atomic structure by demanding that the quantum state vector be anti-symmetric. A moments reflection reveals it is the same principle we use in the Golden Rule - there is no objective reason to prefer one over the other, therefore moral statements must be symmetric if they are to be objective.
neo-x wrote: 2. How do you define objective?
I use the ordinary definition such as the first that comes up under a Google search for "objectivity definition." Specifically, "a judgment based on observable phenomena and uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices." Something is objective if it does not depend on who is making the observation. For example, the proposition 1 + 2 = 3 is an objective truth because it does not depend upon who makes the judgement, unless they can't add in which case we can objectively correct them with logic and facts. The philopholers have confused themselves by defining objective as "mind independent." This is irrational because all concepts are in the mind. It forces one to take a position on ontological questions about the "grounding of ideas" and so totally misdirects the conversation into metaphysical undecidables.
neo-x wrote: 3. How do you distinguish between universality and objectivity?
Well, we need to think about that. The words universal and objective are adjectives. What do they modify? In the current discussion they speak of moral truths. So let's try applying them to that.

All objective moral truths are universal moral truths. True/False?
All universal moral truths are objective moral truths. True/False?

I want to reflect on this before commenting more. There obviously is a deep connection between the two concepts.
neo-x wrote: 4. What do you mean by "valid", what makes a moral more valid than the other or not?
The word "valid" is part of the definition of my the fundamental hypothesis of my moral theory. I assert that a necessary condition for any statement to be moral is that it be symmetric under an interchange of persons A and B.

My hypothesis is that all moral statements that we accept as valid (statements in concord with our fundamental moral intuitions) will be symmetric. I challenge anyone to present a moral statement that contradicts this hypothesis. My theory is testable.
neo-x wrote: 5. Noether's discovery is remarkable indeed for she saw that the laws of physics are consequences of underlying symmetries but the thing is how do we translate this when we jump into metaphysics? Plus, your statement "all things being equal" shares a remarkable resemblance to the postulate as given in Noether's time-translation symmetry, which is the direct consequence for the law of conservation of energy i.e That all things being equal under symmetry would produce the same results regardless of a point of time or space. My question is how much of this can be translated in terms of the golden rule as far as symmetry is concerned and how does it become objective?
Excellent insights. I get the impression you are familiar with the fundamental symmetries underlying the laws of physics.

I do not see a "jump" from physics to metaphysics. The same principles apply to both "regions." This is the consilience of reality. Our physical theories are ultimately based on metaphysical assumptions.
neo-x wrote: 6. What derives symmetry in the construct of the golden rule in the first place? how do you see that.
You will have to rephrase this question. Sorry if I am dense. It is late in the night ... actually it just became morning.
neo-x wrote: These are my questions for your presented argument, there may be more as we discuss more.

Btw, I might not be posting on the weekend, and I guess neither are you.
Again, I want to thank you for a most excellent post.

I probably will not be posting again till Monday, unless I get a few comments in when I wake up later this morning because I am traveling to a remote place filled with music and much human connectivity but with no internet connectivity.

All the best,

Spock
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Re: Morality Without God?

#319

Post by neo-x » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:31 am

Thank you for sharing your thoughts too. I have seen the reasoning for morality before but not with Noether's theorem as the basis of it. It is a different take indeed and would be wonderful if it can be established as true.
neo-x wrote:
As you yourself said, your argument is an abstract take on the golden rule it-self. I have nothing against the golden rule. In fact the golden rule appears everywhere, almost in every major religion, one way or the other. But to claim objectivity is an entire different thing. I am not sure as to how successful your assertion really is? perhaps you can further expound on this: "valid moral statements are objectively symmetric".

The golden rule posits a symmetrical construct but the symmetrical construct is only universal or natural (as in it appears elsewhere) but not objective. Universality does not entail or equate objectivity.

1. Why does the symmetry of valid morals within the golden rule, be considered objective because of its symmetry?

Excellent observations and question! Consider the principles we use in logic, which also are the foundation of "natural philosophy" (aka physics). Why do we think a fair six-sided die will show a given face 1/6th of the time? Because of an a priori assumption of indifference: there is no objective reason to prefer one face over another. Note the word "objective." This is the same underlying principle that we use when deriving the objective laws of physics from Noether's theorem. Wolfgang Pauli used this principle when he formulated the Exclusion Principle which explains atomic structure by demanding that the quantum state vector be anti-symmetric. A moments reflection reveals it is the same principle we use in the Golden Rule - there is no objective reason to prefer one over the other, therefore moral statements must be symmetric if they are to be objective.
The only thing that raises a question is, Noether's theorem in essence deals with quantities and values. The only point if there is one, would be that what necessitates this inference which you make. The exclusion principle again deals with a system of quantities. It is interesting to note that symmetry as defined by Noether is not logical in nature but the laws which governs the system of motion, even if the system is asymmetrical in nature, are symmetric. That they conserve and govern vector quantities.

My major concern would be, how can we infer that Noether theorem can be derived to support a system which does not deal with (mathematical)values and vector quantities? Plus, we have the Lagrangian missing in the Golden rule and I'm not sure if Noether's theorem can be applied to such systems. You can of course cite a study which says otherwise and we will look into it. :esmile:

We actually have a theoretical physicists here, 1over137, she comes around often, may be she can reflect more on this.
I use the ordinary definition such as the first that comes up under a Google search for "objectivity definition." Specifically, "a judgment based on observable phenomena and uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices." Something is objective if it does not depend on who is making the observation. For example, the proposition 1 + 2 = 3 is an objective truth because it does not depend upon who makes the judgement, unless they can't add in which case we can objectively correct them with logic and facts. The philopholers have confused themselves by defining objective as "mind independent." This is irrational because all concepts are in the mind. It forces one to take a position on ontological questions about the "grounding of ideas" and so totally misdirects the conversation into metaphysical undecidables.
I agree with the basic definition, as Google search gives. However, as you noticed there are several other definitions as well.

If all ideas exist in mind then that makes the ideas even more subjective rather than objective, because we cannot establish that they are uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices. I would assume that right here the golden principle may be the key to solving the dilemma but then that does not make it objective at all. The procedure is fine, the ontology of that procedure remains at best speculative. But I realize that this becomes a small point if you are leaning towards the Noether's theorem.

Would I be correct in saying that you lean towards Ethical subjectivism? Not that the label matters.

Philosophical arguments on ontological questions can and do become absurd at times, but that is not always the case.

I would like Jac's take on this too. The mind-independent idea is quite messy ;) And I have seen both sides make a strong case for their respective views.
neo-x wrote:
3. How do you distinguish between universality and objectivity?

Well, we need to think about that. The words universal and objective are adjectives. What do they modify? In the current discussion they speak of moral truths. So let's try applying them to that.

All objective moral truths are universal moral truths. True/False?
All universal moral truths are objective moral truths. True/False?

I want to reflect on this before commenting more. There obviously is a deep connection between the two concepts.
Well, you are right that in essence they do not change the end result, but that is only when it is assumed that objectivity and universality are one and the same thing. That is, we assert what we set out to prove. Again it would fall back on what definition of objectivity we are using. And you would agree that if the "mind-independent" definition is used then universality and objectivity are two very different things. Consensus on a given truth (universality) may not be the same as what may be indeed, true. (objectively).
neo-x wrote:
4. What do you mean by "valid", what makes a moral more valid than the other or not?

The word "valid" is part of the definition of my the fundamental hypothesis of my moral theory. I assert that a necessary condition for any statement to be moral is that it be symmetric under an interchange of persons A and B.
Thank you for clarifying it.
neo-x wrote:
5. Noether's discovery is remarkable indeed for she saw that the laws of physics are consequences of underlying symmetries but the thing is how do we translate this when we jump into metaphysics? Plus, your statement "all things being equal" shares a remarkable resemblance to the postulate as given in Noether's time-translation symmetry, which is the direct consequence for the law of conservation of energy i.e That all things being equal under symmetry would produce the same results regardless of a point of time or space. My question is how much of this can be translated in terms of the golden rule as far as symmetry is concerned and how does it become objective?

Excellent insights. I get the impression you are familiar with the fundamental symmetries underlying the laws of physics.

I do not see a "jump" from physics to metaphysics. The same principles apply to both "regions." This is the consilience of reality. Our physical theories are ultimately based on metaphysical assumptions.
I would not dismiss your theory so quickly, in all fairness, I would very much like to see where this goes and how stable it is. I always find Hawking's definition of a good theory as an initial test for any theory:

...a theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements. It must accurately describe a large class of
observations on the basis of a model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations.

For example, Aristotle believed Empedocles’s theory that everything was made out of four elements, earth, air, fire, and water. This was simple enough, but did not make any definite predictions. On the other hand, Newton’s theory of gravity was based on an even simpler model, in which bodies attracted each other with a force that was proportional to a quantity called their mass and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Yet it predicts the motions of the sun, the moon, and the planets to a high degree of accuracy.

Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory. As philosopher of science Karl Popper has emphasized, a good theory is characterized by the fact that it makes a number of predictions that could in principle be disproved or falsified by observation. Each time new experiments are observed to agree with the predictions the theory survives, and our confidence in it is increased; but if ever a new observation is found to disagree, we have to abandon or modify the theory.


Have you considered publishing your theory? have you showed your theory to mathematicians or physicists to see what they think, even fellow philosophers? It would be good to know what they have to say on the subject.

Dr. Victor Stenger, in his book "The comprehensible Cosmos" used Noether's discovery of symmetry to argue that the universe had a beginning which does not imply an outside agency to be involved a.k.a God. 10ver137 and I were discussing this previously. As she is the expert, she remarked that it is an interesting idea and that there are important questions which still remain unanswered by Dr. Stenger.

We will see how far it goes and what can we learn from it. So best of luck and have a good weekend. Thank you for sharing your thoughts too. I enjoy a healthy discussion.

I don't fully, yet, disagree with your theory and neither am I completely confident of it. I agree that the golden principle as not exclusive to Christians alone. If anything, this has given me a good look from some perspectives I hadn't before.

P.S
neo-x wrote:
6. What derives symmetry in the construct of the golden rule in the first place? how do you see that.
Never mind about this, my question ties directly with what I asked about Noether's theorem and its valid uses, so it will be addressed sooner or later, no worries.
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


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Re: Morality Without God?

#320

Post by B. W. » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:59 am

Why are you afraid to answer the question Spock? I don't see anywhere so far where you answered this:
Spock wrote:
B. W. wrote:Greetings Spock question - Do you love your wife?
Yes....
So if you entered your home with appropriate weapon, saw three men justifying their morality brutally assaulting your wife and child, what would you do:

1-Say, sorry guys, don't let me interrupt

2-Say, Here I am - attack me too while I dial 911

3-Or Kill the three men to save your wife and child?
-
-
-
Science is man's invention - creation is God's
(by B. W. Melvin)

Old Polish Proverb:
Not my Circus....not my monkeys

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Re: Morality Without God?

#321

Post by B. W. » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:04 am

So Butterfly, , if you entered your home with appropriate weapon, saw three men justifying their morality brutally assaulting your child, what would you do:

1-Say, sorry guys, don't let me interrupt

2-Say, Here I am - attack me too while I dial 911

3-Or Kill the three men to save your child?
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Re: Morality Without God?

#322

Post by Spock » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:10 am

neo-x wrote:Thank you for sharing your thoughts too. I have seen the reasoning for morality before but not with Noether's theorem as the basis of it. It is a different take indeed and would be wonderful if it can be established as true.
To be clear, I am not saying that Noether's theorem is the basis of moral symmetry. I am saying that the Noether's theorem and my moral theory are based on the same kind of underlying symmetry principles. It is an analogy, not an identity.
neo-x wrote: The only thing that raises a question is, Noether's theorem in essence deals with quantities and values. The only point if there is one, would be that what necessitates this inference which you make. The exclusion principle again deals with a system of quantities. It is interesting to note that symmetry as defined by Noether is not logical in nature but the laws which governs the system of motion, even if the system is asymmetrical in nature, are symmetric. That they conserve and govern vector quantities.
Again, I use the examples from physics as analogies. They give good motivation for thinking along the lines of symmetry. And it's not just physical laws, but also the logical basis of statistics, as when we apply the a priori principle of indifference to derive the probability of 1/6th for each face of a die. That was the point I was hoping you would see. The principle of indifference is what makes the Golden Rule objective - there is no a priori reason to prefer one over the other. Thus we derive our morals from the same principle as our statistics. Is the probability of 1/6th objective? I think so. The same applies to my moral theory.
neo-x wrote: My major concern would be, how can we infer that Noether theorem can be derived to support a system which does not deal with (mathematical)values and vector quantities? Plus, we have the Lagrangian missing in the Golden rule and I'm not sure if Noether's theorem can be applied to such systems. You can of course cite a study which says otherwise and we will look into it. :esmile:
Again, we are not using Noether's theorem to derive anything. We are using the underlying symmetry principles that are used to derive Noether's theorem, statistics, Pauli's Exclusion Principle, etc.
neo-x wrote: We actually have a theoretical physicists here, 1over137, she comes around often, may be she can reflect more on this.
I hope she joins in. I find the fine structure constant quite intriguing. Call me Mr. Feynman.
neo-x wrote:
I use the ordinary definition such as the first that comes up under a Google search for "objectivity definition." Specifically, "a judgment based on observable phenomena and uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices." Something is objective if it does not depend on who is making the observation. For example, the proposition 1 + 2 = 3 is an objective truth because it does not depend upon who makes the judgement, unless they can't add in which case we can objectively correct them with logic and facts. The philopholers have confused themselves by defining objective as "mind independent." This is irrational because all concepts are in the mind. It forces one to take a position on ontological questions about the "grounding of ideas" and so totally misdirects the conversation into metaphysical undecidables.
I agree with the basic definition, as Google search gives. However, as you noticed there are several other definitions as well.

If all ideas exist in mind then that makes the ideas even more subjective rather than objective, because we cannot establish that they are uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices. I would assume that right here the golden principle may be the key to solving the dilemma but then that does not make it objective at all. The procedure is fine, the ontology of that procedure remains at best speculative. But I realize that this becomes a small point if you are leaning towards the Noether's theorem.
The question of "where" ideas exist is a category mistake because the concept of "where" applies only to physical things. Abstract numbers and logic are not "things" that exist in a "place" except perhaps when they are instantiated in a mind (this is subject to debate). Now some folks will to argue that there is a universal Mind that instantiates all abstract things and gives them a "place." I don't find such speculations helpful or relevant. If our moral theory depends upon such speculations it would be worthless.
neo-x wrote: Would I be correct in saying that you lean towards Ethical subjectivism? Not that the label matters.
Absolutely not. That's why I looked for an explanation of objective moral facts. But I'm not lost in the abyss of philosophical speculation that says moral truths must exist independent of mind. Such assertions lead to confusion and don't help us perceive the truth. Ideas are not things that exist in places.
neo-x wrote: Philosophical arguments on ontological questions can and do become absurd at times, but that is not always the case.
Agreed. I think it would be very interesting to pursue such questions. But I don't think they are relevant to understanding the foundation of morality.
neo-x wrote: I would like Jac's take on this too. The mind-independent idea is quite messy ;) And I have seen both sides make a strong case for their respective views.
Yep. Quite a mess indeed.
neo-x wrote:
neo-x wrote:
Excellent insights. I get the impression you are familiar with the fundamental symmetries underlying the laws of physics.

I do not see a "jump" from physics to metaphysics. The same principles apply to both "regions." This is the consilience of reality. Our physical theories are ultimately based on metaphysical assumptions.
I would not dismiss your theory so quickly, in all fairness, I would very much like to see where this goes and how stable it is. I always find Hawking's definition of a good theory as an initial test for any theory:

...a theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements. It must accurately describe a large class of
observations on the basis of a model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations.

For example, Aristotle believed Empedocles’s theory that everything was made out of four elements, earth, air, fire, and water. This was simple enough, but did not make any definite predictions. On the other hand, Newton’s theory of gravity was based on an even simpler model, in which bodies attracted each other with a force that was proportional to a quantity called their mass and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Yet it predicts the motions of the sun, the moon, and the planets to a high degree of accuracy.

Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory. As philosopher of science Karl Popper has emphasized, a good theory is characterized by the fact that it makes a number of predictions that could in principle be disproved or falsified by observation. Each time new experiments are observed to agree with the predictions the theory survives, and our confidence in it is increased; but if ever a new observation is found to disagree, we have to abandon or modify the theory.
Excellent quote, thanks!
neo-x wrote: Have you considered publishing your theory? have you showed your theory to mathematicians or physicists to see what they think, even fellow philosophers? It would be good to know what they have to say on the subject.
It is a work in progress. I'm publishing my thoughts on my blog and here. I'm testing it now to see how folks react and what I may have overlooked. My brother in law is a tenured Ph.D. professor of philosophy. He has a background in theoretical physics like me (we went to college together many years ago). I bounce my ideas off him a lot. He has pointed out a few subtle points that professional philosophers might challenge. So I need to formulate my theory to address those more subtle points that normal folks would not hang up on. Right now it's just a rough draft that shows the motivation and direction of my thinking.
neo-x wrote: Dr. Victor Stenger, in his book "The comprehensible Cosmos" used Noether's discovery of symmetry to argue that the universe had a beginning which does not imply an outside agency to be involved a.k.a God. 10ver137 and I were discussing this previously. As she is the expert, she remarked that it is an interesting idea and that there are important questions which still remain unanswered by Dr. Stenger.
I am not impressed with Stenger at all. He talks about a lot of things he doesn't seem to understand. For example, in one interview he was asked an excellent question about Bell's Theorem and quantum non-locality and he brushed it off with a semi-classical explanation that indicated a total lack of comprehension of the basic physics. Blew my mind.
neo-x wrote: We will see how far it goes and what can we learn from it. So best of luck and have a good weekend. Thank you for sharing your thoughts too. I enjoy a healthy discussion.
Yes, that's all I want. To have it tested in the fire. See what remains. See what it's worth.

I'll be heading out the door in a few minutes. Probably won't be able to post more till Monday. Just wanted to wrap up this part of the conversation so folks would have something to think about over the weekend.
neo-x wrote: I don't fully, yet, disagree with your theory and neither am I completely confident of it. I agree that the golden principle as not exclusive to Christians alone. If anything, this has given me a good look from some perspectives I hadn't before.
I think it would be impossible to be completely confident in it since it is still in development and I have yet to deal with the fine points. I very much appreciate your open mind and critical questions. Those are signs of a true intellectual.

Talk more on Monday.
Live long and prosper

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Re: Morality Without God?

#323

Post by B. W. » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:23 am

Butterfly wrote:What you are doing is an egregious attempt to force me into saying something you know I didn't mean...and you are a forum moderator? You know that I meant the Hebrews created a god to fit their perceptions of why things happened in the world around them, and to explain what they didn't understand. I DID NOT MEAN OR SAY that the Hebrews specifically created a god to justify their oppression of women, killing of innocents, and justify slavery...they were already doing all those things in their everyday life. The god they created just reflected those beliefs.
God has been working through each successive generation to rid these social norms. Each successive generation had responsibility to pass on the knowledge to next generation. That is what you fail to see. God working amongst an ancient people to define and expose what sin is thru the use of social norms of the time. As others pointed out on this thread, the OT Laws governing slavery lead to better treatment of slaves which over time, due to the forgetfulness of successive generations, finally led to the abolition of Slavery due to Christian influence. You fail to see this biblical truth fact.

Next, I treated you with pure unadulterated equality as I would anyone who comes to this forum and make adhomnin attacks against Christian faith, distorting the historical record, denying the New Covenant, insinuating that Christian men are sexist because ethey don’t live or obey the OT Laws – thus hypocrites.

That is why your appeal for being an innocent Butterfly being attacked by 10 Christian men does not wash with me. Please don’t pull that hokey stuff here.

That is insulting and you do know it.
Butterfly wrote:I have insulted no Christian men here, but rather you and others here have insulted me by twisting my words! My discourse has been directed at the ancient Hebrews of biblical times concerning what is written in the Bible. I didn't write those words in the Bible, the ancient Hebrews did. So why are you getting so defense about something other people in another time wrote? And just because your arguments don't hold up to scrutiny doesn't mean I've falsely accused anyone.
Again, I treated you with pure unadulterated equality as I would anyone who comes to this forum and make adhominin attacks against Christian faith, distorts the historical record, denies the New Covenant, insinuates that Christian men are sexist.

You will not listen to reason, and deny the progression of historical record, that led to the abolition of Slavery. You are stuck on a subject that has nothing to do with the NT and the development of liberty God was leading each successive generation to become and pass on to the next generation unto greater heights.

Your Main Premise is this – Man created god to justify abuse to women who are as innocent as butterflies. By stating the WORD HEBREWS into the debate, I warned you, and mentioned that your statements can be construed as Anti-Semitic. Just insert the word Jew where you used Hebrew in all your post so far, and I hope you can see how what you wrote could be interpreted as – it’s the Jews fault for slavery, abuse of women, etc and etc. That can be interpreted as an insult to many people reading and you continue to deny this a a real possibility. So I stated that your words can indict you of anti-Semitism – not that you were. Big difference... Let's get back to the point...

All ancient people were brutal, used slaves, oppressed women and children are more historically accurate. This is an indication and evidence how far men and women have fallen from God’s ways. His ways were not of slavery and oppression but rather dealing and exposing it as sin thru successive generations (by rules meant to deal with the fallen human condition) leading up to the points brought out in the following verses noted below.

From this Jesus (John 14:9) exposed the intent of the Father – Luke 4:18, 19 and John 8:36. God’s idea for women was revolutionary battling the social norms of successive generations - Eph5:25, Eph 5:28 , Eph 6:4, Col 3:19. In this, you fail to recognize that successive generations were not effective in passing on this information to the next.

You were never a Christian, nor have you fallen away. Your tone betrays this. You are here to put the bible on trial as a work of MEN to justify oppression. That is true of the Koran but not of the bible. The intent of bible is to expose the human condition which is God doing everything to draw freely, people back to himself. Even to the point of allowing himself to be put on trial, be falsely accused, mocked, spat upon, forced to carry heavy burdens, brutally beaten, have his processions divided into lots, a crown of thrones beaten into his skull, crucified. Much of what you are attempting to do here on this thread, now.

Why did God allow this to happen to himself? To draw you back to himself, to heal your wounds gained in this life. It is you that remain cruel toward God and others as proven here by your comments. Jesus came to Mat 20:28 – Luke 4:18, 19. This you fail to note and continue to shout crucify - crucify! And you came here, not for a discussion but a trial to justify your golden rule as superior to all: crucify - crucify!
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Old Polish Proverb:
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Re: Morality Without God?

#324

Post by Beanybag » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:31 am

Well, there has certainly been a lot of activity in this thread. Apologies if I am repeating what others have said, it is quite a lot for me to read.
Spock wrote:
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.
Hello again! Anyway, I find that the Thomist conceptions of God are more well-founded than you might believe, but I do have trouble relating them to the Biblical account for God. But, I still find them to be more consistent than not. The concept of hylomorphism was an interesting one, you can see a discussion I had of physaclism versus hylomorphism here. The hard problem of consciousness is obviously either resolving intentions and qualia to a physical level or accepting some amount of dualism. Dualism would seem to imply God, souls, the whole shebang, so the hard problem is obviously one of great import. I wouldn't dismiss any of these philosophies as bunk as they all have their value. It's good to learn up on them.

Also, one thing to consider with consequentialist systems is the innacuracy by which we can predict the future, and the consequences of our actions as well as the inability by which we can judge the utility of our actions when considering chaos theory. If a butterfly's wings cause a hurricane that kills many, what of our more drastic actions? It also implies a continuity of time, a level of determinism, and a strange paradox of future knowledge. Can we know something that hasn't happened? What then of this paradox: 'X team will win tomorrow'. If future statements can be true of false, and thus be knowledge, then this statement should be true or false. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of ... ontingents
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.
I challenge your assertion that 'we ought to start somewhere' as that would be implying some amount of metaethics to begin with. Are we assuming morality exists for the sake of morality as a Universal law? You see to justify this assertion by alluding to our moral intuitions, but what if, as Mackie argued with his error theory, that our intuitions are incorrect and any attempt to find morality will be in error? Physical laws are inescapable, but moral intuition is escaped by the sociopath. By what reasoning should someone be disconnected from a law of the Universe in such a way? Further, what predictive or deterministic qualities does a moral law have in common with a physical law? You seem to be heavily resting on a principle of fairness, but this would imply a level of similarity among moral beings and likeness of preferences. What if a moral being has vastly different preferences that contradict most of our moral intuitions.. say, a cow that wished to be eaten? If that's too far removed, the obvious counter example is those with different sexual preferences. "Would I like that done to me?" is not sufficient examination of each other's preferences and could lead to undesirable consequences for only a single party. Further, which preferences should we consider when making a moral decision? While the ethics may be objective, the metaethics lacks foundation.

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Re: Morality Without God?

#325

Post by domokunrox » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:04 am

Spock wrote:I applaud your attempt to be rational, but am dismayed by your dismal failure. There is a great irony in your comments because they contain a blatant non sequitur, the very thing you tried to pin on me. I did not mention the word "axiom" in my argument, and you did not state what "axiom" is supposedly missing or even why you mentioned it or what it has to do with anything. So I thought maybe the articles you linked might mention something about an axiom but that word is not found in either article. Therefore, your assertion that "there is no axiom present" is a blatant non sequitur that does not follow from anything you or I wrote. No one reading your comment has any clue what you are talking about. Your comments are literally meaningless.
I don't applaud your failure here. A non sequitur on my part? Hilarious. Where? Because I asked you where an axiom exists in your argument? Such a simple request cannot be fulfilled because you lack such a simple understanding to support your own argument? Surely you cannot be so foolish to believe I've committed a non-sequitur when I am not providing an argument.
Its not my argument. There exists no proposition in your statement. I am not interested in fleshing out your half baked argument for you because you cannot. I now have to question your ability to recognize what makes a statement a proposition.
It gets worse for you. Your ability to recognize what makes a statement a proposition is compounded by the additional problems by your failure to recognize that your theory has no explanatory power.
Spock wrote:Furthermore, your assertion that "A statement on persons A and B IS and ONLY IS a statement on persons A and B" indicates a profound failure to understand the most basic elements of logic. Consider the following logical assertion:

If person A begat person B then person B is a child of person A.

That applies to ALL PERSONS that ever existed. How is it possible you could fail to understand such basic logic?
Really? This applies to ALL PERSONS that ever existed? How did you conclude that from your statement?
I take a previous statement that I made back. You don't need to sign up for philosophy class. You need to sign up for english first.

Also, you've given an example of circular reasoning.
Spock wrote:Thank you for explaining what you meant. It helps me understand why you are so confused with my analogy between the symmetry principles of physics and morality. There is a lot more to physics than mere "constant conjunction of events A and B."
To the underlined and bolded. I, again, tell you that this is false. We'll get to it.
Spock wrote:I never used any such "constant conjunction" in anything I wrote (I'll comment more on its relation to causality below). You seem unaware of the large body of physical theories such as Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity that have great explanatory power.
Oh, no, believe me. I am fully aware of such "theories" you mentioned, and I am aware of what explanatory power they have. I am also aware of what questions those "theories" cannot answer. However, I'll let you continue to tell me what question you believe they answer.
Spock wrote:My argument is based on symmetry principles analogous to those physicists use to derive and understand the objective laws of nature.
So far i am with you. Nature. Physics. (Constant Conjunction) Got it. You've yet to prove how the principals are analogous, but lets see if you do it.
Spock wrote:They have great explanatory power and apply directly to moral theory as is evident because the Golden Rule, the most universal of all moral principles, is based on moral symmetry.
Here is where you are wrong, again. Nature. Physics. (Constant conjunction) "apply" "directly" to moral "theory"? How do you apply it? Is it sort of like an ointment or creme? I mean, we're talking about constant conjunction, right? The nature? The physics? No?

Let me read on......as is evident because the golden rule....the most "universal" of all moral principals....

Ok, so the Golden rule. Or as I like to call it, Linguistic theory. Is the most "universal" of all moral principals. Ok, how? How is it the most "universal" of all moral principals? You need to explain how your linguistic theory is the most "universal" of all moral principals. You need to show how they are NECESSARILY CONNECTED.

Wait, there was more?

...is based on moral symmetry.

How? The linguistic theory is based on moral symmetry? And how it is analogous to those symmetric principals? That doesn't even make any sense. Lets check your example out.
Spock wrote:If we interchange person A with person B we get logically identical statements:

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).
Person B can discern if action X affecting person A is moral if person B would be willing to be subject to action X by person A (everything else being equal).
Nope, not only is this circular reasoning, but how does this even apply to ALL PERSONS that ever existed?
Spock wrote:This is the root of our moral intuitions and the foundation of an objective moral theory with no reference to God.
To the underlined and bolded. Wrong. You have yet to prove that this moral theory is objective.

Also, can you explain how the Golden rule is the "root" of our moral "intuitions"?
Am I to believe that you believe that some knowledge is innate? Explain this innate knowledge, please. Realize that you are talking about an axiom here. You need to explain it.
Spock wrote:It is the "praxis" and the epistemological part of the theory because it tells people how to understand if something is moral or not and what to do.
No, I wouldn't say that you're doing epistemology here. Especially not when you're talking about intuition. You pretty much just failed here.
Spock wrote:Similar principles, somewhat extended and clarified, form the ontological foundation for objective morality so we have a complete theory.
Nope, I would say that it is clear that you made an illegitimate extension of your theory. Not only is your theory irrational, circular, non sequitur, but it is also no where near "complete". Not even close. Its one thing to say you think your theory is a good one worth arguing, but I got chuckle if you think its "complete".
Spock wrote:And again, you have shown no understanding of the symmetry principles use to derive physical laws, so it is no surprise that you can't understand their analogous use in moral theory.
There is no analogous use in moral theory. Constant conjunction and that is all that it is.
Spock wrote:Physical theories like Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity have great explanatory power. Are you denying this fact?
In terms of strictly physics? From a moment to moment basis? Its constant conjunction, and it always will be.
Where do you want to take these theories? What explanatory power do you contend they have?
Spock wrote:As explained in my previous post, that is a category mistake. The concept of "where" applies only to physical things. Abstract numbers and logic are not "things" that exist in a "place" except perhaps when they are instantiated in a mind (this is subject to debate). Now if you want to argue that there is a universal Mind that instantiates all abstract things and gives them a "place," then fine. That's the answer to your question. Are you a Platonist?
No, I don't consider myself a Planonist. I am a rational realist. Apparently, you are a Platonist, though. Right? You believe that abstract numbers, properties, and "logic" are non-spatial and non-mental objects? Is this correct?

The hot question here is, how DO YOU KNOW that such things exist? The challenge is precisely here.
Spock wrote:I'm really glad you are explaining yourself more. Your first post contained only disconnected fragments of your ideas so I had no idea what you were trying to say. I agree that mathematics (a subclass of logic) deals with relations between ideas, but it is false to say that physics deals only with "constant conjunction"
To the bolded and underlined, nope. We'll get there.
Spock wrote: that phrase was coined by Hume in his discussion of causality, the fact that cause A is always conjoined with effect B. Physics deals with much more than mere causality and the theories of physics explain many things.
You really think so, huh?
Spock wrote:They give us understanding of why the world behaves as it does.
In terms of strictly physics, yes. Matter in motion? Absolutely.
Spock wrote:For example, why is Newton's First Law valid? Because space and time are symmetric under linear transformations. See how beautiful that is? We understand fundamental laws of nature based on concepts of symmetry.
Forces are not empirical. Thats phenomenonalism.
Spock wrote:The only thing you showed is that YOU fail to understand the explanatory power of physics.
No, I understand. YOU fail to understand where your explanatory power no longer applies.
Spock wrote:Your assertions are rude, false, and well below the dignity of any man of honor. You know nothing of my understanding of "academics, ancient history, ancient texts." You don't know anything about me at all! We have barely begun this conversation and you spew such unfounded absurdities at me? You should be ashamed of yourself.
You know what is interesting? Byblos actually began a dialogue with you, and he has said practically the same things I have. Just elaborated differently.

You say that my assertions are rude, and you sound like you're upset because you've been insulted. Heres a thought.
Philosophy isn't for you. When having a discussion, and you begin to take things too personal. Its shows that you're not thinking on a logical basis, you're thinking emotionally. Instead of actually reading what I am telling you.
I called you a stubborn and ignorant fool in regards to theology. Why is that an insult? What does that have to do with my dignity or honor?
Emotions are good. Just not good for the internet.

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Re: Morality Without God?

#326

Post by jlay » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:48 am

Spock,

Just to let you know a few things. First, I will be limited in posting time over the next couple of days. 2nd, my friend has already read the thread and has corresponded with me. I will do my best to get a response together, or perhaps direct him to your own link where he can respond directly.

One thing. You said earlier to Byblos, that philosophers had largely ignored the GR.

Apresian, R.G. "Talion and the Golden Rule." Russian Studies In Philosophy 41, no. 1 (Summer2002 2002): 46.
Bo, Mou. "A Reexamination of the Structure and Context of Confucius'
Version of the Golden Rule." Philosophy East & West 54, no. 2 (April
2004): 218-248.
Chan, Kai M. A. "The Golden Rule and the Potentiality Principle:
Future Persons and Contingent Interests." Journal Of Applied Philosophy 21, no. 1 (April 2004): 33-42.
Conn, Walter E. "Erik Erikson : the ethical orientation, conscience and the golden rule." Journal Of Religious Ethics 5, (September 1,
1977): 249-266.
Cordell, David M. "Insurance, Ethics and the Golden Rule." Journal Of Financial Planning 17, no. 5 (May 2004): 32.
Gortner, David t. "The Golden Rule: The Ethics of Beciprocity in World Religions." Anglican Theological Review 93, no. 4 (Fall2011 2011):
730-731.
Hunsinger, George. "Torture, common morality, and the golden rule: a conversation with Michael Perry." Theology Today 63, no. 3 (October 1,
2006): 375-379. A
Kirk, Alan. "Love your enemies," the Golden Rule, and ancient reciprocity (Luke 6:27-35)." Journal Of Biblical Literature 122, no. 4 (December 1, 2003): 667-686.
Mizzoni, John. "'The Social Instincts Naturally Lead to the Golden
Rule': The Ethics of Charles Darwin." Teorema 28, no. 2 (May 2009):
123-133.
Stanglin, Keith D. "The historical connection between the golden rule and the second greatest love command." Journal Of Religious Ethics 33, no. 2 (June 1, 2005): 357-371.
Topel, L John. "The Tarnished Golden Rule (Luke 6:31) : The Inescapable Radicalness of Christian Ethics." Theological Studies 59, no. 3 (September 1, 1998): 475-485.
Vilaythong T, Oth, Nicole M. Lindner, and Brian A. Nosek. "Do unto
others": effects of priming the golden rule on Buddhists' and Christians' attitudes toward gay people." Journal For The Scientific Study Of Religion 49, no. 3 (September 1, 2010): 494-506.
Wattles, Jeffrey. "Levels of meaning in the golden rule." Journal Of Religious Ethics 15, no. 1 (March 1, 1987): 106-129.
Wattles, Jeffrey. "Plato's brush with the golden rule." Journal Of Religious Ethics 21, no. 1 (March 1, 1993): 69-85.
Yong, Huang. "A Copper Rule Versus the Golden Rule: A Daoist-Confucian Proposal for Global Ethics." Philosophy East & West 55, no. 3 (July
2005): 394-425.

"The Golden Rule is rather widely discussed in a great many contexts. These are just academic journals. This is to say nothing about textbooks on ethics that are read in every college throughout the country, and nothing less still of philosophy texts more generally. It is discussed, for instance, in Cambridge's Introduction to Ethics (there in connection with Utilitarianism) and multiple times in many contexts in Ed Miller's widely read Questions that Matter."

One thing I do want to point out. I agree that to this point no one has really addressed your argument. In fact there have been several rabbit trails. And in fact, I would say that in many points you actually were correct in your arguments. Of course that doesn't make your main point correct.
Let me see if I can state your main point.
OM can exist sans God.
You also argue against Craig making the distinctions between epistmology and ontology. Since you reject this premise I would expect you of course to reject his conclusions. I also would say that Craig is NOT providing a complete moral theory. And, must he?

I would like to hear a more defined argument. I think we'd both agree that a moral epistimology presupposes ontology. But I can't say that you've presented a case that they are the same. In fact, in some sense I think we would all agree that the GR is in one sense objective. But I can't help but think you are not using the word "objective" in the same sense as Craig, and thus equivocating.

The GR can tell us anything is wrong (or right). Kind of like a ruler can tell us the length of an object. I can measure and find out that this object is 8 inches long. But the ruler doesn't make the object 8 inches long. It just tells me what is, in fact, the case."
-“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?

#327

Post by Spock » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:55 am

B. W. wrote:Why are you afraid to answer the question Spock? I don't see anywhere so far where you answered this:
Spock wrote:
B. W. wrote:Greetings Spock question - Do you love your wife?
Yes. Do you agree with Craig's Moral Argument for God?
So if you entered your home with appropriate weapon, saw three men justifying their morality brutally assaulting your wife and child, what would you do:

1-Say, sorry guys, don't let me interrupt

2-Say, Here I am - attack me too while I dial 911

3-Or Kill the three men to save your wife and child?
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-
-
I did not find your post worthy to be answered for a number of reasons.

1) I answered your question, but you ignored mine. Indeed, you deleted it from your response above (see the red text that I added back in).

2) You offered a set of emotionally laden and grossly irrational "options" for me to choose from. It is below my dignity to respond to such absurdities.

3) Any man who would suggest that I am "afraid" to answer his silly manipulative word games is not worthy of any further response. That simply is not how mature folks interested in rational discourse talk to others.

I would be delighted if you would like to participate in a rational discourse. If not, you can just continue talking to yourself and other like-minded game players.
Live long and prosper

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Re: Morality Without God?

#328

Post by Spock » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:57 am

jlay wrote:Spock,

Just to let you know a few things. First, I will be limited in posting time over the next couple of days. 2nd, my friend has already read the thread and has corresponded with me. I will do my best to get a response together, or perhaps direct him to your own link where he can respond directly.

One thing. You said earlier to Byblos, that philosophers had largely ignored the GR.

Apresian, R.G. "Talion and the Golden Rule." Russian Studies In Philosophy 41, no. 1 (Summer2002 2002): 46.
Bo, Mou. "A Reexamination of the Structure and Context of Confucius'
Version of the Golden Rule." Philosophy East & West 54, no. 2 (April
2004): 218-248.
Chan, Kai M. A. "The Golden Rule and the Potentiality Principle:
Future Persons and Contingent Interests." Journal Of Applied Philosophy 21, no. 1 (April 2004): 33-42.
Conn, Walter E. "Erik Erikson : the ethical orientation, conscience and the golden rule." Journal Of Religious Ethics 5, (September 1,
1977): 249-266.
Cordell, David M. "Insurance, Ethics and the Golden Rule." Journal Of Financial Planning 17, no. 5 (May 2004): 32.
Gortner, David t. "The Golden Rule: The Ethics of Beciprocity in World Religions." Anglican Theological Review 93, no. 4 (Fall2011 2011):
730-731.
Hunsinger, George. "Torture, common morality, and the golden rule: a conversation with Michael Perry." Theology Today 63, no. 3 (October 1,
2006): 375-379. A
Kirk, Alan. "Love your enemies," the Golden Rule, and ancient reciprocity (Luke 6:27-35)." Journal Of Biblical Literature 122, no. 4 (December 1, 2003): 667-686.
Mizzoni, John. "'The Social Instincts Naturally Lead to the Golden
Rule': The Ethics of Charles Darwin." Teorema 28, no. 2 (May 2009):
123-133.
Stanglin, Keith D. "The historical connection between the golden rule and the second greatest love command." Journal Of Religious Ethics 33, no. 2 (June 1, 2005): 357-371.
Topel, L John. "The Tarnished Golden Rule (Luke 6:31) : The Inescapable Radicalness of Christian Ethics." Theological Studies 59, no. 3 (September 1, 1998): 475-485.
Vilaythong T, Oth, Nicole M. Lindner, and Brian A. Nosek. "Do unto
others": effects of priming the golden rule on Buddhists' and Christians' attitudes toward gay people." Journal For The Scientific Study Of Religion 49, no. 3 (September 1, 2010): 494-506.
Wattles, Jeffrey. "Levels of meaning in the golden rule." Journal Of Religious Ethics 15, no. 1 (March 1, 1987): 106-129.
Wattles, Jeffrey. "Plato's brush with the golden rule." Journal Of Religious Ethics 21, no. 1 (March 1, 1993): 69-85.
Yong, Huang. "A Copper Rule Versus the Golden Rule: A Daoist-Confucian Proposal for Global Ethics." Philosophy East & West 55, no. 3 (July
2005): 394-425.

"The Golden Rule is rather widely discussed in a great many contexts. These are just academic journals. This is to say nothing about textbooks on ethics that are read in every college throughout the country, and nothing less still of philosophy texts more generally. It is discussed, for instance, in Cambridge's Introduction to Ethics (there in connection with Utilitarianism) and multiple times in many contexts in Ed Miller's widely read Questions that Matter."

One thing I do want to point out. I agree that to this point no one has really addressed your argument. In fact there have been several rabbit trails. And in fact, I would say that in many points you actually were correct in your arguments. Of course that doesn't make your main point correct.
Let me see if I can state your main point.
OM can exist sans God.
You also argue against Craig making the distinctions between epistmology and ontology. Since you reject this premise I would expect you of course to reject his conclusions. I also would say that Craig is NOT providing a complete moral theory. And, must he?

I would like to hear a more defined argument. I think we'd both agree that a moral epistimology presupposes ontology. But I can't say that you've presented a case that they are the same. In fact, in some sense I think we would all agree that the GR is in one sense objective. But I can't help but think you are not using the word "objective" in the same sense as Craig, and thus equivocating.

The GR can tell us anything is wrong (or right). Kind of like a ruler can tell us the length of an object. I can measure and find out that this object is 8 inches long. But the ruler doesn't make the object 8 inches long. It just tells me what is, in fact, the case."
Hey there jlay,

Thanks for the very informative response! You have given me much to review. I'm supposed to be heading out the door right now, so I'll respond more on Monday.

All the best to you my friend,

Richard
Live long and prosper

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Re: Morality Without God?

#329

Post by Butterfly » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:57 am

B. W. wrote:
Butterfly wrote:What you are doing is an egregious attempt to force me into saying something you know I didn't mean...and you are a forum moderator? You know that I meant the Hebrews created a god to fit their perceptions of why things happened in the world around them, and to explain what they didn't understand. I DID NOT MEAN OR SAY that the Hebrews specifically created a god to justify their oppression of women, killing of innocents, and justify slavery...they were already doing all those things in their everyday life. The god they created just reflected those beliefs.
God has been working through each successive generation to rid these social norms. Each successive generation had responsibility to pass on the knowledge to next generation. That is what you fail to see. God working amongst an ancient people to define and expose what sin is thru the use of social norms of the time. As others pointed out on this thread, the OT Laws governing slavery lead to better treatment of slaves which over time, due to the forgetfulness of successive generations, finally led to the abolition of Slavery due to Christian influence. You fail to see this biblical truth fact.

Next, I treated you with pure unadulterated equality as I would anyone who comes to this forum and make adhomnin attacks against Christian faith, distorting the historical record, denying the New Covenant, insinuating that Christian men are sexist because ethey don’t live or obey the OT Laws – thus hypocrites.

That is why your appeal for being an innocent Butterfly being attacked by 10 Christian men does not wash with me. Please don’t pull that hokey stuff here.

That is insulting and you do know it.
Butterfly wrote:I have insulted no Christian men here, but rather you and others here have insulted me by twisting my words! My discourse has been directed at the ancient Hebrews of biblical times concerning what is written in the Bible. I didn't write those words in the Bible, the ancient Hebrews did. So why are you getting so defense about something other people in another time wrote? And just because your arguments don't hold up to scrutiny doesn't mean I've falsely accused anyone.
Again, I treated you with pure unadulterated equality as I would anyone who comes to this forum and make adhominin attacks against Christian faith, distorts the historical record, denies the New Covenant, insinuates that Christian men are sexist.

You will not listen to reason, and deny the progression of historical record, that led to the abolition of Slavery. You are stuck on a subject that has nothing to do with the NT and the development of liberty God was leading each successive generation to become and pass on to the next generation unto greater heights.
BW,

I have made NO attacks on the Christians here or anywhere else, nor have I insinuated that men are sexist because they are Christian. You have attacked me over and over again by distorting and twisting my words. My sole focus here has been on the content of the Bible, and how it is a reflection of ANE thought.
B. W. wrote:Your Main Premise is this – Man created god to justify abuse to women who are as innocent as butterflies. By stating the WORD HEBREWS into the debate, I warned you, and mentioned that your statements can be construed as Anti-Semitic. Just insert the word Jew where you used Hebrew in all your post so far, and I hope you can see how what you wrote could be interpreted as – it’s the Jews fault for slavery, abuse of women, etc and etc. That can be interpreted as an insult to many people reading and you continue to deny this a a real possibility. So I stated that your words can indict you of anti-Semitism – not that you were. Big difference... Let's get back to the point...
You are bearing false witness against me by purposely distorting and twisting my premise. :shakehead: I have stated over, and over again my premise for why I think the Bible is biased toward the male. My use of the word Hebrew refers solely to the ancient people recorded in Scripture as being God's chosen people. You should be ashamed of yourself trying to imply that my use of the word Hebrew means anything other than the specific race of people mentioned in the Bible that were practicing slavery, and discrimination under the auspices of their god, Yahweh.


B. W. wrote:You were never a Christian, nor have you fallen away. Your tone betrays this. You are here to put the bible on trial as a work of MEN to justify oppression. That is true of the Koran but not of the bible. The intent of bible is to expose the human condition which is God doing everything to draw freely, people back to himself. Even to the point of allowing himself to be put on trial, be falsely accused, mocked, spat upon, forced to carry heavy burdens, brutally beaten, have his processions divided into lots, a crown of thrones beaten into his skull, crucified. Much of what you are attempting to do here on this thread, now.

-
-
Here you go again, bearing false witness against me...shame on you. :shakehead:
A small flutter of butterfly wings, causes a great disturbance...

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Re: Morality Without God?

#330

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:01 pm

OM can exist sans God.
I found this interesting because, as I had said much earlier, morality CAN exist apart from God ( even the bible states this to a certain extent), BUT the notion of an Objective morality?
Hmmm...I would think that, apart from a source totally removed from all involved, morality will ALWAYS be subjective to whoever his/shares morals.
I am curious as to how you think objective and/or absolute morals can exist apart from those deciding what is moral?

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